Publisher Announces New Poetry Collections from 21st Century Veterans


Middle West Press LLC, the Iowa-based business that administers The Aiming Circle community of practice as well as other military-writing projects, announces the pending release of three new poetry collections centering on or adjacent to issues of war, healing, and military service.

The midwestern micro-publisher has now produced more than a dozen collections, anthologies, and chapbooks of war-related poetry and prose, offering readers new and unexpected narratives of what it means to be a U.S. military veteran or family-member.

For example, Jessi M. Atherton's recent debut poetry collection, The Time War Takes, explores narratives of healing, growth, and resilience—through Colorado wildfires, trauma, and divorce. In 2005, Atherton deployed to Iraq as a Michigan National Guard citizen-soldier working in logistics. She is now a registered nurse—soon to be a nurse practitioner—working in veterans’ and women’s mental health. She lives and works in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota metro area.

Print and e-book publication dates for the new Middle West Press titles are:

  • Releasing Aug. 8, 2023: Unwound: Poems from Enduring War by Liam Corley. A literature professor and emerging science-fiction author, Corley is also U.S. Navy Reserve officer with deployment experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, and throughout the Pacific area of operations. With care and precision, Corley's poems probe American ideals of heroism, marriage, family, and homecoming.

  • Releasing Sept. 5, 2023: The Explosion Takes Both Legs: Noir Poems from the Iraq War by J.B. Stevens. Stevens is a former U.S. Army infantry officer, who now writes punchy crime fiction and darkly funny stories. His war poetry often hits in explosively similar ways. Stevens is a past finalist in the Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Writing Awards, administered by the Chicago-based literary journal Line of Advance.

  • Releasing Oct. 10, 2023: Paying for Gas with Quarters: A Parent's Odyssey in Poems by Aly Allen. Allen is a U.S. Army veteran who served as a broadcast journalist in Afghanistan. She completed her Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, where she now teaches English composition. Her collection navigates the residual effects of serving in a combat zone: fracturing relationships, trauma, and economic insecurity, all through the lens of parenthood.

All three titles will soon be available for pre-order in Kindle e-book format.

"Middle West Press LLC is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, journalism, and poetry. As an independent micro-press, we publish one to four titles annually. Our projects are often inspired by the people, places, and history of the American Midwest."

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