POSTERS IN KANSAS CITY ADORNED THE ARMY RECRUITMENT CENTER “Join up and be in France in 60 days.” Working as a soldier on the railroads in war-torn northern France during World War I, Hubert Kelley found his vocation as a poet and writer. This is the story of a boy’s journey into adulthood told through his vivid letters home written from 1917 to 1919. The Weeping Angel (L’ange Pleureur) statue in the Amiens Cathedral came to symbolize the sadness of war to him and his fellow soldiers, and he visited it often. His poems and selected later writings are included in this volume.
MARY KELLEY received two boxes of letters and other writings from a family member and spent five years transcribing them and doing research on the 12th Engineers at the WWI Museum and in France. Meeting her father once at age 15, she was grateful to take this journey with him through his letters and poems. Kelley has a background in Broadway and regional theater and was executive director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, from 1996 to 2007. Coming from a family of writers, she has been writing fiction and memoirs since the early 1990s.