KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Poem: 84 words [R]

Homage to Li Shang Yin

by Doug Anderson

When I have outlived everyone 
I know, and I just might do that, 
I will be truly alone. 
No one to remind me of the self 
I’ve clung to all these years. 
You are a good poet, they say. 
You were a handsome young man. 
But soon I’ll have no one to tell me. 
Then how easy it will be 
to dissolve my face in the mirror 
and become light as ash 
blown from the lip of the urn.


—Published previously on poet’s Facebook page (17 January 2019); appears here with his permission

Doug Anderson
Issue 11, Spring 2019

is an American poet, memoirist, and photographer who grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and served as a combat medic in Vietnam. After returning home from the war, he studied acting at the University of Arizona, where he earned an M.A. degree. He later settled in Massachusetts and began writing poems in the Group 18 writing workshop founded in 1986 by Jack Gilbert, Linda Gregg, and James Finnegan. [See also Open Field: Poems from Group 18 (Open Field Press, November 2012).]

Anderson’s work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Cimarron Review, Connecticut Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, and The Southern Review, among others, as well as in the anthology The Hundred Years’ War: Modern War Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2014).

He is working on a novel, The Summer of Love, and his most recently published book is a collection of poems, Horse Medicine (Barrow Street Press, 2015). His memoir Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties, and a Journey of Self-Discovery was published in 2009 by W.W. Norton and Company.

He is also the author of two other poetry collections. His war poems have been called “uncompromising” and “wrenching” by fellow poets and rank among the most honest, intimate portraits of war’s complex imagery. The first collection, The Moon Reflected Fire (Alice James Books, 1994), won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and was described by Joyce Peseroff, an Advisory Editor for Ploughshares and author of four poetry books, as “not just about Vietnam but resonant with the history of warriors from the backyard to The Iliad to the Bible.” The second collection, Blues for Unemployed Secret Police (Curbstone Books, 2000), received a grant from the Eric Matthieu King Fund of the Academy of American Poets.

Anderson lives in Palmer, Massachusetts, where he is director of development for Blue Star Equiculture, a horse-rescue facility and organic farm. In addition to the war poems, his work focuses on a range of contemporary issues and concerns, as well as deeply personal material. [See also Vox Populi: A Public Sphere for Politics and Poetry.] He has written film scripts, fiction, and criticism, and his play, “Short Timers,” was produced at The Theater for the New City in 1981 (New York).

He has taught in the MFA programs at Bennington College and Pacific University of Oregon; Smith and Emerson Colleges; Eastern Connecticut State University; and the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Its Social Consequences at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of Connecticut in 2006 and now teaches in the department of comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Awards include a Pushcart Prize; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Virginia Quarterly Review, Poets & Writers, The MacDowell Colony, and other funding organizations.

Site contains text, proprietary computer code,
and graphic images that are protected by:

⚡   Many thanks for taking time to report broken links to: KYSOWebmaster [at] gmail [dot] com   ⚡