Thursday, November 19, 2009

Poet, Playwright Allan Garry - difficult truths, well-crafted poems

Allan Garry brought the realities of his past life to the Wednesday Night Poetry Series this past Wednesday night. He read well, spoke well, brought a balance of darkness and light to bear on the difficult subjects of war and death.  (He writes about other things as well.)

Garry is a Vietnam veteran who recently returned to writing after a long hiatus. He served in a morgue in Vietnam, searching bodies for ID, trying to honor the lives of men he didn't know, trying to make sense of random slaughter, preparing the bodies for their return home. He began writing in college after his discharge, but stopped, only starting up again in the last few years.

 He is, he says, experiencing the benefits of 18 years of therapy to recover from his experiences with war and with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Much of what he had to say is so very current, with the endless treadmill of duty tours in our present wars.

His new play Gathering Shells, co-written with Crystal Brian, (who also attended the reading) has  been produced at the Long Wharf Theater and the Little Theater in New Haven, CT,  and will be produced at the  Abingdon Theater in New York on Dec. 3, 4 & 5.  Admission is free; seating is limited. For more information and tickets, call 203-582-3500.

Garry's poetry has been published in The Red Fox Review; the Pennypaper, Curbstone Press and Helix. He has read his work at Wesleyan University, Yale University, Trinity College, Connecticut College and a number of other venues as a winner of the Wesleyan University Honors College Connecticut Poetry Circuit. New poems will be appearing in the forthcoming issues of The Connecticut River Review, Connecticut Review and Avocet Review.

He doesn't have a chapbook yet, but his well-crafted poetry will surely find a home. If you get a chance to hear his work, don't miss it...

-- Mar Walker