(Kerouac Writer-in-Residence 2008-2009)
Brian Turner’s latest book, My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir has been called “Achingly, disturbingly, shockingly beautiful” by Nick Flynn and “a humane, heartbreaking, and expertly crafted work of literature” by Tim O’Brien. My Life as a Foreign Country is published by W.W. Norton & Company in the US and Canada, and by Jonathan Cape/Random House in the UK and Ireland. His two collections of poetry: Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005; Bloodaxe Books, 2007) and Phantom Noise (Alice James Books, 2010; Bloodaxe Books in October of 2010) have also been published in Swedish by Oppenheim forlag. His poems have been published and translated in Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Swedish.
His poetry and essays have been published in The New York Times,National Geographic, Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and other journals. Turner was featured in the documentary film Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, which was nominated for an Academy Award. He received a USA Hillcrest Fellowship in Literature, an NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, a US-Japan Friendship Commission Fellowship, the Poets’ Prize, and a Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. His most recent book of poetry, Phantom Noise, was short-listed for the T.S. Eliot Prize in England. His work has appeared on National Public Radio, the BBC, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Here and Now, and on Weekend America, among others.
Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon before serving for seven years in the US Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division (1999-2000).
As well as an infantryman, Brian has worked as a machinist, a locksmith’s assistant, a convenience store clerk, a pickler, a maker of circuit boards, a dishwasher, an EFL teacher in South Korea, a low voltage electrician, a radio DJ, a bass guitar instructor, and more. He’s lived and traveled to Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Russia, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, UAE, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, and the U.K., among others.
He directs the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and serves as a contributing editor at The Normal School.
Brian is married to Ilyse Kusnetz (poet and author of Small Hours from Truman State University Press). They live in Orlando, Florida.