May 18, 2013
A Listener’s Guide to:
Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation
Based on a concept and the libretti of SMSteele
(CFAP/Task-Force 3-09 Afghanistan)
Composed by Jeffrey Ryan
copyright Jeffrey Ryan/SMSteele
Listen to the CBC Broadcast of Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation
Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation, is a collaboration between composer Jeffrey Ryan and SMSteele, which follows the structure of a traditional Catholic Latin requiem mass for the dead. The work is based on the libretti of SMSteele following her experience as a war artist from 2008-2010 and was composed in 2011-2012 by award-winning composer, Jeffrey Ryan. The piece was commissioned by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and One Yellow Rabbit Productions, and premiered 10, November 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, conducted by Maestro Roberto Minczuk.
The soloists include: soprano Zorana Sadiq, mezzo-soprano Rebecca Hass, tenor Benjamin Butterfield, and baritone Tyler Duncan. Other performers include: the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus (Timothy Shantz conductor), and the Cantaré Children’s Chorus (conducted by Catherine Glaser-Climie).
The movements chosen by the collaborators include the: Requiem Aeternum; Kyrie; Dies Irae; Offertorium; Sanctus; Agnus Dei; Lux Aeterna; Libera Me, and In Paradisum.
The work is written for four soloists—soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and baritone— representing a medic, a soldier’s beloved, an “everyman” soldier, and a soldier suffering from war injury (PTSD). The adult choir represents parents, family, friends, soldiers, and the war engine (including a helicopter). The children’s choir alternately represent Afghan children, children of soldiers everywhere, angels, and a flock of birds.
Though the structure and Latin text have been stripped to its barest—in reflection of a post-religious generation engaged in the Afghan war—the requiem retains fragments of the ancient Latin rite, as well as English and French (the official languages of the NATO mission), and Pashto – one of the Afghan languages—set to contemporary symphonic and vocal music. The music incorporates traditional Afghan modes, intense time signature changes, lyric and percussive vocal and musical lines and orchestration.
The references to Christ and God in this piece have been confined to desperate invocation, in recognition of our barest selves and a “post-Christian” or ecumenical context, and in recognition of the cliché that there are “no atheists in the trenches”. The use of technical military jargon, or language, and the soldier vernacular, has been included to give the work a sense of timeliness, veracity, and location. The Pashtun, primarily sung by children (representing the Afghan children in the war), represents the presence of children in the warzone, and the author is grateful to the Afghan interpreters who advised on this.
Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation is both a meditation on the stages of grief—disbelief, shock, bargaining, profound depression, confusion, reluctant acceptance—hope for redemption, and a love letter to all who lost and suffer, or who have lost. Structurally, the requiem is fragmented, often frenetic, and sometimes is close to silent as it reflects the fragmentation and dislocation of war.
Ultimately, Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation is a plea to us all to stop for just one hour of our lives and to contemplate/listen/hear the voices of all who suffer, especially the children who suffer, “I’m so cold”, as they sing in Pashto in the second movement, the Kyrie. It is the children for whom we live, hope, and to whom we promise a better life. And it is they—children in warzones, and children of soldiers everywhere, who suffer the most as they endure war everywhere and at all times—they never signed up for this.
The “characters” in this requiem are not based on any real persons, alive or dead, but are fictitious amalgams of the many, many people with whom I shared just a tiny portion of a road to war and back. I sincerely hope that this work gives them some sense that someone was listening to them and wishes them true peace.
The following is a brief précis of the movements with some of the text. A full-text has been published as a chapbook and will be republished with illustrations.
I Requiem aeternam (Prologue The North)
The opening movement begins with images of landscape from the far north, as a Medic (healer) sings a call to prayer in English but in Afghan musical modes. The imagery of natural beauty of a winter solstice night in the far north, rapidly begins to become embedded with the language of war (“[white] phosphorus”, “frag”):
Winter moon, winter stars/Seeded like pomegranate/Phosphorus flecks Elk Island sky/Stars frag silver, gold, winter night,/Lapis lazuli.
