CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 10, 2014 – The Southeast Missouri State University Press will host a reading and booksigning at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 in Glenn Auditorium of Dempster Hall, of their recent release, “The Shape of Our Faces No Longer Matters: Poems” by decorated Iraqi Freedom veteran Gerardo “Tony” Mena.
This is the first book in a new military-service series funded by the Missouri Humanities Council. The Military-Service Literature Series is a continuance of the collaboration between Missouri Humanities Council, Southeast Missouri State University Press and Warriors Arts Alliance that produced the anthologies “Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors” Volumes 1 and 2.
The poet, Mena, is a decorated Iraqi Freedom veteran. He spent six years in Special Operations with the Reconnaissance Marines. He was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal with a V for Valor for multiple acts of bravery while under fire. His work has been published in such journals as Baltimore Review, Ninth Letter, Prairie Schooner Online, Cream City Review, Poetry East, Cider Press Review, and War, Literature and the Arts, among others. His awards include the 2010 War Poetry award, Missouri Humanities Council’s National Veterans Poetry Competition, the 2011 Penumbra Haiku Contest, and inclusion in Meridian’s Best New Poets 2011 anthology. This is his first book.
The Series will release a book per year, alternating between poetry and prose, and will focus on writing by military-service personnel and veterans rather than historical analysis. As Geoff Giglierano, executive Director of Missouri Humanities Council, states, “These are the people who made the history, not just generals and presidents.”
For more information, contact Dr. Susan Swartwout at (573) 651-2044.