This site uses Flash. You may not have the latest version of the Flash Player installed. Download the free Flash Player.


Realize your Potential

Connections Links

Literary Magazine


Magazine Archive

Vietnam War Commemoration

Contact Us

College of Southern Maryland
Division of Languages and Literature
8730 Mitchell Rd.
PO Box 910
La Plata, MD 20646-0910

Connections Logo 

Previous Author Interviews


Spring 2014 Cover

Cover Image by Allison Burnett

Spring 2014 Edition

Literary Readings

Come out and meet the most engaging and interesting authors in literature today as they read from and reflect on their works. Readings take place on the campuses of CSM. All readings begin at 7:30 p.m.

** Books by all authors are available at the CSM College Store.

Literary Reading Schedule:

  • Friday, February 28, 2014 -  Author Wayne Karlin
  • Friday, March 28, 2014 - Authors Robert and Patience Mason
  • Friday, April 4, 2014 - Poet Teresa Mei Chuc
  • Friday, May 2, 2014 - Spring 2014 Connections Magazine Publication Reading

Audio Files of Previous Readings


2013-2014 Vietnam War Commemoration Program

Vietnam Logo  The College of Southern Maryland, a designated Commemorative Partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, is planning a number of events centering on the Vietnam War, including speakers, panel discussions, seminars, films, and readings. The following Connections events are part of this program.

More Information on the Vietnam War Commemorative Program


Author Wayne Karlin...presents his book "Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Living and the Dead in Viet Nam" - A Story of Reconciliation

Author Wayne Karlin

February 28, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Prince Frederick Campus, Room PFB 103
Tickets: $3 in advance; $5 at the event; or $3 with CSM Student ID


Wondering Souls Cover

CSM Professor Wayne Karlin served in the Marine Corps in Viet Nam. He is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction and has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1998, he was awarded the Paterson Prize in Fiction, and in 2005, he received an Excellence in the Arts Award from the Vietnam Veterans of America.

On March 19th, 1969, First Lieutenant Homer Steedly, Jr. turned a bend in a trail in the Pleiku Province and came face to face with a North Vietnamese soldier, his weapon slung over his shoulder. The two stared at each other for an instant: a split-second later, Homer's bullets smashed into the chest of a young medic named Hoang Ngoc Dam. Wandering Souls is the story of Homer's return to Viet Nam to give the diary he had taken from Dam's body back to his family. Award-winning author and fellow veteran Wayne Karlin accompanied Steedly on this journey, one that awoke, and brought to rest, Steedly's painful memories of the war. With eloquence and deep understanding, Karlin reveals the startling similarities between the parallel lives of Homer and Dam; both farmer's kids; both patriots; their experiences in a hellish war and their fatal meeting. He recounts Homer's years of trauma and his slow movement towards a recovery that could only come about through confrontation with the ghosts of his past — and the need of Dam's family to bring their brother's "wandering soul" to his own peace. And Karlin entwines their lives with the stories of Vietnamese and American writers, families, exiles and veterans met along the way, all of whom need to capture, contemplate and decipher meaning from their war.

"Wandering Souls is an important, moving, utterly compelling, and wonderfully open-hearted book, one that will become a touchstone in America’s literature about the aftershocks of our terrible misadventure in Vietnam. This is a book that will endure. Decades from now, it will help people see and feel the ongoing consequences of war's murderous folly."

—Tim O’ Brien, author of The Things They Carried    

 "Wandering Souls Excerpts"
"Wandering Souls Study Guide"
BookTV: Wayne Karlin, "Wandering Souls"

Authors Robert and Patience and discuss from "Chickenhawk" and "Recovering from the War: A Guide for all Veterans, Family Members, Friends, and Therapists"

Authors Robert and Patience Mason

March 28, 7:30 p.m.
Leonardtown Campus, Building A, Auditorium
Tickets: $3 in advance; $5 at the event; or $3 with CSM Student ID

