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Steve Mason

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Captain Steve Mason, USA is “a former army captain and decorated Vietnam combat veteran, Steve Mason is Poet Laureate of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Steve Mason is the author of four collections of poetry: Johnny’s Song; Warrior for Peace; The Human Being: A Warrior's Journey Toward Peace and Mutual Healing and The Moths & Violets of Vito & Me: The Story of a Poem.

Publisher’s Weekly said of Warrior for Peace, “The author of Johnny's Song (which earned him the title of National Poet Laureate of the Vietnam Veterans of America) attempts to reconcile his Vietnam experiences with his return to America. These poems are a veteran's raw, heartfelt pleas for lasting peace and for a reevaluation of patriotism, nationalism and a government that wars "as a solution to economics/or as a perpetuation of social justice." Verses shift from jarring, often graphic accounts of the atrocities Mason witnessed to strangely peaceful images of his childhood, family and friends. These juxtapositions would be more effective were they not so explicitly spelled out; Mason explains rather than illustrates, and he frequently lapses into didactic sermonizing. Although his message is certainly worthy, Mason's tendency to rely on political rhetoric rather than craft (in "A Living Memorial," for example, he writes, "It is the courage of America/ and the strength of our world/ that the essence of our patriotism/ is not nationalism,/ it is humanity") makes his work more appropriate to forms of expression other than poetry. The introduction by film director Oliver Stone adds nothing of value to this volume.”

Warrior for Peace. a Touchstone Book (A Touchstone book)
Steve Mason  More Info
Johnny's Song (Touchstone Books (Paperback))
Steve Mason  More Info
The human being: A warrior's journey toward peace and mutual healing
Steve Mason  More Info
The moths & violets of Vito & me: The story of a poem
Steve Mason  More Info

The School Library Journal said of Johnny’s Song, “YA Mason, named the National Poet Laureate of the Vietnam Veterans of America, has collected poems that he has written for and read at memorials and to groups of veterans. In one he points out the day-to-day acceptance of war with the image of a mother screaming from her front door, "Johnny, for the last time put down those peace treaties and come in the house this instant you can play Geneva Convention after Dinner." Although the poems have a direct appeal to the Vietnam veterans and their families and friends, YAs will also be stirred by Mason's work. He writes of the guilt of the living, the bereavement of the families, and the dislike for those who "didn't go" but instead relied upon favorable lottery numbers. To understand this war, YAs need to "feel" it. By reading Mason's poetry, they will.”

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