ABOUT THIS BOOK
Moving between the languages of love and war, Jehanne Dubrow’s latest book offers valuable testimony to the experiences of military wives. Frequently employing rhyme, meter, and traditional forms, these poems examine what it means to be both a military spouse and an academic, straddling two communities that speak in very different and often conflicting terms.
As in the poet’s earlier collection, Stateside, the poems in Dots & Dashes are explicitly feminist, exploring the experiences of women whose husbands are deployed. But, while Stateside looked to masculine stories of war, Dots & Dashes incorporates the views and voices of female poets who have written about combat. Looking to Sappho and Emily Dickinson, the poet considers how the act of writing allows her autonomy and agency rarely granted to military spouses, even in the twenty-first century. Dubrow catalogs the domestic life of a military spouse, illustrating what it is like to live in a tightly constructed world of rules and regulations, ceremony and tradition, where “every sacrifice already / knows its place.”
Navigating the rough seas of marriage alongside questions about how civilians and those in the military can learn to communicate with one another, Dubrow argues for compassion and empathy on both sides. In this timely collection, Dubrow offers the hope that if we can break apart our preconceptions and stereotypes, we can find what connects all of us.