Check out Julia Stein's two-part review of Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront, since 1941 (2007) on her blog.
Part I begins like this:
Philip Metres, English professor at John Carroll University, has written Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront Since 1941, the first important book of literary criticism about anti-war poetry of the last 70 years. Metres has also edited a poetry anthology Come Together: Imagine Peace (2008). Behind the Lines is an important book for all who care about U.S. literature and culture as Metres excavates a lost tradition of U.S. anti-war literature and anti-war culture.
Read the rest here.
Part II begins like this:
The last 2/3 of Phillip Metres book Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Home Front deal with this poetry from Vietnam through the Iraq Wars. The chapter "Bringing It all Home" wonderfully shows the range of poetry against the Vietnam War--poetry of witness, documentary poetry, visionary lyrics--as well the ways poets took their work into the world. Anyone concerned with poetry or any nonprofit art breaking out its marginality in U.S. culture should find this chapter fascinating.
And ends here:
Despite my quibbles, Metres' wonderful book has given a fine argument that war resistance poetry is central to U.S. poetry in the last 70 years. He shows us how leading U.S. poets from Lowell and Rexroth through Levertov, Balaban, Bly, Jordan, Baraka and many others have put dissent to U.S. wars at the central of their poetry making poetry not marginal crucial to our lives in 2009 as the U.S. now is engaged in three wars. Metres argues that U.S. poets from different traditions--personal lyric, African-American, performance, New Formalism, and experimental language school- have quarelled amongst themselves but all have produced strong poetries of war resistance. Metres' book is crucial for any understanding of 2009 U.S. literature.
Continue reading here.