A woman, the Lover, asks for the return of her lost beloved, ‘Lost heart, lost head, his beauty/Sharded, si mort, so dead/Through dust … through ash … through war/Relentless sand/Afghanistan’.
The chorus begins the Latin Requiem, but it a low rumble, like an idling Light Armour Vehicle (LAV), the rumble of war.
Together (though physically apart), the women—as every-women—ask, “Who made this,You? How could you/Turn a hand towards them then against—/Storks, roses, children, mothers, lovers/What happens in your desert, Afghanistan …”
The fragmented Soldier 1 enters, he is home but cannot come home, his mind is shattered in the desert with the loss of his men: ‘O Christ the sun, the sun/I’m split, I’m done/Embered jaw … I want them back …”
A second “Everyman” Soldier 2 sings (from a great distance away) to his suffering friend, ‘Wolf! Un loup traverse le lac/Qu’il est beau comme la patience … la fidélité … comme vous …’. He urges his friend to see the wilderness, and the beauty of the lone wolf crossing the lake in winter, as a sign of redemption/hope.
Soldier 1 sings “I live I’m dead I’m skinned alive … I’m blind/I fall I fail/I’m done I’m damned …”
The chorus begins to chant the chaos in Soldier 1’s head, mixing the landscape of home with the landscape of the war in Afghanistan: “Break/icy/trail/patrol/the stroll/the heat/the IEDs/the RPGs/ambush/ambush/ambush/alley/martyr hill …”
The Lover and Soldier 2, sing the points of the compass to Soldier 1, “North/le sud/East/l’ouest”. The adult chorus begins to sing the points of the compass to the confused, suffering Soldier 1.
Soldier 1 imagines an ambush, “An axe my life it splits my skull is bashed a rusty axe/and Christ is in the seasoned wood/my axe is dull o/God they hide”.His beloved reassures him, “I’m tracking you, I’ve got your back/I’ll hold, I’ll bear you …/See you through, never abandon you/You’re home now /new fallen snow/not sand, patience love, my faith holds you/safe I’ll bring you home from Afghanistan …”.
Soldier 1 names all his dead men: “Scott, Doggy Boy, Andrews, Andrews! McTodd, my old comrade Johnny V/I said “I’ll bring you home alive …/I am guilt … shame …”.
The Lover urges him, “Soie tranquille …/Love, silent as wolf tracks in new snow, this winter/solstice, delicious as our bed/ … let me carry you through the longest night/bring you home/from the dead … our bodies/generous, so generous is love/after war”.
She sees a raven flying above them in the stillness and silence of the winter north, tells her beloved to “Look above! Raven! Corvus corax!”
Soldier 1 believing the raven is a sign from his dead officer Andrews sings, “Andrews! Un corbeau! Andrews! Alive!”
The children’s choir open the movement with the evocation, “Kyrie eleison [Lord have mercy]”. The Kyrie is a key that opens up the barely-supressed fear and grief of this movement. Simultaneous, it is the beginning of an invocation for redemption.
The adult choir as parents begin their haunting lament, a “pre-grief”, to their children so far from them in the desert at war: “O my son, o my daughter/ o mons fils, o ma fille/Can you hear me?” The ghostly distance of the vocal score and orchestra, evokes the thick sheet of ice that grief lurks beneath in the IVth Movement, of the de profundo lacu, and the frustrating echoes and distance of a phone call from the desert on a Satellite phone.
As the parents lament, Soldier 2, sitting by a smouldering fire, writes home. He sings: “Dear Mom, Cher papa/cold, I’m cold/que j’ai froid, si froid …/it’s raining ice/it’s raining cold … we hunker here by smoking stoves …/the food, our heads, nos coeurs sont froid/our beds, nos lits sont froids/so cold/we’re missing home …”
The children’s choir sing in Pashto, “Zhe der yakh yem [I’m very cold]”.
