Poets and War wants to publish the best available poetry about war and about human experiences central to war — without regard to the poets’ politics, nationality, gender, or professional status — and to facilitate discussions about the historical and contemporary relationships between poetry and war.
Since the beginning of recorded history, poetry has been an important — sometimes the primary — mechanism by which societies have come to remember and understand both war and its consequences.
Even in contemporary times, flooded by escapist mass market movies, television, and ephemeral pop music, poetry has a modest role in our understandings.
Poets in contemporary societies suffering through war (or war-like conditions, including police state tyranny, ethnic and ideological conflict, and civil unrest) tend to write frequently and often urgently about those experiences. Poetry matters to the oppressed more than to people who feel free, well fed, and far from war.
The United States is in effect now in a continual state of war, and some of our poets know it, even if most citizens seem happily unaware.