Graduate Student Invited to Read His Poetry at St. Louis Humanities Festival


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 23, 2012 — Southeast student Levi Bollinger of Jackson, Mo., candidate for a Master of Arts in English-creative writing, has been invited to read his poems at the St. Louis Humanities Festival in St. Louis on April 13.

Bollinger will share the stage with award-winning soldier-poet Brian Turner, author of two acclaimed collections of poetry about his experiences in the Iraq conflict. David Clewell, Missouri’s poet laureate, will serve as master of ceremonies.

Bollinger served a tour of duty in the Army Reserve while working toward his undergraduate degree. In March of 2003 he was called to active duty and spent a year at the Baghdad International Airport with the 389th Engineer Battalion, attached to the 1st Armor Division. Upon returning home, he completed his degree, married, and is currently teaching English at a local high school. He has recently begun pursuing his master’s degree and writing about his experiences in Iraq.

Bollinger was nominated for the honor by Dr. Susan Swartwout, who was impressed with the quality and depth of his writing. In conjunction with the Missouri Humanities Council, Missouri Writers’ Guild, and Warrior Arts Alliance, she is editing an anthology of veterans’ creative work, to be published by Southeast’s University Press in November 2012. Bollinger’s poetry has been accepted for publication in the anthology.

The event will be held at Webster University, the East Academic Building, Room 253, Big Bend Blvd., in Webster Groves, Mo., and is sponsored by Webster University and the Missouri Humanities Council. The event is free and open to the public. No registration is needed. Call (314) 968-7054 for more information.