An Everett native pays a poetic tribute to her father
“Shellback” is a collection of narrative poems honoring John D. Osterman, a lifelong Everett resident and WWII veteran.
In “Shellback,” Osterman remembers her father from her mid-century childhood to his death at 98 in 2017. The book is set in her Pacific Northwest hometown and the Pacific theater of World War II. Her poems speak of love, forgiveness, tragedy and grief.
“Shellback” — the title is slang for a veteran sailor — is a plainspoken portrait of a World War II naval combat veteran.
Osterman, 68, writes about the nostalgia of her childhood days trying “to be his boy,” followed by the nightmares her father witnessed during World War II. With a daughter’s devotion, she then writes about wishing to understand him and caring for him in his last years.
The Everett Public Library presents “Writers Live: Everett Poetry Night” at 5 p.m. April 20 via Crowdcast. Jeanne-Marie Osterman and Steve K. Bertrand are the two featured poets. Register at http://www.crowdcast.io/e/everettpoetry. A link to the event will be emailed after registration. Call 425-257-8000 or go to http://www.epls.org for more information.