The annual conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs took place this year at the Marriott Wardman Park and Omni Shoreham Hotels in Washington, D.C. I had two special moments.
I visited the Speakpeace (www.speakpeace.net), an exhibit of paintings of the Vietnam War done by Vietnamese children, and poems, inspired by the paintings, that were written by American poets. The exhibit is the result of collaboration between Dr. Edward Tick, cofounder of Soldier’s Heart, a veterans’ return and healing organization based in Troy, New York, Kent State University’s School of Art Galleries, and Kent State’s Wick Poetry Center. The paintings are from the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The project, which is touring the nation, was started to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of Kent State University’s May 4th tragedy, in which four students were killed and nine injured by the Ohio National Guard during a Viet Nam War protest. The exhibit brought back memories to me. I served as a rifle platoon leader in the jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam’s central highlands in 1967-1968. I gave cards to the two young people who were working the exhibit, explaining that I am a Vietnam veteran and showing them my Vietnam War book of peace, Cologne No. 10 For Men.
My other special moment was bumping into Richard Peabody: author, poet, editor and publisher. He publishes Gargoyle Magazine and collections of poetry and short stories through his Paycock Press. (www.gargoylemagazine.com/richard/richard.html) & (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Peabody)
Richard was my editor and literary consultant on Cologne No. 10 For Men. What an excellent editor he was. And what a talented writer and great human being he is. Thanks again, Richard.