Coming in Paperback March 31st: The Warrior by Frances Richey


“War and propaganda generalize. Love and poetry specify. In the specific ways this poet-mother refuses to lose touch with a warrior son, there is a lifeline across a deadly chasm for every reader.”

—Gloria Steinem

“Even if you don’t have a son fighting in Iraq, even if you don’t read poetry, even if you think you are immune to the power of a mother’s lament—pick up this book and read it right away. Fran Richey has written some of the most powerful stories I’ve ever encountered. It is obvious that her life was changed by living these poems; yours may well be changed by reading them.”

—Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics

“Frances Richey’s The Warrior is robust and tender-hearted. This perceptive collection of terse tropes is luminous and piercing in its intensity and directness. The Warrior’s genius is the marriage of an astute intellect and simple beauty.”

—Yusef Komunyakaa

"I remember the same scenes with my own mother—going through my piled gear, talking about my will, and saying 'but you said you wanted to know.' No one feels war's jumbled pride and anguish like the mothers and wives of the warriors. We'd find a way to make peace if Frances Richey and Lysistrata were calling the shots. The Warrior is a lyrical, moving collection, full of insight and devoid of easy answers."

—Nathaniel Fick, author of the New York Times bestseller One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer

“From her first poem in The Warrior where Frances Richey announces “My son is in Iraq./ I see him/ in the faces of soldiers on the news,” we are on a mother's tour of duty—hovering, protecting, weeping and trying to make sense of war and her son's enlistment as a soldier. These poems are made with the ferocity and delicacy of mother love. They shine and cry out. They stand sentry without armor and helmet. Instead here are poems of saved messages and care packages of lip balm, each poem a song to keep a son safe. I am grateful for these difficult, brave poems. Richey has made a book that we must read even as it breaks our heart.”

—Victoria Redel

“For many, here on the homefront, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may feel removed by spatial and temporal distance. We need bridges to span over the horizon. We need poetry which frees the present tense from the historical past-tense feel of journalism and reportage. Frances Richey’s extraordinary book, The Warrior, helps us better understand the psychological and emotional battlefields that exist among us and within us.”

—Brian Turner, author of Here, Bullet