Veterans to consider gravity, effects of war at poetry open mic in Greenfield

  • Marine Corps veteran Doug Anderson reads some of his poetry at the third annual Warrior Writers open mic event at Poet’s Seat Tower in Greenfield in 2019. The event returns on Saturday for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 5/25/2023 1:43:48 PM
Modified: 5/25/2023 1:43:33 PM

GREENFIELD — For the first time since 2019, veterans have an opportunity to say their piece through poetry during the Warrior Writers open mic event, to be held at Poet’s Seat Tower on Saturday, May 27, at 2 p.m.

Following a hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the fourth annual open mic will reprise the yearly tradition of featuring Memorial Day-themed poetry from local poets. For the veterans who choose to read their work, this has become an opportunity to “step back and look at the gravity and the effects of war,” according to poet and Air Force veteran LD Green.

“Remembering is a very human behavior,” said Navy veteran Eric Wasileski, who leads the local chapter of Warrior Writers, a national veteran-focused arts group that uses writing as therapy. “We’re going to be mourning and we’re going to be asking questions about, ‘Is violence something that works?’”

Green said he looks at performance as a vessel “to get some poems off my chest.” He framed his writing as a raw expression of the horrors he witnessed in wartime.

“It was pretty nasty,” he said. “It could rip the poetry right out of anyone.”

“A poem can hold anything,” Wasileski added. “We’re human beings trying to sort through our own emotions and thoughts, and the device that humanity uses to do that is art and poetry.”

In 2019, 22 poets attended the open mic and requested a chance to recite their work, according to Wasileski. He expects a similar turnout this year. Even with a large queue of readers, though, the group will be in no rush to wrap up the open mic.

“We will stay until we run out of words,” Wasileski stressed.

“Silence is worth the time it takes to hush,” Green expressed. “At these moments where people are pouring out their hearts and feelings, people shut the hell up. People are actually listening.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-930-4231 or


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