Today is V.E. Day – the day that commemorates the end of World War II, as such it was the day chosen for the release of a new Anthology: My Teeth Don’t Chew on Shrapnel. Last year, I had the honor of being invited to participate in a Veteran Poetry Workshop in Oxford, England hosted by Oxford Brookes University. It was one of several workshops working with both UK and US veterans and family members. We were joined by Dr. Niall Munro (Senior Lecturer in American Literature and Director of Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre) Dr. Jane Potter, Alex Donnelly (Founding Director of the Oxford University Disability Law and Policy Project and former Naval Intelligence Officer) and Dr Rita Phillips (Lecturer in Psychology, Robert Gordon University). The writing portion of the workshop was lead by Susie Campbell, PhD researcher at Oxford Brookes and poet. Over a weekend we discussed veteran writing, perceptions of veterans and how writing may affect it, as well as producing our own writing.
The passion and commitment to this project on the part of the organizers was apparent to me all weekend and in the many e-mail conversations since. I am sure each of them committed many hours of hard work on their own time as well as with minimal funding.
Two of my poems are included in the anthology, as well as an interview. The anthology is available in several formats including one with audio clips of the poet’s reading their work.