Letter to Incoming Students
from Tess Haadsma, ’15
Dear Class of 2018,
Welcome to Albion, and congratulations on making the decision to become a Briton!
If you are reading this letter, that means you have picked up Brian Turner's Here Bullet, this year's Common Reading Experience book. Turner's book is many things: fairly short, easy to read, beautiful and, to be completely honest, terrifying.
Turner fought as an American soldier in the Iraq war and so saw what I (and I suspect you) have never seen first-hand: war.
Until I read Turner's poems, everything I knew about war I learned from newscasts or history classes or the movies. Turner's book of poems, though, makes an entirely different aspect of the war tangible – it is not the glory or the violence, so much as the human experience – the implications, the impact that war has on those caught in its crosshairs.
For those of you who have never picked up a book of poetry before in your life, don't be afraid. Poetry can be scary, yes, but these poems are different than the poems you've probably read in school. His language is our language, and the poems make a world that is so far away—in many ways—feel right here.
So the next time you go to the beach or need something to read on your lunch break, pick up Turner's book of poems and bring it with you. I think the poems will surprise you. They certainly surprised me.
Tess Haadsma, ’15