Poet and Vietnam War veteran Michael Closz receives Marine Corps Heritage Foundation award
The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation honored poet Michael Closz for his service in the Vietnam War and his collection of poetry.
TRIANGLE, VIRGINIA, USA, May 11, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation honored poet Michael Closz for his service in the Vietnam War and the compelling story described in his poetry collection The Haunted Garden .
The Foundation presented Closz with the Robert A. Gannon Prize for Poetry during its 40th annual awards dinner April 30 at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va., outside the Marine Corps Base. Quantico.
“The Foundation’s annual awards are a mark of distinction for talented professionals and artists who are dedicated to exploring the rich history, traditions and culture of the Marine Corps with precision and authenticity,” according to the Major General James W. Lukeman, USMC. (Ret.), Chairman and CEO of the Foundation. Among the honorees was former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who received the Lejeune Recognition for Exemplary Leadership Award. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was among a number of notable guests in attendance.
Closz was nominated by another Marine Corps officer and selected after four months of rigorous jury deliberation for the award.
Closz’s Haunted Garden speaks to his time serving in war-era Vietnam, depicting the country as a metaphorical garden and haunted paradise. The poet’s descriptive language and thoughtful imagery show and explore his complex relationship with this garden and its inhabitants. Throughout the collection, Closz offers an honest and impactful perspective on the nature of the Vietnam War and the experiences of veterans who returned to the United States after the war. His words connect, challenge and reflect on his memories of his service, and on the realities and consequences of life, and his sense of self, after his return.
“I feel excited and honored to receive this award for my work. I feel invigorated writing poetry – I feel like I’ve accomplished something, like I’m building something,” Closz said. “It was very difficult to reintegrate into society when I returned from Vietnam. Sometimes I feel like I still haven’t landed on my feet. Poetry has been a significant outlet for me to channel these sentiments and I hope my work will help readers feel enlightened and provide insight for those who may have questions regarding this time in history, while reflecting on their own perspective on the war.
His captivating work transports readers to the jungles of Vietnam, resonating with Closz’s thoughts and fears. “He knows my every move / Regardless of the masking rain / Or its intensity. The downpour blurs my vision / But I can still see his eyes in the jungle, smiling. I look again and he is gone; Maybe another apparition, another Daydream. Silence now, the rain has stopped / And the jungle is smoking,” he wrote in his poem “Last Watch” from the collection.
Closz holds an MBA in finance and an undergraduate degree in physical sciences and literature. He has held senior positions at AT&T, Sprint, Fortress Technologies, Closz Management Company and Global Information Security in Moscow. During the Vietnam War, Closz was an infantry platoon commander with the First Marine Division, located near the seaside town of Danang. After spending three months at Naval Hospital Guam, he returned to Vietnam to serve in a staff function at Division Headquarters.
The Haunted Garden is available now through Amazon.
For information, contact: