Veterans Recognition Reception Planned Feb. 13

DempsterCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 30, 2013 – A “Veterans Recognition Reception: In Their Own Words” will honor active military and veterans of all conflicts from 7-9 p.m. Feb. 13 in Glenn Auditorium of Robert A. Dempster Hall at Southeast Missouri State University.

The event will feature short readings and a video poem by 10 military personnel, veterans and veterans’ family members. The Missouri Humanities Council, Warriors Arts Alliance and Southeast Missouri State University Press are hosting the reception, which is free and open to the public.

Veterans reading at the event are from Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Minnesota, Illinois and South Carolina. The Missouri National Guard and U.S. Air Force ROTC will have representatives on hand at informational booths near the auditorium.

The writing to be shared is based on the veterans’ real-life experiences written in essays, poetry, photographs and short stories published in the anthology, “Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 1,” edited by Dr. Susan Swartwout and released on Veterans Day last November. “Proud to Be” was created through a partnership between the Missouri Humanities Council, Warriors Arts Alliance and Southeast Missouri State University Press, and features 74 selected pieces of writing from World War I to the present.

The book will be available for purchase at the reception. It has been praised by reviewers as “a vital first volume,” “an anthology of hope and healing” and “an impressive arena of artful veterans.” Veterans are saying, “This is required reading and worthy of a thousand tears,” “Now I don’t feel so lonely” and “I find myself looking back through it again and again.”

In explaining the importance of this project, Geoff Giglierano, executive director of the Missouri Humanities Council, states, “It is vital for veterans to experience the process of self-expression and not keep things bottled up, and it is essential for the good of our society that we listen to what these men and women have to say.”

For more information, contact Swartwout at sswartwout@semo.edu or (573) 651-2044.