Finalist, Eric Hoffer Award
Reviewed in VVA Veteran
Last Lambs: New and Selected poems of the Vietnam War, Second Edition, is a poignant collection based on the author's experiences. The second edition included a glossary of Vietnam era terms.
Last Lambs was crafted to give voice to the inner war of the soldier in the field and the ghost "on the other side of the sky." These poems guide the reader through the climate of the times, going to Vietnam, being transformed by the war, and the lifelong search for reconciliation. Bauer avoids the verbiage of diatribe an makes the war real by paying close attention to detail, allowing the war's natural language and vivid imagery to evoke its own terrible legacy. Veterans have described his work as authentic and haunting, and it has been said that if Tim O'Brien wrote poetry it would sound something like this. Last Lambs gives insight into the moral ambivalence and personal frustration of the American soldier during the Vietnam era.
In 1969 Bauer served as a grunt in an infantry company stationed along the Cambodian border.
He is the author of two other books of poetry, Eye of the Ghost (out of print) and Premises in the Dust, both published by BkMk Press. After his 1965 college graduation, he worked as a reporter for the Kansas City Star for several years. On his return from Vietnam, he co-founded and became president of Media/Professional Insurance, Inc., a firm specializing in defending the First Amendment rights of the media. Bauer sold his company in 1992 and now lives in Colorado. See Bauer's video Landing Zone One, based on Last Lambs at this link.
Kansas City Literary Events
This isssue includes an interview with Buck O'Neil and writing by Ted Kooser and Dan Quisenberry + others.