Soldier 2 continues: “the winter blaze, le feu d’hiver … de la famille/home’s winter fire so far from us/ … et maintenant le danger est notre feu [now danger is our fire]/o Mother, cher Papa … I’m so damned cold …”
The parents sing their lament, “O mon fils, o ma fille/O my daughter, o my son …” and the movement fades.
III Dies Irae (Days of Thunder)
The movement begins with a quiet but suspenseful orchestration that rapidly gains momentum as a soldier on patrol is injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and a 9-liner, an emergency medical evacuation, is called out.
The Medic and Lover sing, “T Triple C [combat first aid], 9 line/Role 3 [combat hospital] jet to Germany [advanced combat medicine in Germany]” and urge the injured soldier to “Fight!/Soldier/Breath…”. The chorus chants, “Fight! [to breathe]”.
The two soldiers repeat the women’s lines, then add, “Breathe hang on to tubes and /wires not twisted trips dust, cobra/traps lash smash bloody grab/blast/Hideous misstep fuck IED/fucking fucking IED limbs bleed/out almost gone O2 Sats [Oxygen saturation], chatter/radio net/Wheeze life support not Apache/fast air Chinook [helicopter] fast air over/KAF [Kandahar Air Field] out of there …”.
While the chorus begins the sounds of a helicopter evacuating the injured soldier, the women echo the soldiers’ words, “Smash/Bloody grab/O2 Sats … Breathe/Breathe”.
The two soldiers urge their injured man to “Hang on breathe hang on son/Son/Son!/We wait we wait/will to live/Will you to live will you live/… Hang on son … almost gone breathe son breathe/Over the red desert you’re almost gone…”.
All choruses and soloists sing, “Hang on!”
The soloists sing “O God John/O God John”.
The chorus sing a descending “Dies irae, dies illa/Solvet saeculum in favilla/Mors stupebit et natura/Cum resurgent creatura [The day of wrath, that day/Will dissolve the world in ashes/Death and nature will marvel/when creation arises]”.
This movement begins with the Beloved (mezzo) grieving at the news of the death in the desert just two days before the lost one is to come home. The woman sings of grief as being a “De profundo lacu ‘[bottomless, dark lake]” where “Grief hides beneath the ice/I wait for you my beloved, I wait/Cannot breathe the thousand deaths of who you/were, who you are/unrecognizable, a thousand/ petals, a thousand kisses fall, a thousand cries …”.
The Beloved begs grief to “Hold me down … drown me/force my face beneath this icy sheet …”, then speaks to her dead, “O were I dead with you …I am dead with you in this death …”. She sings the Latin, “Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum/de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu [Free the souls of all the faithful departed/from infernal punishment and the bottomless lake]”.
The chorus, as parents/next-of-kin, try to make a bargain with death and offer two days (or any number of days) of their own lives in order that their lost ones might live those two days more and come home safely, “If we could give you two days, just two days/Those two/Si nous pouvions te donner deux jours, seulement/Ces deux-là/We have so many …/Too many days, trop de jours/If we could give you …/We’d forfeit, si je pouvais/give them all/si nous pouvions/… for you/Deux jours, to live just two more days …/Cars sans toi il y a trop de jours [because without you there are too many days]/My daughter, ma fille, my son, mon fils …”.
The soloists sing “Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum/de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu [Free the souls of all the faithful departed/from infernal punishment and the bottomless lake]”.
The children’s choir sing, “If metal rain [ordinance] made blossom/Then desert birds would sing again”.
The male chorus sing, “Sanctus/Sanctus/Sanctus [Holy, holy, holy]” as the body of the young soldier comes home.
