Liberty Call/ novel by Dennis Doherty/ spotlight review by Laurence Carr

Liberty Call takes Radioman Petty Officer Walter Schmertz and his shipmates on a maelstrom cruise though the South China Sea in 1980 aboard the USS Outland. It’s a man’s world, and even more a U.S. Navy man’s world where emotions and actions heighten, spill over and leave a wake of personal and military codes of conduct battered and fragmented on the sea and in the ports the sailors visit. Schmertz and his comrades are constantly in harm’s way, both from world conflict and from each other as they set courses though deadly waters personal and professional.  Liberty Call is a raw and honest telling of men living high on the edge.

Liberty Call is published by Mad Duck Coalition, 2022 and is available through numerous online sources in print and ebook.


Read Dennis Doherty’s poem, “Evolution” in the Fall 2020 issue of Lightwood.

Dennis Doherty is author of four volumes of poetry: The Bad Man (Ye Olde Fontshoppe Press, 2004), Fugitive (Codhill Press, 2007), Crush Test (Codhill Press 2010), and Black Irish (Codhill Press 2016). He has also written a partial memoir, partial historical study, Why Read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (New Street Communications, 2014). Essays, poems, and stories appear throughout the literary press. He teaches creative writing and literature at SUNY New Paltz.

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