Tag Archives: Iraq war

December Newsletter

Voices From War – December NEWSLETTER – News & Updates

Tuesday, December 29, 2015   IMG_4320   

Seasons Greetings!

We are excited to share our late fall UPDATES!   FullSizeRender(3)

Scroll down for our EVENT NEWS  ~  PUBLICATION NEWS  ~  PARTNER NEWS  ~  and YOUR HELP (our end-of-year APPEAL)!


Last month, Voices From War celebrated “An Evening of Creative Writing by Veterans,” a fabulous first READING by our participants! On November 21st, we filled the studio as our wonderful host the 14th Street Y welcomed recent Voices From War students in sharing their original writing with a vibrant audience of friends, colleagues, family, and supporters of Voices From War’s participants and our workshops. Twelve readers, spanning decades of military service – from Korea up through Iraq and Afghanistan – shared memoir, poetry, and fiction.

Voices_From_War__NOV_21st__EVENT     Event_Group_Photo_VOICES_FROM_WAR__11-21-15_(pic_Yana Kusayeva)     Front_Program__11-21-15_VfW_EVENT    

One reader, a military family member, presented a dialogue, partnered with talented writer, and Army veteran, Nate Bethea, a Voices From War leader and 14th Street Y co-instructor. Thank you, Nate!  We’re lucky to have Nate’s skill and dedication.

It’s hard to describe and convey the effect of these narratives shared in a crowded room, with subjects as divergent and engaging, as serious and humorous, as the lives we all live, veteran or civilian: running through decades of history, a multitude of deeply personal stories. Precise prose and lyrical prose juxtaposed with musical poetry, sharp dialogue, laughter and deep thought. All shared in the community of strangers and friends. All of us a little less strange to each other, closer in our shared humanity — while more aware of the vast array of divergent experience and common experience, sometimes both at once.

A huge thank you to our magnificent readers — for the polished words they shared and for the work they are still doing: the sentences, experiences, emotions, and phrases still finding their home on paper. We know we are not alone in looking forward to future opportunities to bring Voices From War veterans and writers to more audiences, whether in the same room, or miles apart and brought closer through their stories conveyed on the page.      Flip-side_Program__11-21-15_VfW_EVENT           Interior_Program__11-21-15_VfW_EVENT    


And NEXT, we are proud to share a magazine piece in the new issue of the VASSAR QUARTERLY about Voices From War, and featuring insights from participating veterans along with  writing by two of our participants!
You can read about some of Voices From War’s origins, including the personal history that brought Kara Krauze into not just any classroom, but specifically one that focuses on veterans and experiences of war. And, you can read the original writing of veterans Teresa Fazio and Matt DuPre. Matt was one of the first veterans to walk into our classroom, new for all of us, in the Fall of 2013. (And where did he learn about the workshop? From a postcard Kara pinned up at Shakespeare Books on Broadway. Sadly, the bookstore has closed; but our workshops are thriving!)

You can read the FEATURE about Voices From War, by Larry Hertz, online here:

Writing Their Way Back”     IMG_4593


And don’t miss Teresa and Matt’s original writing!

No One Left Behind  –  by Teresa Fazio      IMG_4592

     –>  http://vq.vassar.edu/issues/2015/03/web-extras/no-one-left-behind.html

Where Do We Go From Here?  –   by Matt DuPre     IMG_4588

     –>    http://vq.vassar.edu/issues/2015/03/web-extras/where-do-we-go.html     IMG_4335      IMG_4320
Another prior Voices From War participant, Gino Ruiz, interviewed for the article, is now a student at Vassar, part of a wonderful initiative,  The Posse Veterans Program, bringing more veterans to Vassar College and several other liberal arts campuses.


IN ADDITION, you may recall news about TANGO ON THE BALCONY earlier this year, who Voices From War has been pleased to partner with. Well, the film is almost finished! Tango on the Balcony is a short narrative film featuring recent Iraq-war veteran, Johnny, grappling with post-traumatic stress. While the film makes its way to festivals, the production team is working on final edits and original music. A short video featuring Voices From War’s work will be available soon too. In the meantime, don’t miss the Tango on the Balcony trailer! You can view it now on Vimeohttps://vimeo.com/148653612

ALSO, while we’re on the subject of video, we’re excited to mention that we have video footage of several Voices From War writers reading their stories at our November 21st event. We expect to share portions of the event in the new year.


FINALLY, as we approach the end of 2015, we ask you to
please consider contributing to Voices From War’s work

(And if you’ve already contributed this fall, THANK YOU!)

We are proud to be sustaining and strengthening our workshops — including not just our flagship workshop at the 14th Street Y in Manhattan and our “Evening of Creative Writing by Veterans” this November, but also completion of the first Voices From War collaboration at the Bronx Vet Center, with more new programming and collaborations in the works. Thank you to instructor Jeff Loeb, and everyone at the Bronx Vet Center, for a great season in the Bronx!

To sustain and grow, Voices From War needs not only the dedication, grit, and passion of its leaders, instructors, and students. We need your support too. We need your passion and compassion, whether on display in what you do everyday, or activated more quietly in what you believe in, what you read and discuss, consider and share; what you know matters.

We hope you share our belief that these voices matter.
Veteran stories matter to those who tell them; they matter to fellow veterans; and veteran stories matter to civilians who need or want to understand more.

