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Coal City

Notes to the Man Who Shot Me: Vietnam War Poems

John Musgrave. 2003.

ISSN: 1062-5011. 6 x 9. 10.

John Musgrave’s book traces his journey from enlistment in the Marine Corps to the final poem, the title poem of this book, in which Musgrave realizes that he had more in common with the men he was fighting in Vietnam than with the men who sent him to fight. Read this book and see “the true face of war.” Read this book and pray for peace.

With its gritty eloquence and grunt’s eye point-of-view, John Musgrave’s poetry pops a steel pot onto the head of the reader, shoves a M-16 into his hands and sets him walking point down a jungle trail into the heart of hell. . . . This is poetry that slashes and bleeds. This is poetry that makes the truth hurt.   ~ Michael Clodfelter, author of Mad Minutes and Vietnam Months.

John Musgrave causes his listeners to truly understand the horrors of war on a personal level as they sit spellbound, often tearful, amazed that his words can evoke such intense emotion.   ~ Andrea Whittemore, Instructor, University of Kansas

John’s book is one we will want to keep on a shelf reserved for books that matter, a book to be read by students, historians and anyone interested in what it was like to be a young Marine permanently disabled in combat, lied to by his government and betrayed by an apathetic society that watched the war on the evening news. As a Vietnam War veteran, I appreciate the authenticity of John’s storytelling, his attention to detail and his use of irony to convey the war’s effects on those who served. John still serves.   ~ Bill Bauer, author, Last Lambs, Eye of the Ghost, Children of the Dust

John Musgrave: Marine rifleman, poet, and hero to those who know him. Musgrave’s poems, which recount the combat horrors of Vietnam and the glories of brotherhood under fire, sear our consciousness.   ~ Bill Tuttle, author of Daddy’s Gone to War and Race Riot