The Midwatch in Verse Project continues to move forward. As indicated in earlier posts, my friend Gary Guinn and I signed a contract with McFarland Publishing for a book-length treatment of the old Navy tradition. Here is a brief explanation:
A Deck Log from a US Navy vessel chronicles exacting administrative detail regarding the status of the ship, its location, speed, etc. However, for a four hour period at the beginning of each year, the Officer of the Deck (OOD) is allowed to be creative by writing the Mid-Watch report (0000 – 0400) in verse if they choose to do so. This series highlights examples of this tradition and the officers who posted them. I focus on WWII era deck logs. For a more thorough history of the practice check out this article from the Naval History and Heritage Command.
We now have an official title for the book. Midwatch in Verse: New Year’s Deck Log Poetry of the United States Navy, 1941–1946. We are currently awaiting cover art for the book. Once we have that, an official page should soon thereafter appear on the McFarland website.