Philip Caputo served as a lieutenant with the 3d Marine Regiment near Danang, 1965-66. He went on to become a prize-winning journalist, covering the war in Beirut and the fall of Saigon for the Chicago Tribune. His memoirs are A Rumor of War and Means of Escape. His novels are Horn of Africa, DelCorso's Gallery, Indian Country, and Equation for Evil. He has written for Esquire, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times.
Frank Grzyb was drafted into the army in 1969 and sent to Vietnam in 1970. He was assigned to the 1st Logistical Command and later the U.S.Army, Vietnam, in Qui Nohn. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Army Commendation. Educated at Nichols College and Fairleigh Dickinson University Graduate School, Frank is now employed at a government research and development laboratory as a personnel management specialist. He lives in Portsmouth, R.I. with his family, and is the author of Touched By The Dragon -- the stories of Vietnam Veterans from Newport County, Rhode Island.
Jade Ngoc Quang Huynh survived growing up during the war in Vinh Binh, Vietnam, and became a university student in 1974. But as an intellectual, he was then sent to labor camps for "education in communist ideology, psychological and physical retraining." He escaped in 1977, first to Thailand, then to the U.S. He spent 6 years working at fast food restaurants, cleaning bathrooms, washing dishes, and working in factories. He received his B.A. degree from Bennington College in 1987, and his MFA from Brown University in 1992. He is the author of South Wind Changing, the memoir of his family torn apart by the war, his surviving the brutality of prison camp, his repeated attempts to escape the country, and his struggle to resettle in the United States. He now lives in Bennington, VT, and with an NEA grant is working on several books.
Yusef Komunyakaa served from 1968-1971 in the U.S. Army, during which he was correspondent and editor for the army newspaper, The Southern Cross for a year. His collections of poems are Dien Cai Dau; Neon Vernacular; Thieves of Paradise; Magic City; Copacetic; Lost in the Bonewheel Factory; Other Darkhorses. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1994, and now teaches at Princeton University.
Marilyn McMahon served as a U.S. Navy nurse from 1967-1972, including almost 2 years working with Marine Corps war casualties in Philadelphia and a 1969-1970 stint at Da Nang Naval Hospital. Her poems have been published in The Vietnam War in American Stories, Songs, and Poems, and in Visions of War, Dreams of Peace.
David Morse is an independent journalist who describes himself as a veteran of the "peace wars." He is currently working on a novel about Vietnam from that perspective. His first novel, The Iron Bridge (Harcourt Brace, 1998) is about Quakers and armaments. He also maintains a Website for his own writing.
Tim O'Brien served as an infantry sergeant in the Army's Americal Division near Quang Ngai, in 1970-71. He is the prize-winning author of The Things They Carried, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home; Going After Cacciato; Northern Lights; In the Lake of the Woods; The Nuclear Age; and Tomcat in Love. His short stories have appeared in Esquire, Harper's, Atlantic, Playboy, Granta, The New Yorker, and in editions of The O.Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories. His story, "The Things They Carried" was chosen for the forthcoming Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike.
Laura Palmer has worked as a journalist in Saigon, Paris, Washington, DC, New York, and Los Angeles. She left for Vietnam after graduating from college in 1972, to cover the war for ABC and NBC radio news, and to write for Time and Rolling Stone Magazines, including the story of leaving Saigon by helicopter in the final evacuation. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her syndicated column, "Welcome Home" about coming to terms with the Vietnam War, published in the New York Daily News. Her stories for The New York Times Magazine included "How to Bandage a War," on combat nurses who served in Vietnam. She has written three non-fiction books, including Shrapnel In The Heart in which she traced people who left letters and poems at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and told their stories of the war from the perspective of being the family, friends and buddies of the soldiers who died in Vietnam. She has written and produced news stories for NBC, CBS, and ABC News, most recently for "Nightline."
Dr. Elizabeth S. Taylor teaches "Writing Vietnam," Creative Nonfiction, and Journalism, and is Co-Director of the Expository Writing Program in the English Department at Brown. A former writer for the Providence Journal, she has taught American Literature and writing at Moses Brown, School One, Harvard, and Brown (where she received her PhD) since 1975. Most recently, through Pendle Hill Quaker Center in Pennsylvania, and Friends Seminary in New York, she has published excerpts from her work in progress called Lost to Vietnam, about the young men she lost to the war -- to battle, emigration to Canada, Quaker Service in Quang Ngai, rape in prison, and suicide.
Sponsored by the Charles K. Colver Lectureship Fund, the Brown University Faculty Lectureship Fund, the President's Lecture Series, the Department of English, the Watson Institute for International Studies, the Creative Writing Program, the Dean of the College, the Chaplain's Office, and generous friends of the Brown English Department.