“A terrific and sometimes terrifying collection—morally complex, rhythmic, tough-minded, and original.” —Rosanna Warren, 2018 Barnard Women Poets Prize citation
In a poetic voice at once accessible and otherworldly, gutsy and insightful, U.S. Army veteran Karen Skolfield offers a rare glimpse of a female soldier’s training and mental conditioning. Through the narratives of a young soldier, her older counterpart, and her fellow soldiers, Skolfield searches for meaning in combat preparation, long-term trauma, and the way war is embedded in our language and psyche.
About the Author
Karen Skolfield is a U.S. Army veteran and former photojournalist. She is the author of two poetry collections, Battle Dress and Frost in the Low Areas, and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives in Massachusetts.
Battle Dress helps me to see the world we live in with a brighter clarity, deeper definition, and a fuller humanity. These are the poems of a soldier, a warrior, a woman in uniform, as well as a wide-ranging examination of violence in thought and in action.
— Brian Turner, author of Here, Bullet
A remarkably fresh and coherent voice in the face of the worst and best that we can be. I am not certain how the poet manages such a finely tuned balance between what we can bear and what we must in the shadow of war…but I envy that rare skill, and I praise the best of these fine poems.
— Bruce Weigl, author of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Abundance of Nothing