December 11, 2007

Reading by Larry Winters, Bethlehem Public Library, December 6

[Larry Winters reading at the Colony Cafe, Woodstock, NY, September 2007.]

This event was sponsored by Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace & the host was me, Dan Wilcox.

The featured reader was Larry Winters, author of The Making and Un-Making of a Marine (Millrock Writers Collective, 2007). But his reading was from his poetry. He read the three poems in Post Traumatic Press 2007: poems by veterans, edited by Dayl Wise, "Confession," "America," & "Vietnam" (about a Viet Cong cemetery worker). His commentary on his experience with Viet Nam resonated with the peace workers in the audience struggling to end the current war in Iraq & Afghanistan. He read about the parade for Viet Nam veterans in NYC ("Now") and about Robert McNamara's memoir ("Old Men Are Bastards"). Also, a poem about the first person he knew who got killed in Viet Nam, others about going back to Viet Nam for healing, "War" (a gathering of American & Viet Namese vets), & "Viet Cong."

Larry's reading was followed by an open mic of community poets, something Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace have been wanting to do for some time. They hold a weekly peace vigil at the 4 Corners in Delmar every Monday from 5 to 6 PM & are everywhere there is a peace march, conference, demonstration.

Gene Damm is well known in the poetry community but didn't bring any of his own poems, so he read Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Match-Girl" for the holiday season. Valiant Barry Finley read his poem to Deep Throat, "Mark Felt I Hardly Knew You."

Mimi Moriarty read from her book War Psalm, "Shell Shook." Michael Rice's poem "George's Prayer of Thanksgiving" looked back to the 1991 invasion of Iraq, & forward. He also read a piece from Poems from Guantanamo.

Lyn Miller-Lachmann's eco-thriller Dirt Cheap was published by Curbstone Press, but she read a short segment from her forthcoming novel, also from Curbstone. I read "A Pain in the Neck," about why I missed the demonstration in NYC against the Republican National Convention.

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Peace on Earth