David Allen Sullivan

Every Seed of the Pomegranate
David Allen Sullivan

“Through the hard lens of the recent war in Iraq, the poems in David Allen Sullivan’s Every Seed of the Pomegranate span the wide landscapes of history, culture, and mythology. More importantly, Sullivan’s gaze is steeped in compassion for all connected to the combat zone; these finely crafted poems investigate and interrogate that which is most deeply human. During a recent trip to Baghdad I was asked by an Iraqi poet, “When will the artists in America create work in conversation with us?” Every Seed of the Pomegranate is a necessary part of this neglected and difficult conversation.”
—Brian Turner, author of Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise

“David Allen Sullivan paints a visually nuanced and starkly realistic picture of the horrors and futility of war; he has crafted this picture not with brush and paint, but pen and ink. Watching a widow collapse on “Baghdad’s scarred tarmac” he asks, “How is it we can carry / what cannot be borne?” His concise and candid language, married to his empathy for all involved, is the beginning of an answer.”
—Adnan Al-Sayegh, author of Uruk’s Anthem, Embracing Exile, and Under a Strange Sky

“These are poems not so much driven by the war in Iraq, as by a highly artful feel for the craft of poetry, and by the poet’s distillation of others’ experiences of that war. Like Brian Turner before him, David Allen Sullivan has allowed the war and its already lingering consequences to use him as a vessel to bring the war home. Still, what is most brilliant here is the depth and breadth of a lovely and never tired diction that the poet finds appropriate to tell—show really—illuminated moments from the war, a sense of the musical line that is eerily appropriate to its often grim contexts, and a luxurious clarity and sure-handedness that makes you feel glad for the power of language to endure even our most horrible human deeds. Here is a poet to be reckoned with.”
—Bruce Weigl, author of Song of Napalm, Declension in
the Village of Chung Luong,
and The Circle of Hanh

“Through an almost trance-like conjuring of individuals’ voices from the U.S., Guantanamo, and Iraq, these poems plead with us to eat Every Seed of the Pomegranate. These are poems which remind us how far back war reaches and how long it will take to recover. Like one of his characters, the porcelain factory worker in Ramadi recycling rejects, David Allen Sullivan takes the sacred dust that’s left us and remakes it into poems that “earn back what’s lost.””
—Farnaz Fatemi

“These gritty, lyrical poems about the invasion of Iraq, issue not from CNN, but from the voices David Allen Sullivan has listened to, and from his own empathetic and far-ranging research and study. It is the deep, real, considered response of a citizen who is paying for the war in more ways than one—as we all are. It is a moving and important book.”
—Robert Fanning, author of The Seed Thieves and American Prophet

“Listening to poetry is one of those imaginary vehicles we can ride in until we hit an honest IED of traumatic memory. The poems in this book contain many such explosions.”
—Staff Sergeant Alex Lemons, United States Marine Corps

Every Seed of the Pomegranate
ISBN: 9781939670860
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