The Medic sings, “He’s come home again/Sweet sting, prairie Spring, he’s come home again/Moon-dust Afghanistan washed from his body, his face/A fine Chinook [helicopter and a western wind] blessed him with soft rain …pushing silver, blue flax, opening again/Blades of grass, the fox feathering/New born Pasque [wild anemone], brown hawks circling, conquering earth/sky as once he traversed/Fatigue, despair, ricochet, near miss, glanced bullet/Heat, KAF’s putrid, poison, lousy air/His left right left into wire spider trap/Afghan winter his last/That boy tried so hard to inhale, breathe/Hang on to Spring, hang on to Home”.
She finishes with resignation, “O now comes the petalling/Now comes their[the next-of-kin] shattering—season forever emptying/Now comes the never shall be.”
VI Agnus Dei
The chorus begins to sing the traditional “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem/dona eis requiem sempiternam [lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us … grant us peace”.
Soldier 1 and Soldier 2, reconnaissance soldiers (“reccie”) are sitting at a table drinking beer after war, swapping war stories with buddies. They tell the story of the time they were “Outside the wire/Waaay outside the wire …” and of being “Radio’d back after Andrews died …”, of meeting an old Afghan farmer along the way. They stop to search him and end up bargaining for one of the lambs—one black, one white—that he is dragging along to market. The old man slaughters the black one and heads off towards the market, while the soldiers bivouac for the night, pry the grill off the front of their vehicle and roast the lamb, their first hot meal in 40 days, “The best damned meal I think I’ll ever eat!”
VII Lux Aeterna
Fly Little Ones Fly Over Us
The children’s chorus are birds that fly in, one-by-one. First a single blackbird/raven flies in, then gradually many varieties of colourful Afghan birds. They circle the word “Lux [light]” then slowly fly off, one by one, until only the blackbird is left, and it too flies out of the movement.
Black bird, raven, Corvus corax, frugilegus, splendens, woroogh , woroogh
(common raven, rook, Asian house crow, raven)
Merghay, Hudhud, Totee, Shintagay, Qamargulay
(Sparrow, lapwing, parakeet, blue tit, nuthatch)
Wayendokay, Totee, Wotowaat, Wotowaat
(Babbler, parakeet, martin)
Gulsar, Sayrah, Bulbul, Mashay khoronkay
(Rose finch, gold finch, nightingale, night jar)
Mashay khoronkay, Bulbul, Sayrah, Gulsar
(Night jar, nightingale, gold finch, rose finch)
Wotowaat, Totee, Wayendokay, Wayendokay
(Martin, parakeet, babbler)
Qamargulay, Shintagay, Totee, Wayendokay
(Nuthatch, blue tit, parakeet, lapwing, babbler)
Woroogh, corvus frugilegus splendens corax, raven raven…
(Raven, Asian house crow, rook, raven)
VIII Libera Me
In this movement the Medic, working in triage in Afghanistan, frantically asks for guidance as to whom she should choose for immediate medical care, while the chorus punctuates the Medic’s desperation with “Libera [free me]”.
The Medic sings, “Which one … tell me, which one?/Our boy bleeding out, almost gone/The broken child, the burnt, the blind/The mother in labour? Which one in this house of pain [the emergency tent], I love them/you see, all of them/God help me”.
After the Medic finishes, Soldier 1, home, and after a long period in the wilderness, is beginning to find some semblance of himself. He sings “Somewhere the wolf is free/Somewhere the stacked wood …/the wind sweet is free/Somewhere I am, somewhere I am me/…the hawk/the wild grass …/the mountains, the almond trees/the river cool and green/the moon, the sun, the winter stars/Somewhere I am, somewhere I am me”.
The chorus sing “Quando coeli movendi sunt et terra/Dies magna/Saeculum per ignem/Tremens factus/Libera [When the heavens and the earth shall be moved/judgement by fire/I am made to tremble]”.
The Lover tells her beloved, “Que tu est beau comme la patience? … la fidélité/…comme le loup [you are beautiful as patience, faithfulness, as the wolf]”.
