'/> Uncommon Hours
Blogging on culture, politics, and the environment since 2008.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Disarming Armistice Day / Truthout

My op-ed on Armistice Day in Truthout … 

"These days might better serve us, and those whom we mean to honor, by meditating on needless sacrifice, needless wars, opportunities lost, the reality of war’s awfulness, as those at the first Remembrance Day did."

Visit Fomite Press for more on my new book, Losing Francis: Essays on the Wars at Home.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018

"The Art of Grief: 'Windows and Mirrors'" at the Ulrich Museum of Art

I'm honored to be invited to speak at the Ulrich Museum of Art, at Wichita State University, on October 17th, about my exploration of the American Friends Service Committee exhibit, "Windows and Mirrors: Reflections of the War in Afghanistan," which toured North America in 2011-12.

For the benefit of attendees and anyone who may be interested, I'm posting here several links related to the exhibit and my presentation:

Losing Francis: Essays on the Wars at Home -- which includes "The Art of Grief: 'Windows and Mirrors'" (revised)

"The Art of Grief: 'Windows and Mirrors'" -- my essay as it first appeared in The Common On-Line

Catalogue for "Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan"

Flickr gallery of "Windows and Mirrors" paintings

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Great reading at Prospero's Books in Kansas City!

I had the honor of sharing time with John Musgrave, who recently appeared in the Burns & Novick Vietnam series on PBS, and poet H.C. Palmer, Vietnam veteran field surgeon and poet.  


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Saturday, March 3, 2018

'Losing Francis' released by Fomite Press

I think of Losing Francis not as a story of our family, or in a sense even him, but rather as a portrait of our nation's journey through a decade of American war.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

'Losing Francis: Essays on the Wars at Home' available now for pre-order

Slated for release by Fomite Press on March 1st, and available for pre-order now.


"Both harrowing and lovely, Losing Francis is a vibrant, indispensable document of life in our time.”  Whitney Terrell, author of The Good Lieutenant

"A compelling and insightful book."
—Mark Karlin, Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

"Losing Francis
will surely take its earned place in the lamentably-large library of great literature of the home front.”  —Jeanetta Calhoun Mish, Oklahoma State Poet Laureate 2017-18, author of
What I Learned at the War
“Robert F. Sommer has written a remarkably compelling book with boldness and startling passion.... It reverberates and teaches and beyond all else, it rings with hope.” 
—Barry Sanders, author of
The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism

Learn more here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Art of Grief: ‘Windows and Mirrors’

"Collateral Damage," oil painting by Lillian Moats

Newly posted at The Common On-Line, "The Art of Grief: ‘Windows and Mirrors,’" an excerpt from my work-in-progress, Losing Francis: One Family's Journey through a Decade of War.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

'A Great Fullness' nominated for 2017 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award


A Great Fullness has been nominated for the 2017 Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award, sponsored by the Kansas City Chapter of the American Association of University Women.

in 1979 by AAUW-KC, the award honors Thorpe Menn (1912-1979), long-time book editor of the Kansas City Star, who supported all aspects of Kansas City’s cultural life, especially authors and artists.