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Nationally Acclaimed Poet and Veteran Brian Turner to Visit Santa Cruz County

Janis O’Driscoll
Division Manager, Programs & Partnerships
Santa Cruz Public Libraries

Fourteen thousand veterans live in Santa Cruz County and they are telling their stories for themselves, for their families, and for their communities. Santa Cruz Public Libraries’ (SCPL) Veterans History Project is documenting the personal narratives of local veterans who served in World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since August 2014, people have been contacting the Library to record their stories on video. According to the wishes of each contributor, copies of their memoirs are sent to the Library of Congress, kept in SCPL’s local history collection, and given to veterans and their families. Many have told us that this is the first time they have shared their stories with anyone.

Learn more about this ongoing program by contacting Jennifer Cockerill Coordinator of the SCPL Veterans History Project at cockerillj@santacruzpl.org or
(831) 427-7700, ext. 7668.

Brian Turner, nationally acclaimed poet and veteran, will be visiting Santa Cruz County on November 13 and 14 to tell his story. Turner is a combat veteran of the War in Iraq in 2003, and has published two award-winning books of poetry: Here, Bullet and Phantom Noise. This summer he published his memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country. Tim O’Brien wrote of it: “It surely ranks with the best war memoirs I’ve ever encountered—a humane, heartbreaking, and expertly crafted work of literature.”

On Thursday, November 13, Mr. Turner will participate in a poetry open mic with local veteran poets David Sullivan and Victor Henry. They will read at the Watsonville Public Library at 6pm.

On Friday, November 14 at 7pm, Mr. Turner will be at the Erica Schilling Forum,Building 450, Cabrillo College in Aptos to read from his poetry and his memoir.

Both events are free and open to the public!

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