Kevin Powers (born July 11, 1980) is an American fiction writer, poet, and Iraq War veteran.
Powers was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, the son of a factory worker and a postman, and enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of seventeen. He attended James River High School. Six years later, in 2004, he served a one-year tour in Iraq as a machine gunner assigned to an engineer unit. Powers served in Mosul and Tal Afar, Iraq, from February 2004 to March 2005. After his honorable discharge, Powers enrolled in Virginia Commonwealth University, where he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in English. He holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Michener Fellow in Poetry.
Powers's first novel The Yellow Birds, which drew on his experiences in the Iraq War, garnered a lucrative advance from publisher Michael Pietsch at Little, Brown. It has been called 'a classic of contemporary war fiction' by the New York Times. Michiko Kakutani, book critic for The New York Times, subsequently named the novel one of her 10 favorite books of 2012. Wrote Kakutani: "At once a freshly imagined bildungsroman and a metaphysical parable about the loss of innocence and the uses of memory, it’s a novel that will stand with Tim O’Brien’s enduring Vietnam book, The Things They Carried, as a classic of contemporary war fiction."..
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