Benjamin Hertwig’s debut collection of poetry, Slow War, is at once an ac- count of contemporary warfare and a personal journey of loss and the search for healing. It stands in the tradition of Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est” and Kevin Powers’s “Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting.” A century after the First World War, Hertwig presents the personal cost of war in poems such as “In Flanders/Afghanistan” and “Food Habits of Coyotes, as Determined by the Examination of Stomach Contents,” and the potential for healing in unlikely places in “A Poem Is Not Guantanamo Bay.” This collection provides no easy answers – Hertwig looks at the war in Afghanistan with the unflinching gaze of a soldier and the sustained attention of a poet. In his accounting of warfare and its difficult aftermath on the home- front, the personal becomes political. While these poems inhabit both experimental and traditional forms, the breakdown of language channels a descent into violence and an ascent into a future that no longer feels certain, where history and trauma are forever intertwined. Hertwig reminds us that remembering war is a political act and that writing about war is a way we remember. Benjamin Hertwig is a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, a painter, and a PhD student at the Univeristy of British Columbia whose writing has recently appeared on npr and in the New York Times. Canada did not fight in the Vietnam War, but the conflict seized the Canadian imagination with an energy that has persisted. In War Is Here Robert McGill explains how the war contributed to a golden age for writing in Canada. As authors addressed the conflict, they helped to construct an enduring myth of Canada as liberal, hospitable, and humanitarian. For many writers, the war was one that Canadians could and should fight against, if not in person, then on the page. In this pioneering account of war-related Canadian literature McGill ob- serves how celebrated books of the era channel Vietnam, sometimes in subtle but pervasive ways. He examines authors’ attempts to educate their readers about American imperialism and Canadian complicity, and he discusses how writers repeatedly used language evoking militarism and violence – from the figure of the United States as a rapist to the notion of Canada as a “peaceable kingdom” – in order to make Canadians feel more intensely about their coun- try. McGill also addresses the recent spate of prize-winning Canadian novels about the war that have renewed Vietnam’s resonance in the wake of twenty- first-century conflicts involving America. War Is Here vividly revisits a galvanizing time in world history and Canadian life, offering vital insights into the Vietnam War’s influence on how people think about Canada, its place in the world, and the power of the written word to make a difference. Robert McGill is a novelist and associate professor of English at the University of Toronto. 1 6 M Q U P F A L L 2 0 1 7 S P E C I F I C AT I O N S The Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series August 2017 978-0-7735-5142-8 $16.95T CDN, $16.95T US, £14.99 paper 5 x 7.5 144pp eBook available S P E C I F I C AT I O N S September 2017 978-0-7735-5159-6 $34.95A CDN, $34.95A US, £29.99 paper 978-0-7735-5158-9 $110.00S CDN, $110.00S US, £95.00 cloth 6 x 9 320pp eBook available P O E T R Y Slow War benjamin hertwig remember your body again / how cedar smells of god / and a Bach cantata / makes you almost / forgive / your hands. L I T E R A R Y S T U D I E S • C A N A D I A N S T U D I E S War Is Here The Vietnam War and Canadian Literature robert mcgill How a war Canada did not fight profoundly changed the nation’s writing and identity.