Soldier 2 asks “Libérez-les de la jalousie/… de l’envie/…de la culpabilité/…de tote les douleurs [free them from jealousy, envy, guilt, all sorrow]”.
The Medic asks to be freed, “Libera. God help me.”
IX In Paradisum
The children sing, “In Paradisum deducant te Angeli [May angels lead you into paradise]”.
The chorus as parents, husbands, wives, lovers, sing to their loved ones who are leaving to remember them, remember the scent of lilacs in spring, to use them a lodestone to bring them home safely again.
As the chorus sing “Lilacs”, the soloists recite, chant, or sing all the major battles of the past century, beginning with Ypres.
The chorus sing, “I say lilacs are heavy flower/ … [we] I cut them … this, your last spring before you go over/Hammer stalks, draw jars of cool, clean water/Place lilacs on all wish altars/that your portraits might inhale colour/sweet drifts of lilac smoke/…carry the lodestone of soft lilac/It will bring you home safe. whole/…smell …see the incense of lilacs/…remember all of this/the cutting, the water, the placing, incantations/over and over again/Remember love, my love, the lilacs in spring/Our winter fire waits for you patiently/to come home to us, to come home to me”.
The Requiem ends with the soloists singing “Chorus angelorum te suscipiat et cum Lazaro,/quondam pauper, aeternam habeas requiem [May the angels lead you into paradise, and with Lazarus, once poor, may you have eternal rest]” joined by the choruses who all ask for “Requiem/Dona eis requiem/Dona nobis requiem [Grant them peace/Grant us peace]”.
May 14, 2013 · No comments
checked my email this morning and there was a message from an English friend that contained this link
Chris Hadfield’s Space Oddity video.
well I must be the last person on earth to not have heard of Chris Hadfield (obviously I need to get out of the bubble, off the hill, and back to earth more often), that is until a few weeks ago when my teenager alerted me to the fact that one of our countrymen was orbiting the earth and tweeting really interesting things, I was totally unaware of the guy.
to be fair, my thoughts are busy travelling the corridor of the 1912 to 1932 years, that is to say, pre- and après La Grande Guerre, currently, with Robert Graves as I scratch my head and wonder “what is it about fairies and fusiliers Mr. Graves??? “
indeed, what were those Georgian poets thinking with all those fairies and dyads? (more of that later)
but back to Hadfield…
so I clicked on the video link and saw a familiar looking guy singing one of the greatest tunes from my youth. and of course I don’t know Hadfield, but he has a look about him which I encountered many times on the road to la petite guerre d’Astan. trim and tidy in the way of all Air Boys, clear-eyed, tired-eyed, straightforward yet complex, confident, confident, confident. earnest and focussed. but above all, a fighter pilot. one of nature’s freak (rare I mean, not freaky) accidents of superior intelligence, drive, emotionally-controlled personalities, with the added gift of physical dexterity and nerve.
I remember wandering into their encampment at Suffield. I think the word gucci might apply: comfort, sleep, good food. these boys were the thoroughbreds in the stable and their quarters reflected that even in the dusty, dirty field.
later in KAF I’d see them on the boardwalk. I remember a couple of American fighter pilots flogging paraphernalia from their unit. I bought a few of their badges (though dared not show it to the infantrymen who loved to scorn the Air boys, but in reality were grateful to them). in their jumpsuits and with their carefully trimmed mustaches, those boys were golden. they looked like they’d just stepped off a film set of a First World War movie, and they knew it. they flew big expensive birds, and surveyed the earth from above.
with the advent of aerial photography we changed the way we looked at our world. it changed war. still, looking over Hadfield’s shoulder, glimpsing our silvery home, not a new view for those of us who grew up in the age of space, Davie Bowie’s words are seem sweetly touching, a little hymn for our little planet “so blue”.
May 3, 2013 · No comments
In the course of my research I have come across this
If anyone knows where I can get my hands on a copy, I’d appreciate it very much.
