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Poet and novelist Kevin C. Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. He served with the US Army in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, where he saw combat as a machine gunner in Mosul and Tal Afar. Following his honorable discharge, he earned a BA at Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA from the Michener Center at the University of Texas at Austin.   “Poetry has helped me order the world,” Powers said. The Michener Center for Writers requires students to write in more than one genre, and there Powers completed his first novel. The Yellow Birds (2012) is an elegiac and impressionistic portrayal of young combat soldiers during the Iraq War. Roundly lauded by critics—Michiko Kakutani called it “brilliantly observed and deeply affecting”—The Yellow Birds was a finalist for the National Book Award, won the Guardian First Book Award, and was listed by the editors of the New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2012. Reviewing the book for the New York Times Book Review, Benjamin Percy stated, “Kevin Powers has something to say, something deeply moving about the frailty of man and the brutality of war, and we should all lean closer and listen.”   Powers’s unflinching poetry and prose tally the realities of war, both the daily tasks and the daily losses. His poems have appeared in The Sun, Poetry, the New Orleans Review, and the New York Quarterly.

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