Christopher P. Collins, a former military officer and 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, has written a brutal, yet reflective, collection of poems that come to grips with the horrors of war. Published by the University of Georgia Press, My American Night is a collection of lyric poems that wrestles with a sense of self that has become fragmented by the experience of war.
Collins, who has completed three overseas combat deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, extracts the emotional shrapnel of these tours and examines their toll on his civilian life. He considers the two sides of himself that have been wrought in these parallel lives. One is the self of the citizen-soldier and the other is the self of the husband and father. His poems reveal the brutal ways in which these selves collide and bleed into one another.
Collins, who lives in Independence, Kentucky, teaches composition and creative writing at the University of Cincinnati. He also received the 2017 Georgia Poetry Prize from the UGA Press.