I met Marc Levy a few years ago while running the Salem State Veteran Writers Workshop. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran and world traveler as well as a published author of fiction and poetry. His writing, as well as his comments and critiques in those workshops were always thought provoking and showed a crystal clear way of cutting right through things. He is one of those authors who, after reading a passage or a story, you think, “How does he do this with words?” His writing pulls you in with an intensity that always makes you question reality for a moment, often capturing and conveying emotions and states of mind that feel viscerally real. In person, he is a kind and humble man. When speaking with him you often get the sense that behind his eyes are cataloged thousands of stories and events he’s lived through, each vivid and worth hearing. However, ever the writer, he often listens and observes more than speaks. His example, both in person and on page, have been standards that I hope to some day approach in my own life and writing.
His website, Medic in the Green Time is a skillfully crafted and curated collection of stories, anecdotes, and information. Not only his own writing, but also that of others fill its pages. I highly recommend spending time searching each page of the site as it always has something new and illuminating. From this collection, he has recently published a “Best of” anthology. Alongside his writing is that of other fantastic writers, many who have found their words on his site. I am honored to have a poem of mine published in this anthology. If you’d like a copy, it can be found on Amazon.
Two years ago I wrote a ten minute play about two Army veterans sitting in a VA Hospital waiting room. The play was well received and Salem State University hosted a staged reading of the play. The evening was a success, generating a lively conversation after the performance as well as inspiring the Salem State University 10 minute play writing Festival which is entering its 2nd year this November. I’ve included a link to a recording of the play uploaded by my good friend, author and Vietnam Veteran Marc Levy:
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.