Liam Corley, associate professor of English, has had several poems inspired by his military tour of Afghanistan published in literary journals.
During the 2008-09 academic year, Corley deployed as a Navy reservist, spending 14-hour days writing and analyzing military intelligence. Corley did not directly engage in combat, but he found that returning to civilian life was a challenge nonetheless. “While deployed, I wrote more rapidly and clearly than ever before, but only on topics of the moment,” he says. “Scholarship stopped me cold.”
After several attempts at new research and essays, Corley decided to channel his thoughts into a new medium: poetry. Blending direct language and poetic devices made the vital connection between being a veteran and a scholar. In his poetry, Corley reflects on the cost of war and the reality of life in a war zone.
“I write so that other veterans have words to express the jumbled up mess inside,” Corley says. “I hope that my poems in some small way give them back to themselves.”