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Home Front

Bryony Doran  |  Jehanne Dubrow  |  Elyse Fenton  |  Isabel Palmer

Home Front is a quadrilogy of book-length sequences by four female poets living in a state of separation from sons or husbands who are in a war zone and permanent danger – or so they feel – as well as from an everyday world of people who have no idea of what anxieties and fears grip them every minute. They also find themselves switching back and forth between two time zones, between the present moment and what might have been happening several hours ago in the Middle East.


The poems in Bryony Doran’s 'Bulletproof' tell a chronological story, from her son’s joining the army through his tour in and return from Afghanistan. Covering every emotion from fear to fury, yet lifted by humour and details of everyday domestic life, these are poems written to preserve a pacifist mother’s sanity as each day plays itself out. They show her coping with The News, her fantasies, his short spells of home leave, and her realisation that both are imprisoned in a modern myth.

These are spare and compassionate poems, often funny but also gripping and very moving. In a dry, unflinchingly fresh and original voice, they tell a story both as old as poetry itself and horribly contemporary.

- Ruth Padel on 'Bullet Proof' by Bryony Doran


From 'Bulletproof'

See – that word is there again.
When I look for motherhood

​the page falls once more to hinterland

uncharted territories of scrub – a no

man's-land.​ That's where I thought we were.
You, out there, beckoning.


About Home Front...

'Bullet Proof'

'Bullet Proof'

Read the story behind 'Bullet Proof' and its journey to publication...

Poetry and War

Poetry and War

Bryony Doran on what war poetry actually is... South Bank Poetry, June 2017.

Readings from 'Bullet Proof'

Readings from 'Bullet Proof'

Bryony Doran reading from her collection in Home Front.

"The general understanding is that war poetry

is written by active combatants."

Article for the Southbank Poetry Centre by Bryony Doran 


'The new voices in this quadruple collection are powerful, unusual and varied. They have so many stories to tell, and they are calling for listeners.'

- Katie Mennis, Cherwell.


‘These days we are used to the televised grief of combatants, civilians and refugees. But the experiences of the families left behind are rarely heard.  Home Front is an inspired idea and an important book, written by four women… It’s four books in one, a collection of painful farewells, phone-calls and photographs, letters and longing, despair, denial and desperation.’


– Andy Croft, Morning Star

Home Front is a new volume of poetry by four women who have each had a husband or son who has been to a combat zone. Bryony Doran, Jehanne Dubrow, Elyse Fenton and Isabel Palmer are the poets, whose voices tell of having a loved one in armed conflict. With forewords by Ruth Padel, Ted Kooser, Rachel Zucker and Andrew Motion, respectively.

– Dundee University Review of the Arts



Each book is a mix of gravitas and (sometimes black) humour often found in true stories, showing the psychological interplay of managing the day to day whilst picturing loved ones being shot or drowned in visceral fantasies of war.

– The Poetry School

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