Books & Poems

Free Fire Zone

Free Fire Zone -New!

Welcome to the Free Fire Zone, also known as a free kill zone. In Vietnam, it was enemy territory, all the friendlies and neutrals moved out. Anyone found in such an area was considered hostile, a legitimate target that could be killed on sight, no questions asked. Each of the seventeen stories in this book originate from this zone, any subject, any genre fair game. The short stories are bound together by the main character, Rod Teigler, traveling through his life beginning in the mid-sixties Vietnam and extending to the current day. Teigler’s war experiences, helped along by government experimentation, leave him with a severe personality disorder. Fear or anger turn the hero into something you don’t want to meet up with in broad daylight let alone in a dark alley. Free Fire Zone received a finalist award in the 2017 International Book Awards contest and is a finalist in the Military Writers Society of America 2017 contest.

Available at Prolific Press Bookstore or at


Book by Dennis Maulsby receives a gold medal award from the Military Writers Society of America and named 2016 Best Book Awards finalist.

What others say about Near Death / Near Life:

"To read Dennis Maulsby's powerful, uncompromising poems is to inhabit the vivid, surreal dream of a soldier--to see the world as he, a Vietnam veteran, did many years ago. The poems are about the horror of war, and loss, and the road back to civilian life, described in hauntingly beautiful and precise images that you cannot forget. As they bear witness to the reality of war and its lasting effects, they are a triumph of honesty and the power of art. Read them."

Karen E. Bender, author of Refund

"In his newest collection of poetry, Near Death/Near Life, Dennis Maulsby captures a devastating universe of visceral juxtapositions with acuity and grace. His sensual images alternate between the raw and highly polished, move from being softly lyrical to staccato-rapid firing, blend unique jazz riffs with discordant turbulence. The language is compelling, interestingly fresh, concise, and layered. Maulsby's poetry is intense and immediate, and can leave the reader breathless as memories of wartime nightmares take on tender overtones, but he intersperses well-crafted haiku, musical interludes, historical fragments, and love poems throughout his book to offer moments of respite from the symphonic killing fields he depicts. Complicated, intelligent, moving, fascinating, horrifying — Maulsby's book is a rare glimpse into the creative spirit struggling to reconcile the brutal realities of death with the compassionate beauty of life."

Marilyn Baszczynski, President of the Iowa Poetry Association

"Maulsby's third collection of poetry begins in violence and ends in an aria, carrying the reader along in an intimate and tender journey through decades of love, life, war, and peace. Along the way, we touch on all the things we've come to expect from Maulsby--haiku, Vietnam, deep imagery, capital-R Romanticism, etc--but we also see an expansion both in the scope of the content and in the exuberant and musical prosody. Settle in, fasten your seat-belt, and plan to spend some time with this book!"

Jim Coppoc, Senior Lecturer, Iowa State University, author of Manhattan Beatitude; Reliquary; and Blood, Sex & Prayer.

Book now available as a Kindle ebook.  You may purchase a paperback or ebook copy of this book by clicking on one of the following links:





A book of Haiku and Senyru's

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Definition: fris·son noun frē-ˈsōⁿ - a sudden passing sensation
of excitement, a shudder of emotion.

Frissions is a poetry chapbook, featuring the author’s original cover art and twenty-six haiku, arranged by the season of the year. Twelve of these short poems have been published in national anthologies and literary journals, four of which have won awards in contests. These three line traditional poems fed the imagination, offering powerful images and ‘aha’ moments.

Click here and read along to a musical
version of Frissons.

Music by Elaine Erickson. Suzanne Lommler, mezzo-soprano,
James Poulsen, piano.


Night of the Pooka

A nine page spooky short story available for purchase.
$3.00 plus shipping ($1.00)

After many years of faithful service in the Catholic churches of South America, Father Patrick Donahey has retired to the small town of Winterset, Iowa. Taking confessions when the regular priest are off to a conference, he is thrust into a supernatural happening more consistent with the rocky hills of his native Ireland than the cornfields of the Midwest. A Celtic shape-snifter, a wraith, familiar to him from his grandfather’s stories, has appeared among them. He must decide what action to take to protect his new flock. This is the first story in a book of linked short stories yet to be published.

Story awarded first place in fiction at the 2015 Montezuma All-Iowa Writers' Conference. Also published in the 2015 fall issue of the Mused Literary Review.

Original cover photo by Rick Hildreth.

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Frozen Chosin

An extract from Free Fire Zone, a collection of linked short stories by Dennis Maulsby released in 2016 (see book page to order full book). Frozen Chosin received a first place award in the 2014 Great War to End All Wars fiction contest.

Click here for free download of Frozen Chosin.