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Doug Anderson. Courtesy Smith College.

Doug Anderson (born 1943) is an American poet, fiction writer, and memoirist.[1]


Anderson served in Vietnam as a corpsman with a Marine infantry battalion in 1967. He graduated from the University of Arizona. He worked in the theater, as an actor. He then settled in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he began to write plays and poems in a workshop with Jack Gilbert and Linda Gregg.

Anderson taught at the University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University, the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Its Social Consequences, Mount Wachusett Community College and at a Massachusetts state prison. He is completing a book called Loose Cantos.[3] In 2010 he began teaching in the Pacific University of Oregon MFA Program. He is currently a lecturer in the Institute of Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College, Boston.

His work has appeared in Ploughshares,[2] the Connecticut Review, The Massachusetts Review, Virginia Quarterly, The Southern Review, Field,[3] and The Autumn House Anthology of American Poetry, as well as this year’s Contemporary American War Poetry. He also published a play, Short Timers, which was produced in New York in 1981.[3]

His most recent book is a memoir, Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties, and a Journey of Self-Discovery (W.W. Norton, 2009).


Joyce Peseroff writes that The Moon Reflected Fire is “not just about Vietnam but resonant with the history of warriors from the backyard to the Iliad to the Bible.

Blues for Unemployed Secret Police, was praised by Booklist for its “powerful, funny-horrific, brutal-tender poems.”


His honors include grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Poets & Writers, and the MacDowell Colony. His book, The Moon Reflected Fire, won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award in 1995.[4]


  • Pushcart Prize
  • NEA grant
  • Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship
  • 1995 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for The Moon Reflected Fire



  • Cry Wolf (chapbook). Azul Editions.[5]
  • Bamboo Bridge: Poems. Amherst, MA: Amherst Writers & Artists Press, 1991.The Moon Reflected Fire. Cambrige, MA: Alice James Books, 1994.
  • Blues for Unemployed Secret Police. Willmantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2000.


  • Keep Your Head Down: A memoir. New York: Norton, 2009.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[6]

See also[]


Doug Anderson reads his poem "Blues"


External links[]

Audio / video
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