In 1969 William H. Clamurro was a conscientious objector to the war in Vietnam. Unlike COs with the 1-0 status who did not want to serve in the armed forces, Clamurro petitioned to be made a 1-A-0, choosing to join the Army, go to Vietnam, and serve as an unarmed combat medic. He served by retrieving and tending to the wounded, and often caring for the bodies of the dead rather than fighting.
He captured his time there as poems in a small field notebook. When he returned to the US he transcribed those poems on a cheap typewriter and hid them away in a box, where they remained for nearly five decades.
The Vietnam Typescript faithfully reproduces Clamurro’s original manuscript, complete with editing marks, and includes the author’s thoughts on the war and his experiences there. In addition to the poems written while he was in Vietnam, the book contains seven reflective poems written decades later, and an afterward written by historian Jim Kearney, another A-1-0 who served with Clamurro in the 2/34th armored battalion.
About the author:
William H. Clamurro is Professor emeritus of Spanish at Emporia State University. He is the author of four books, Comfort & Lies (2016), Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares: Reading Their Lessons from His Time to Ours (2015), Beneath the Fiction: The Contrary Worlds of Cervantes’s Novelas Ejemplares (2011), and Language and Ideology in the Prose of Quevedo (1991).
In addition, Prof. Clamurro is active as a musician and has performed with orchestras in Kansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio. In Emporia, he has performed with the ESU chamber orchestra, the Emporia Symphony Orchestra, and the Mid-America Woodwind Quintet. As an undergraduate at Amherst College (class of ’67), Clamurro studied creative writing with Archibald McLeish, and his poetry has been published in Flint Hills Review and other literary magazines.