Missouri Passages:  Veterans’ Writing Workshops Underway in Springfield

Veterans’ Writing Workshops Underway in Springfield

Contributed by Deborah Marshall, MHC veterans programming coordinator

Creative writing workshops for veterans, their family members and writers interested in preserving the military experience are taking place Thursdays from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Springfield-Greene County Library in Springfield, Mo., until Aug. 15. The six-week series features writing seminars by writing professionals and Missouri veterans. The series is co-sponsored by the Missouri Humanities Council in conjunction with Warriors Arts Alliance. Workshop presenters include:

• Gerardo “Tony” Mena of Columbia, Mo.: A decorated Iraqi Freedom veteran and winner of the 2012 national poetry competition held in conjunction with the “Proud to Be” anthology;

• Springfield-area writers Lee Ann Russell and Larry Cunningham: Russell is author of “How to Write Poetry, Ballad to Villanelle” and facilitates a workshop with Vietnam veteran Cunningham, a retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, fighter pilot and fighter squadron commander;

• Walter Bargen of Ashland, Mo.: Familiar to many as the first poet laureate for Missouri, serving 2008-2010. His most recent book of poetry, “Trouble Behind Glass Doors,” was released this spring;

• Journalist Latisha Koetting of Springfield, Mo.: Staff writer for the “Sedalia Democrat.” Inspired by her World War II veteran grandfather and the stories she never heard about his wartime experience before his death, Koetting has published over 300 veteran stories;

• Jan Morrill of Fayetteville, Ark.: Author of “The Red Kimono,” a novel set during World War II. Her creative nonfiction story, “Hyphenated Americans,” is included in the “Proud to Be” anthology;

• William Garvin, special collections librarian and university archivist of the F. W. Olin Library at Drury University, is the on-site moderator for all six sessions.

The MHC veterans programming coordinator launched the series July 11 through Skype from St. Louis. Advance registration is required due to limited seating. To reserve your place, call the Springfield-Greene County Library at 417.882.0714.

More information is available on the Warriors Arts Alliance’s website.


“Missouri Passages” is also available in a printable version—access it here.

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