Wyoming Arts Council

Cheyenne veteran finds poetic voice

Walter Reed Mellott dropped into the Wyoming Arts Council this morning with a copy of his book, “My Heart’s Poetry.” This is the Cheyenne resident’s first book, and he was looking for ideas on marketing and promotion. Wyomingarts had several ideas for him — this blog post was one. He’s conducted book signings at a local bookstore and at the Cheyenne Veteran’s Administration Hospital. Walter’s a 22-year Air Force veteran who spent some time in Southeast Asia way back when. He also read one of his military-based poems at a Memorial Day ceremony last year in Cheyenne.

Walter grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and came to Wyoming after he joined the Air Force. He made a few detours along the way, but eventually made Wyoming his home. He wrote technical manuals for Wyoming’s commuter airline, and only turned to poetry as he was recovering from a major illness in 2004.

Walter said that his most successful marketing technique is “hand-selling” through one-on-one contacts with potential readers. While it’s a time intensive technique, it’s effective and allows you to meet new people. It may be the best marketing plan for poets since major publishers don’t publish poetry anyway and small press (and P.O.D.) poetry publishers have little or no promotion money.

You can buy a copy of Walter’s book through the publisher’s web site at http://www.authorhouse.com/ and http://www.authortree.com/tuscarora. Contact him in Cheyenne thorough his cell phone at 307-631-1847.

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