April 2001/May 2001
Public Affairs Committee Report
By Jim Doyle
For many years, The VVA Veteran has maintained a
policy of not publishing unsolicited poetry. That has not slowed the flow of
poetry received at the national office. These poems have been carefully
archived with the intent of sharing them with our membership.
In October 2000, the Public Affairs Committee heard a
presentation from Rocky Gothard to form a subcommittee on Arts and Letters
to develop a plan for disseminating these poems.
Rocky's report to the committee and board follows:
The Public Affairs Committee formed a new subcommittee on
Arts and Letters. The reason for this new committee is that members from all
over the country have sent poems to be published in The VVA Veteran.
The committee is tasked with how to use them. Committee members are Rocky
Gothard, chair; Bruce Linnell, vice chair; Steve Mason, Mike Gaffney, Virgie
Hibler, Steve House. Staff Liaison: Mokie Pratt Porter. Special Advisors:
Adrienne Gothard, Elaine Simmons, Dave Simmons.
The committee met at the April board meeting and
developed guidelines to start this process.
All who submit poems for publication will be asked to
sign a release form. This release will allow VVA to use the poems in any
type media. We have over one hundred poems on file. A letter and release
form will be sent to those for whom we have addresses.
VVA will request a type-written master of the poem and
When the poem and copies are received at the VVA national
office, they will be logged in and the copies will be distributed to the
members of the subcommittee.
We will explore the following: An annual poetry contest;
poetry readings at a leadership or convention; a poetry section on the web
site; a poetry column in The VVA Veteran; an anthology of poems by
Vietnam veterans; and the distribution of a diskette of poetry to state
councils and chapters to put in their newsletters.
We hope this will be the first step in publishing some of the fine poems
submitted to the national office.