Does the scene of a Vietnamese village of long ago linger in your memory? Has a fellow soldier in Afghanistan become a lifetime friend? Whatever your stories or viewpoints from your military service, an upcoming workshop will help you find a creative way to express your thoughts. Stories from those with military experience also help individuals and communities to understand one another during wartime and peacetime.
Missouri military veterans from all conflicts, their family members and writers interested in preserving the military experience are invited to attend the Veterans Writing Workshop series at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays, July 11 through August 15, in the Library Center auditorium, 4653 S. Campbell Ave.
The 90-minute sessions will include three weeks of creative nonfiction and three weeks of poetry, using the “Proud to Be” anthology as a reference text, and Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” and Bruce Turner’s “Here, Bullet.”
William Garvin, Special Collections librarian and university archivist of the F. W. Olin Library at Drury University, will facilitate all six sessions.
Here is the schedule of facilitators and workshop topics:
July 11: Deborah Marshall (via Skype, with a little help from her friends), Director of Warriors Arts Alliance, Missouri Humanities Council Veterans' Programming Coordinator, St. Louis.
Topic: Writing Your Military Experience: How to Start
July 18: Lee Ann Russell, Springfield, and Larry Cunningham, Willard. Both have won hundreds of awards for their poetry, prose and photography. A Vietnam veteran, Larry is a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel.
Topic: Understanding Poetry and Poetry You Can Understand
July 25: Gerardo "Tony" Mena, Columbia. This young, decorated Iraq veteran won the 2012 national poetry competition judged by soldier/poet Brian Turner in conjunction with the anthology “Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Vol. 1.”
Topic: To be announced.
August 1: Latisha Koetting, Sedalia. Latisha has researched and interviewed veterans and members of their families for the past several years for the Sedalia Democrat newspaper.
Topic: Interviewing Veterans and Their Family Members
August 8: Walter Bargen, Ashland. Missouri's first poet laureate just released his latest book of poetry, “Trouble Behind Glass Doors,” in May.
Topic: First Lines
August 15: Jan Morrill, Fayetteville, Ark. Her family's history led to her story "Hyphenated Americans" being included in the “Proud to Be” anthology. Her book, “The Red Kimono,” was released this year.
Topic: Researching Your Family History
Sessions are limited to 20 attendees. Laptops will be provided. Registration is required, call 882-0714.
Find this article at