Chickenhawk Cover

Recovering from War Cover

Robert Mason flew over one thousand combat missions as a 1st Cav Huey helicopter pilot in Vietnam war during a 1965-66 tour in which he participated in some of the bloodiest battles of the war, including the Ia Drang action made famous in ‘We Were Soldiers.’ Nearly two decades after he returned from the war, he wrote his widely-read memoir, Chickenhawk, which has sold over one million copies and which Amazon describes as "Robert Mason’s astounding personal story of men at war....Mason gives staggering descriptions that cut to the heart of the combat experience: the fear and belligerence, the quiet insights and raging madness, the lasting friendships and sudden death." Mason is also the author of two science fiction novels, Weapon, (later made into a film) and Solo, as well as Chickenhawk: Back in the World, which described his life after the war.

Mason's gripping memoir ... proves again that reality is more interesting, and often more terrifying, than fiction. -- Los Angeles Times

Very simply the best book so far out of Vietnam. -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

[Chickenhawk]’s vertical plunge into the thickets of madness will stun readers. -- Time 

Patience Mason is the author of ‘Recovering from the War: a Guide for Veterans, Family Members, Friends, and Therapists,’ written to help other wives of veterans. She also wrote ‘Why Is Daddy like He Is?’ a book for children of veterans with PTSD and pamphlets for wives and veterans explaining PTSD in healing terms. For 7 years Patience wrote the Post-Traumatic Gazette for veterans and all trauma survivors interested in recovery. She also wrote two versions of Why Is Mommy Like She Is?, one for civilian trauma and one for military trauma. All these materials are available free online here. She also blogs about PTSD here.


An Excerpt from Chapter 5, "The Ia Drang Valley" from Robert Mason's memoir Chickenhawk

The War at Home by Patience Mason

For more information:


Poet Teresa Mei Chuc...Discusses and Reads from Her Poetry Collection "Red Thread"

 Poet Teresa Mei Chuc

April 4, 7:30 PM
La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry, Room BI 103
Tickets: $3 in advance; $5 at the event; or $3 with CSM Student ID

Teresa Mei Chuc
Teresa Mei Chuc Image

Teresa Mei Chuc was born in Saigon, Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. under political asylum with her mother and brother shortly after the Vietnam War. Teresa, a fellow and teacher consultant of the Los Angeles Writing Project (a chapter of the National Writing Project), teaches literature and writing at a public inner-city middle school. Teresa has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, professional teaching credentials in primary and secondary education, and a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing (poetry) from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. She served for two years as a poetry editor for Goddard College's Pitkin Review. Teresa's poems were nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012.

"This collection of poems is largely autobiographical, telling the turning points in a life that began in war-torn Vietnam. Somehow, unlike many, Teresa and her family survived, although her parents were separated for a long time. She, her brother, and her mother escaped Vietnam in a ship crowded with frightened immigrants, and in time they settled in California, bringing with them their nightmares, their memories, their history and culture. Family is a recurring and insistent theme in this book. Teresa devotes her art to her grandmother, her mother, her brother, her son. This is the story of a refugee family who settled in California, bringing with them their nightmares, their memories, their history and culture. "Teresa Mei Chuc's poems speak from the heart of one woman's experience, and expand beyond the personal to reveal and record the common experience of multitudes.… The 'American experience,' what is it? Chuc’s Red Thread offers us all another piece in this difficult puzzle." —Lowell Jaeger, Editor, New Poets of the American West


Spring 2014 Connections Magazine Publication Reading

Contributors to the Spring 2014 Connections Literary Magazine will read and discuss their published works.

May 2, 7:30 p.m.
La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry, BI-103
Tickets: Free

Fall 2013 Edition Coveer

Connections Literary Magazine is a regional journal published twice a year that features poems, stories, artwork and photography of Southern Maryland. Also included in each issue is featured material from visiting authors. Contributors to the spring 2014 issue will read from and discuss their published works.
Free admission, no tickets required.


Spring 2014 Connections Magazine Submission Deadline: March 17, 2014