Recent publications online:
"Martin's work is spare and powerful, wise and charged with experience..."
-The Akron-Beacon Journal
"Martin (The Stick Soldiers)...reckons with the tension between occupier and occupied in these winding, rhythmic lyrics. He delves into the paranoia of American soldiers as well as Iraqis' terror and defiance, glimpsed as an elderly farmer demands payment for a blown-up tractor: "In one hand he holds a long shovel,/ rusted spade up, & he stumbles toward us & shouts." Martin describes well...the banality of a battle zone: "At home, they don't know all I do:// aim at date palms." Meanwhile, military slang ("Hescos," "JP8," "terp") melds with poetic references: "No bombs but// in things. No IEDs but/ in things." -Publisher's Weekly
"The poet never forgets nor lets us forget that while many of these poems are set in Iraq, their subject is an imagined version of that place. It is a convergent construct of memory, history, and American imagination...“in country” does not refer to the past or present, but a state of malaise in which both past and present occur and occur simultaneously. “In country” does not mean Iraq or Afghanistan, the United States or Syria: rather, it is a country they all inhabit, a warzone in which we all reside."
-The Kenyon Review
"In the Iraq edition of wartime for American soldiers, fear of being blown to pieces by hidden explosives frequently loses out to the wiliest enemy of all—boredom. This is the wartime footing—six years in an M1A1 Abrams tank—that Iraq War veteran Hugh Martin makes use of to create his own masterful poetry. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Grantland, and numerous other prestigious journals, and The Stick Soldiers, his first collection, won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize."