Eric McMillan (MAPH '10) Wins Iowa Review's Fourth Veterans' Writing Contest

“Animal Cruelty” will be published in the Spring 2019 edition of the magazine

Eric McMillan (MAPH '10) won first place for The Iowa Review's fourth Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans writing contest for his fiction work "Animal Cruelty."

“'Animal Cruelty’ reads like an interior monologue from a war zone, something like a series of journal entries spoken aloud. The language is crisp, and each sentence generates a forward momentum: When the handheld squelches, you punch the transmitter and yell, ‘Go.’ Part of the reason I chose this piece is because I didn’t want to stop reading, because I was fully immersed within the world of this speaker, and because I want to read the book that ‘Animal Cruelty’ belongs in. There’s a mature hand guiding the narrative, often with great restraint. ‘Without incident, the moon rises over the valley. Pipistrelles flitter across its surface, appearing to skim a lake. A water buffalo sleepwalks in the arid fallows opposite the outpost.’

Eric McMillan served with the 3rd Infantry Division during the Invasion of Iraq in 2003 and commanded a Stryker rifle company during the Surge in 2007–08. Other assignments included peacekeeping in Bosnia, protocol duty in Korea, and exercise coordination with the Royal Thai Army. His work has received support from the Richard Hugo House in Seattle and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and his fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in One StoryThe Iowa ReviewNew England ReviewGulf Coast, and Witness. He lives in Seattle.

From The Iowa Review.