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River Readings: Brian Turner

Brian Turner is the author of two poetry collections, "Here, Bullet," which won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times “Editor’s Choice” selection, the 2006 PEN Center USA “Best in the West” award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others; and "Phantom Noise," which was shortlisted for the 2010 T.S. Eliot Prize in Poetry. 

He wrote a memoir, "My Life as a Foreign Country," which made Powell’s Best Nonfiction of 2014 list.

Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon before serving for seven years in the U.S. Army. He was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina with the 10th Mountain Division (1999-2000).

He has been a machinist, locksmith’s assistant convenience store clerk, pickler, maker of circuit boards, dishwasher, EFL teacher in South Korea, low-voltage electrician,  radio DJ, bass guitar instructor, and more. He’s lived and traveled in dozens of countries.

Turner directs the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and serves as a contributing editor at The Normal School.


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Brunner Theatre Center

3750 7th Ave.
Rock Island, IL 61201
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