Bieganski – the Blog:

I strongly encourage readers to buy and read “What We Sign Up For,” Poems by Lisa L. Siedlarz. These poems are moving and pertinent. Siedlarz’s brother served with the US military in Afghanistan. Her sisterly love for him inspires these poems that bring home to the reader the average soldier’s, and the military family’s, experience.  Siedlarz’s style is accessible. People who don’t normally read poetry will respond to these poems, and find much of worth in them. Siedlarz uses everyday language to talk about war experiences, experiences from which most of us are sheltered.  Read More

Yanaguana Literary Review:

In I Dream My Brother Plays Baseball, Lisa L. Siedlarz takes a very fresh view of a very old subject:  a young man’s blood baptism in war.  This time, the young man’s sister struggles to comprehend what and why her brother goes to Afghanistan and what his life there must have been like.  But it’s a much larger exploration than that simple retelling of the thematic “plot” of this fine debut collection of narrative war poems. Read More

War, Literature, & the Arts commentary by Sonja Pasquantonio:

The title of this poetry collection conjures images of lazy
summer afternoons, hotdogs, and squealing children. I stared at the title,
trying to flesh out any innuendo. Three pages later, I exhaled, still reeling
from a below-the-belt sucker punch. I’d been meticulously set up.
Read Lisa Siedlarz and you’ll swear she’s the conduit for every airman, soldier,
sailor and marine who ever spent time in the dust-bowl of “Ass-Crack-istan” driving through minefields or waking to the “shit lagoon” while:

dressed in pounds: helmet, seven:
ceramic body armor, twenty-two;
load-bearing vest packed with batteries, bullets and grenades, thirty.
We are walking bombs with elephant grace.

Her lines embrace a litany of combat minutiae that channels authors such as Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried, or Brian Turner’s Here Bullet. The evocative poetry allows Siedlarz to bare herself and the burden she carries for her brother, Kevin, who served fifteen months as an infantryman and volunteer medic with the 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Brigade in Afghanistan.

Her book is a backstage pass to both “theaters”: the war and the homefront. It’s  a seminal collection of insights about how she and her brother respond to lingering effects of combat.  Read more

Blog by John Guzlowski:

The best poems, I feel, are those that are written out of the deepest emotions, the emotions that we can’t shake off, can’t explain, can’t even fully share. Polish-American poet Lisa Siedlarz’s poems about her brother and his tour of duty in Afghanistan grow out of such emotions. She’s collected these poems in a chapbook titled I Dream My Brother Plays Baseball that’s available  Read more

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