William Daniel Ehrhart has been called ‘the dean of Vietnam war poetry’ and his Vietnam-Perkasie: A Combat Marine Memoir has been described as ‘the best single, unadorned, gut-felt telling of one American’s route into and out of America’s longest war.’ [Donald Anderson, War, Literature & The Arts, V8.2, Fall/Winter 1996, p. 51] He is appreciated both for the force and variety of his poetry and for his efforts to edit veteran’s poetry and sustain it as a defined body of writing [War, Literature & The Arts, V8.2, Fall/Winter 1996, p.3]

Ehrhart joined the United States Marine Corps immediately after graduating from High School in June 1966. He served three years in the Corps, including 13 months in Vietnam. An infantry sergeant, he was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received fighting in Hue City. Ehrhart began writing when he was 15, his first poem was published in 1971 and the following year eight of his poems were included in Winning Hearts and Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans (1st Casualty Press, 1972). He subsequently earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and (at the age of 52) a doctorate. Over the years he has held a variety of jobs, from merchant seaman to newspaper reporter to high school teacher.

W.D. Ehrhart’s Poems

Resources for W.D. Ehrhart

W D Ehrhart reads his poems at the US Air Force Academy in 1998 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEWtL1oqIro

W.D. Ehrhart’s website http://www.wdehrhart.com/index.html

A Sort of Peace: Echoes and Images of the Vietnam War by W.D. Ehrhart & Don Fox http://www.todayinliterature.com/texts.asp?textID=1936&contributorID=7

Ken and Bill’s Excellent Adventure – 43 years after they were wounded in Vietnam, Corporals Bill Ehrhart and Ken Takenaga return to Vietnam http://www.wdehrhart.com/kbea-pages/introduction.html

The W.D. Ehrhart Archive at La Salle University http://connelly.lasalle.edu/search/Y?SEARCH=w.d.+Ehrhart&searchscope=6&Submit=GO