May 2, 2013 · No comments
yes, I have been AWOL. thinking the big ideas. sometimes with success, other times, well most often, without.
If you weren’t confused at this stage I’d think you weren’t doing the PhD right a CO with a few interesting tours under his belt wrote me. Be careful what you ask for he once said to me as he slid into his own doctorate’s final base.
and I am up to the axels in the mud of it, no doubt. but what a glorious go. what a privilege to be amongst such great thinkers, such great doers. I have been much blessed by the gift of this and couldn’t have done it without thousands of CF folk who taught me, protected me, allowed me.
as for the big ideas …
watch this space
and thank you o faithful readers
Apr 17, 2013 · No comments
I have just received news that our anthology, Embedded on the Homefront ,has won a CBC book award
My chapter, ‘Embed’, recounts my experience being caught in the no-man’s land of being neither one of them, nor strictly a civilian anymore. It is about hardship, the losses incurred of relationship, and the miracle of love.
Here’s a preview
Apr 14, 2013 · No comments
a call, a call, hey I’m okay are you Lazarre Lazuuu? you are dreaming again. not good. the desert the patrol three, ten, years. it is bending. your bed. the inside of your head. you dread sleep. dread the night Lazarre o. o. o. grey folds hold more than anyone. can bear. o. o. o. Lazuuuu. you call. hey I’m here. still. pick up the phone for you. why. because. because you. are heard. because. this, Lazarre. we promised. you. we told you. we’ll share the flicker of rotor shadows on sand. with you. even this many years after. so call. a call. you called. hey I’m okay. are you?
Mar 31, 2013
There’ll be an interview with me on Easter Sunday on CBC radio 1 nationwide with Shawna Powers. In it I speak of my next big project – Témoignage – watch this space!!!
Mar 21, 2013
It is the privilege of writers to be mistaken; great writers can be most mistaken.
~ Ronald Duncan on Henry Williamson
the more I spend time amongst them, read them, read of them, that broad generation born in the 1870’s to mid-1890’s, the more I begin to understand them, have great compassion for them (though some abhorrence for some too) and am fascinated at how they told, or didn’t tell, their story – J. R.R. Tolkien, Sigfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, Edmund Blunden, Dorothy L. Sayers, Remarque, John Masefield, Mary Borden, C.S. Lewis, Ford Maddox Ford, Hemingway, David Jones… just some of those who survived and wrote (and yes, I include Sayers, she loved a man with “soldier’s heart”, had her heart broken by him, married another who suffered his entire life with “soldier’s heart”).
today I read of Henry Williamson (1895-1977). writer, novelist, animal writer, walker, hiker, proto-eco-warrior, and for many, a supporter of strong-beer-unpalatable political ideals (a search on Williamson will enlighten the reader), soldier of the Somme, moody, sometimes waspish, his own worst enemy – or so his good friend Ronald Duncan says in Henry Williamson, the Man, the Writer … and I think, having just co-taught a course in the war poetry of that generation, who the hell would blame Williamson for moodiness? [Williamson’s] life from the Somme onwards was one long wound, writes Duncan, his good friend. Williamson, was present at the 1914 Christmas Truce.
one of my favourite places in the world is in the basement of the old university library. there in the deserted rolly-stacks, those strange cogged metallic shelves, I unwind a row and enter the homeland of the long dead – they’re all there, bound and sewn into faded yellow, red, blue, green cloth bindings that now are sometimes held together with a few ribbons, or clear, thick cellotape. I adore holding these books – publishers were so damned civilized in those days – a pocketbook really did fit into a pocket then, and the paper is of lovely weight, the print, the typography is pressed, not computered. and sometimes. there’s a nice dedication written in fountain pen ink on the inside cover … John, from father, Xmas 1932.
