Like Keith Douglas's poems from the North African desert in the Second World War, Turner's testament from the present war in Iraq offers unflinchingly accurate description but no moral judgement, leaving the reader to draw any conclusions. Repetitive media reports show little of people's daily experience of the five-year war. In Here, Bullet, we see and feel the devastatingly surreal reality of everyday life and death for soldiers and civilians through the eyes of an eloquent writer who served in the US Army for seven years, with a year's tour of duty in Iraq as an infantry team leader.
"Here, Bullet is a book of poems about the war in Iraq, written by a veteran whose eye for the telling detail is as strategic as it is poetic."
The Globe and Mail
"The poems in Here, Bullet... are steeped in pity for the occupants of Iraq, while at the same time remaining on full alert to the likely moment 'when a twelve-year-old / rolls a grenade into the room'... The most effective instrument in Turner's kit is his detachment -the particulars are so shocking that they need no sentimental boost - which is deployed in combination with complex feeling... There are poems in Here, Bullet good enough to hold a place in any anthology of war poetry."
The Guardian ("In the line of fire: James Campbell asks where are the war poets of today")
"Turner attempts to capture the extreme experience of war by depicting the feelings it generates: the sense of loss, hatred, humiliation, love, uncertainty, and dreamy longing for a normal life."
"Several hundred books have now been published on the Iraq War... but none has felt necessary until now. There's something in the lumbering of prose that cannot capture what poetry, done right, can make immanent with its insistent beat... With Brian Turner's Here, Bullet, we have the first war poetry since Yusef Komunyakaa's Dien Cai Dau that matters."
The Bloodaxe UK edition of Here, Bullet includes two additional poems not published in the US edition.