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Thu, May 20


Zoom & Facebook Live

Virtual Poetluck to Honor and Celebrate Service Members and Veterans

Readers include Elizabeth Heaney, Charles Templeton, Bill McCloud, Woody Barlow, Randy Brown (aka Charlie Sherpa), John Swainston, and Lou Eisenbrandt.

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Virtual Poetluck to Honor and Celebrate Service Members and Veterans
Virtual Poetluck to Honor and Celebrate Service Members and Veterans

Time & Location

May 20, 2021, 6:30 PM CDT

Zoom & Facebook Live


About the event

The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow (WCDH) is proud to present a special Memorial Day virtual Poetluck on Thursday, May 20, at 6:30 pm CDT to honor and celebrate our brave United States active-duty military and veterans. Readers include Elizabeth Heaney, Charles Templeton, Bill McCloud, Woody Barlow, Randy Brown (aka Charlie Sherpa), John Swainston, and Lou Eisenbrandt.

Elizabeth Heaney is a psychotherapist from Asheville, NC and a writer who often leads veterans' writing workshops. Elizabeth spent several years working as a counselor on military bases, listening to the stories combat veterans carried home from war. Her award-winning book, The Honor Was Mine offers the soldiers’ stories, told in their own words, as well as Elizabeth’s own story of change - revealing the sacrifices of those on the front lines and the courage, grace, and honor with which they serve and struggle to truly come home. Learn more about Elizabeth Heaney at

Charles Templeton is the author of the award-winning, bestselling novel Boot: A Sorta Novel of Vietnam. Most recently, Charles had an essay published in Dan Krotz’s collection of perspectives on death and dying, Not Dead Yet Vol 2. When Charles isn’t busy working on his next historical fiction novel, he serves on the Board of the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. Charles also serves as the Acquisitions Editor for the Colony’s online literary magazine, eMerge. Currently, Charles is compiling an anthology of selections from eMerge. The anthology, the Dairy Hollow Echo, celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. Proceeds raised from the Dairy Hollow Echo will go toward the WCDH Scholarship fund and eMerge. You can find more information about the author and his writing at

Bill McCloud teaches history at Rogers State University in Oklahoma. His book, “What Should We Tell Our Children About Vietnam?” (University of Oklahoma Press), was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award. His poetry book, “The Smell of the Light: Vietnam, 1968-1969,” (Balkan Press), reached number one on the "Oklahoma Best-Sellers" List (“The Oklahoman”).

His Vietnam War papers were purchased by Harvard University. Named a three-time Woody Guthrie Poet, his poems have appeared in “Oklahoma Today,” “Oklahoma English Journal,” “Conclave,” and “eMerge,” the literary magazine of WCDH. He has a poem in the anthology, “Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush: The Poetry of Oklahoma”(TJMF Publishing). Seven of his poems appear in Charles Templeton’s best-selling novel of the Vietnam War, “Boot.” McCloud is a faculty member of William Bernhardt’s WriterCon, where he presents sessions on poetry. One of his poems was posted inside a Tulsa Transit Metro Bus. He is a poetry editor for “Right Hand Pointing,” and has read his work aloud at the Air Force Academy and the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow. Among the fans of his poetry are songwriters Graham Nash and Jimmy Webb.

Woody Barlow was a Vietnam Combat Veteran, and Level III Operations Manager for the FAA before retiring to Eureka Springs with his wife Lynne, becoming a firefighter and assistant chief of the Grassy Knob Fire Department, and a WCDH board member. He has written a memoir, a non-fiction novel, and a book of poetry.

Randy Brown embedded with his former Iowa Army National Guard unit as a civilian journalist in Afghanistan, May-June 2011. A 20-year veteran with one overseas deployment, he subsequently authored the 2015 poetry collection “Welcome to FOB Haiku: War Poems from Inside the Wire.” He also co-edited the 2019 anthology “Why We Write: Craft Essays on Writing War.” He is a three-time poetry finalist in the Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Writing Awards. Most recently, an adaptation of his 2013 essay “In the Valley of Lions” was featured in the anthology “True War Stories,” published by Z2 Comics.  Brown's essays, journalism, and poetry have appeared widely both on-line and in print. As “Charlie Sherpa,” he writes about citizen-soldier culture at:; about modern war poetry at, and about military writing at

John Swainston recently started writing poetry to cope with feelings of isolation.  He learned the craft by taking Zoom classes in writing at Turning Point, a cancer support organization.  His poetry has been published in the Journal of Expressive Writing, eMerge (the online literary magazine of WCDH), and soon, the Veterans’ Voice. He is a Member of the Mystic Poet Society, a group of poetry lovers bound together by their common passion for sacred and ecstatic verse. A recent alumnus of WCDH, John will be reading two poems, one about Vietnam memories, the other titled “C-2-3.”

Lou Eisenbrandt - Growing up in Illinois, I decided in nursing school, to join the Army. After graduation and attending Officers Basic training, she was assigned to Walson Army hospital in Fort Dix New Jersey. In September 1969, she received orders for Vietnam, serving for12 months at the 91st Evacuation Hospital in Chu Lai. She worked for three months on a medical floor caring for patients suffering from malaria, hepatitis, and jungle rot. Her remaining nine months were spent in the Emergency Room where severely wounded soldiers and Vietnamese civilians were cared for.  In 2015, Lou authored a memoir titled "Vietnam Nurse: Mending and Remembering". She continues to do presentations about Vietnam, having returned four times. In 2002, she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease as a result of exposure to Agent Orange and has become an advocate for living well with Parkinson’s. She is currently working on her second book. Lou will read two poems she wrote about her year in Vietnam as an Army nurse at the 91st Evac hospital in Chu Lai. Learn more at

The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow will continue to host Poetluck virtually until it is safe to return to in-person readings. Readings may be poems, prose, or songs, and writers are invited to share their work for up to ten minutes. A link to the virtual Poetluck and instructions for joining can be found at Spectators may join a moderated watch party on Facebook Live at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow page:

Since opening its doors to writers in 2000, the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow has made a lasting impact on the arts and literary communities providing uninterrupted residency time for writers of all genres, including culinary, composers, and artists, without discrimination. The WCDH has hosted over 1,600 writers from 48 states and 13 countries. To learn more, please visit or call Michelle Hannon at (479)253-7444.

Zoom Links

Topic: Veterans' Voices Poetluck

Time: May 20, 2021 06:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 881 5408 1503

Passcode: 307649

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