and I love that some of these books, published mostly in the 1920’s and 1930’s haven’t been checked out of the library since 1975. they are benignly but beautifully neglected, they are, for the most part, deeply unfashionable. except to me and perhaps my supervisor. and I like to imagine that after the library’s lights are out, the books open up and the authors rise out of their books, stretch, take over a row of study desks, pour cocktails and then carry on a big, noisy conversation – competing, arguing, cooing, sending love notes, threats, reminiscing, shaking, crying, laughing, telling long-winded stories (a lost art), boasting (maybe about sales or reviews or ?) and maybe getting into fistfights…
not terribly interested in his politics, what I find interesting is that Williamson, best known for Tarka the Otter and other animal stories, though he wrote much else, tried so hard to return to the land, to Eng-land, to find himself again after the war, and to look towards creatures for some sort of redemption. I’m fascinated in how Williamson and his generation coped with their Sommes.
Ted Hughes called Williamson one of the truest English poets of his generation.
I’m about to embark upon a Williamson jag and I’ll let you know what I think. I’ve seen the manuscript to his Patriot’s Progress about his First World War experiences. I’ve held it in my hands. soon I shall return to the rolly-stacks and make my way through his book on Salmon, then on the Otter. after that, who knows who I shall find down there in the basement of the old library.
WarPoet.ca is one of smsteele's Canadian Forces Artist Program projects. Through text, audio, images, video and contributions by Canada's military personnel, warpoet.ca examines and records the contemporary Canadian war experience. More →
- Sidney Allinson on notes from PhD land - Isaac Rosenberg
- john macfarlane on Listen to the CBC Recording of "Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation" (with précis).
- annie on Listen to the CBC Recording of "Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation" (with précis).
- Sue Weir on Anniversary, Lt. Andrew Nuttall, KIA December 23, 2009, Panjawaii
- jane on Review of the Requiem
- annie on Review of the Requiem
- Z-Man on Remembrance Day
- Maureen Peirce on Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation in the National Post
War Poet in the Media
- War Poet BBC Interview
An interview with Suzanne Steele, Canada’s War Poet. Broadcast on the BBC World Service Newshour on October 24, 2008.
- CBC Interview - October 30, 2008
Anna Maria Trimonte of the CBC interviews Suzanne Steele, writer and Canada’s War Poet.
- smsteele On the Loss of Lt. Andrew Nuttall, CBC January 10, 2010
An interview and reading of On the Loss of Lt. Andrew Nuttall with smsteele on All Points West on CBC Radio 1. January 10, 2010.
- Interview on CBC Saskatchewan - Nov 9, 2009
This is an interview smsteele gave to CBC Sask.‘s Kelley Jo Burke on Nov. 9th, 2009 following the death of Lt. Justin Boyes. She reads some of the piece she wrote for Lt. Boyes.
- Interview on CBC Saskatchewan - August 2009
This is a reading of Elegy for an Infantryman read by smsteele and an interview with Bonnie Austring-Winter of Saskatchewan CBC. Recorded at Kenosee Lake, Sask. August, 2009.
- Interview on CBC Sound Xchange - Nov 2009
This is the third installment of smsteele’s interviews with Bonnie Austring-Winter and broadcast Nov. 9th 2009 on CBC radio Sound Xchanges. smsteele speaks in detail about the war artist program, her experience with the infantry, her “training”, and reads Elegy unbroken.
- CBC Interview - November 11, 2008
On Remembrance Day 2008, Suzanne Steele was interviewed by Laurie Hoogstraten on CBC Radio Noon. Here’s a recording of the interview.
- CJBK Radio Interview - May 2010
Suzanne interviewed by Alan Coombs, CJBK, London in the Afternoon, in early May 2010.
- CBC Radio Interview - June 21, 2010
Suzanne Steele on CBC Radio Edmonton, interviewed by Peter Brown.
- smsteele in Afghanistan on the BBC November 2009
Interview from KAF with smsteele on BBC World Update, November 2009.