January 1, 1970Writing an author's newsletter is a new experience for me. I don't publish books very often. However, I hope the ones I've done have lasting value.
Given my journalism job, I've had little time to promote my poetry collection. So I'm relying on word of mouth. A review of the book is expected in the Vietnam Veterans of America magazine. And my local newspaper, The Montclair Times, ran a feature story in January.
Earth Songs has been selected as a required text in a course on the Vietnam era this spring at Rutgers University. Hopefully, other college classes will find it useful.
Wearing another hat, I'm doing a workshop at the Montclair Adult School in April on public relations for civic groups, utilizing A Citizen's Guide to Grassroots Campaigns. These days, school districts and small town mayors have p.r. consultants. Concerned residents would do well to hone their communications skills if they want to effectively raise contentious issues.
As a community-oriented writer, I try to promote other writers' works whenever I get a chance. Last month, I was delighted to do a poetry reading at the New Jersey Vietnam Era Center with Charles H. Johnson, author of Tunnel Vision, a poetry collection published last year that included poems on growing up in an African-American family in Philadelphia and surviving an Army tour in Vietnam.
I also recently reviewed Poets Against the War, a selection of poems compiled as a protest of the war in Iraq. My review is posted at www.interventionmag.com along with some of my essays on current events and reviews of other books, including Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, which I also highly recommend.
Kerry's run for president has sparked a renewed cultural war over the Vietnam era, as you may have noticed. I wrote an essay, "Jane Fonda and John Kerry: The Real Deal" (also posted on www.interventionmag.com), that hopefully sheds light on the media hype.