Todd Kaneko on The Red Book or Operation Iraqi Freedom is My Fault

Tank Girl Smoking on Tank Promo.png

I met Todd Kaneko years ago at a Matthew Gavin Frank Potfarm reading (which is a book I 'highly' recommend: not sorry). We ate at some place in Grand Rapids, Michigan that was awesome and I ate some of the best Brussels sprouts I've ever had in my life. Todd was pretty quiet during the dinner and I don't know why for sure, but I assume it might have been because those were my old drinking days and I was probably overly obnoxious and awkward. Despite that, Todd didn't ignore me at AWP when I bumped into him and Adam Schuitema in Minneapolis. We walked to an Anne Valente reading in the basement of place and on our way down there, I talked super loud and potentially irritated the reader who was in the middle of his reading just before Anne's reading began. I think it was a little embarrassing for all of use when we exited the staircase and saw a few folks in the audience tossing evil eyes at us. Anyway, Todd writes poems that I never thought might exist. It's funny how for the longest time I didn't think poems could be funny until I had a teacher in undergrad say, "Poems can be funny,  you know?" Well Todd wrote a book called The Dead Wrestler Elegies and it is a book of poems (partly) about dead wrestlers. And I mean professional wrestlers like The Junkyard Dog or Bam Bam Bigelow or Andre the Giant. Before I met Todd I never thought poems could be about something like that. He proves that they can, and you should buy his book and you can do that by clicking this button below.

The Red Book jpg.jpg

Now that you've bought Todd's book and read it, you can read what he had to say about my book The Red Book or Operation Iraqi Freedom is My Fault that will be available on Labor Day.

In The Red Book (or Operation Iraqi Freedom is My Fault), Brandon Davis Jennings assembles a landscape of memories, redactions and ruthless truths as he draws from a journal he kept as a teenager and his life as an airman serving in Saudi Arabia. “Real war stories aren’t about excitement and adventure—they’re about facts,” he says, and these aren’t just war stories. These essays are slyly evasive and playfully circuitous as they weave through fact and fiction and erasure, only arrive with an unwavering gaze on the ways that a man’s childhood homes, his boredom in the desert, and even the voices in his head can be as brutal as the battlefield. Jennings has written a bold, daring book that is unflinchingly about what it means to stay alive.
— W. Todd Kaneko, Author of The Dead Wrestler Elegies and Co-author of Poetry: A Writers Guide and Anthology