“The Shape of Our Faces No Longer Matters” Poems by Gerardo Mena
Do not for one second skip over our first entry about Local Writers.
Gerardo (Tony) Mena is a decorated Iraqi Freedom veteran. He spent six years in Special Operations with the Reconnaissance Marines and 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 venues as Best New Poets 2011, Baltimore Review, Ninth Letter, Prairie Schooner Online, Cream City Review, Poetry East, Cider Press Review, and War.
William Trowbridge, Poet Laureate of Missouri, said that ” You might read Gerardo Mena’s poetry to find out what war is “really” like. However, you’ll find him describing, again and again, its interior reality, its sur-reality, full of humans transformed into or by bayonets, leaves, birds, bullets, flowers, rockets, and coffins in a zone where the fireball from a convoy vehicle blasted by an IED mirrors Van Gogh’s Starry Night.”
“Tom T’s Hat Rack” by Michele Spry
My good friend, Tom Trabue, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2012. To watch Tom go through chemotherapy and radiation, yet always remaining so positive, was such an inspiration. A long time ago, I decided to live my life by paying it forward to others as often as I could and try to encourage others to do simple acts of kindness for random strangers. I began writing this book with those two inspirations.
One of the ways I’ve chosen to pay it forward is to become a Partner in Education with Midway Heights Elementary School in Columbia, MO back in 2008. As a Partner in Education, I wanted to reach out to the students at our partner school and encourage them to do something good for someone else and pay it forward – hence, this book. Little did I know “Pay It Forward” is the overall school theme for the Columbia Public Schools for the 2012-2013 year! Coincidence? I’m not so sure!
“Collapse” by TK Carter
Saturday, May 3rd Local author TK Carter joined us in celebrating the release of her new book “Collapse.” Her first book in the Yellow Flag Series focuses on events unfolding around Mid-Missouri in 2016 against the backdrop of a crumbling United States under the weight of failed social and economic policies. Gas rationing, housing redistribution, roving highway bandits, and American terrorists all contribute to a taut story surrounding 3 sets of people struggling to survive the day.
They said the election of 2012 was going to be crucial to the future of America. It seemed most Americans voted for one candidate to prevent the greater of two evils from entering office more than it was a matter of voting in favor of their candidate. No one could have predicted what happened. We didn’t see this one coming.
Born in Chicago in 1947 I grew up listening to the stories my father and Uncles told of their experiences during World War II. The only time they spoke of the war was at family gatherings when in the company of other veterans and I was fascinated by the stories and sought the men out and listened. The stories sparked a lifelong interest in History and common men faced with the realities of war.
I went on to serve in the United States Air Force, get married, father two children and make a carrier in Purchasing and New Product development for Brownells Inc. and Battenfield Technologies. Having attended Gunsmithing summer courses and worked in the firearms industry for over 25 years I learned a great deal about the subject. My writing career started with Magazine articles dealing with firearms restoration and repair and have appeared in several national magazines including Shotgun News, Shooting Times, and American Gunsmith. Always a storyteller, I have tried to combined my love of history, knowledge of firearms, and the stories my father and uncles shared into stories of my own.
Today I live in Missouri with Cecile my wife of 45 years and our dog Amber. I consider myself blessed with two grown children and four grandchildren.
Be sure to check out “Heart of a Warrior” and “Fighting Poles”