At Voices From War, we can always use more hands and expertise, more voices speaking of and sharing about what we do. And we also ask that you consider making a contribution, whether your budget allows $20, as this year closes; or, if your circumstances permit, please consider making a larger contribution, whether $50, $100 or more.


TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS can be made through our Fiscal Sponsor, FRACTURED ATLAS:


May good tidings and shared joys of the season be with you; and know that you are with us, a crowd of individuals who make a mass, engaging with stories and those who need to tell them, and should be heard.

THANK  YOU for all of the ways each of you support veterans, stories and writing, and Voices From War!

Warm wishes,
Kara & the Voices From War Team

Please keep in touch through our Facebook page and Twitter (and Instagram now too) and don’t forget to check back on our blog and website:


Kara Krauze
Founder, Director
Voices From War
Writing Workshops for Veterans
Email: kara@voicesfromwar.org

  • Our December Newsletter was emailed to subscribers on Dec. 29, 2015. Want to join our mailing list?  Click HERE to sign up via MailChimp.
  • Image (near top & mid-page): Vassar Quarterly, Fall 2015, cover image (featuring veteran, Vassar student, David Carrell ’17).


Voices From War – Season 5 at the 14th Street Y – Starts Tonight!Voices_VfW_blue_

Excited for more great discussions as we begin our THIRD YEAR of workshops:




A decade of war—stories shape history

Who should tell us about the experiences of a decade of war? Veteran voices need to be part of the national dialogue, cultural and literary, on what it means to go to war; reminding all of us of the multiple perspectives, complex feelings and experiences of serving and fighting.

History is shaped by the accounts that emerge in the living years following historic events, including events we may perceive as less ‘historic’—individual accounts of departing, serving, waiting (whether a spouse back home or a soldier waiting for deployment), and return.

Stories—whether true accounts in the form of essays or memoir, or fictional narratives born of lived truths—shape how all of us see, how we remember. Stories create bridges of understanding, among veterans and between veterans and civilians.

“The autumn countryside around them felt gloomy and forlorn at this hour. The train which was to take both Masha and Ivanov to their homes was somewhere far off in grey space. There was nothing to divert or comfort a human heart except another human heart.”

        – Andrey Platonov, “The Return” *

From the past, we learn about the present; and from the present we inform the future.


 *"The Return," by Andrey Platonov, from The Return and Other Stories, by Andrey Platonov, transl. by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler and Angela Livingstone; reprinted in Let's Call the Whole Thing Off: Love Quarrels from Anton Chekhov to ZZ Packer, selected by Kasia Boddy, Ali Smith, and Sarah Wood, © 2009.


** A huge THANK YOU to Poets & Writers and The New York State Council on the Arts for supporting another season of Voices from War, A Writing Workshop for Veterans. And an ongoing THANK YOU to the 14th Street Y, supporter and sponsor, welcoming the workshop and its participants each week; and building Voices from War. **


Start telling your story.

REGISTRATION open for Voices from War’s Writing Workshop for Veterans – Winter-Spring 2014.
Come work on your story in a supportive community of fellow vets.
Space Limited.
Next Class (#3 of Season 2): Feb. 23rd.

Telling a true story—through facts or fiction

Writing things down, telling a true story or turning it into fiction, helps us make sense of complex or fragmented memories and experiences. By looking back, writers are moving forward. Sharing experiences opens up possibilities for dialogue, between individuals and more broadly, in communities and nationally.

Whether we write for ourselves, our friends and family, or with the intent of reaching a wider audience, putting words on paper matters. We are communicating; we are building community; we are acknowledging the past and building the future.

“From the events of war he had wrested the lonely elements of maturity. He wanted, now, discoveries to which he sensed himself accessible; that would alter him, as one is altered, involuntarily, by a great work of art or an effusion of silent knowledge.”

        – Shirley Hazzard

From The Great Fire, by Shirley Hazzard, ©2003


Start telling your story.


RSVP – info@voicesfromwar.org
344 East 14th Street, NYC
REGISTRATION open for Voices from War’s Writing Workshop for Veterans – Winter-Spring 2014.
Come work on your story in a supportive community of fellow vets.

Writing about war—history became personal

Historian and World War II veteran William Manchester writes about the urge to revisit his own memories of service during World War II, after working and writing as a historian of the era for years:

“The dreams started after I flung my pistol into the Connecticut River. It was mine to fling: I was, I suppose, the only World War II Marine who had had to buy his own weapon.”
“For years I had been trying to write about the war, always in vain. It lay too deep; I couldn’t reach it. But I had known it must be there. A man is all the people he has been. …[L]ike most of my countrymen, I am prone to search for meaning in the unconsummated past.”
“…I couldn’t define what I sought….”

– William Manchester

From Goodbye, Darkness: A Memoir of the Pacific War, ©1979


What’s your story?

REGISTRATION open for Voices from War’s Writing Workshop for Veterans – Winter-Spring 2014.
Come work on your story in a supportive community of fellow vets.

Reading, Writing & Talking War—more event details


Coming up on Friday, November 8th, at 8:00 p.m., in FIT’s Katie Murphy Amphitheatre in NYC.

Check out the exciting writers participating below!

Scaled ticketing available: $10, $15, $25 (open seating).
Free tickets available for veterans and students, and reserved comp tickets on request.
For any complimentary ticketing, please contact…



Stories act as a powerful bridge between civilians and veteran experience. On November 8th, through the readings and panel in “Reading, Writing & Talking War,” literary discussions will intersect with veteran discussions – an occasion for readers and writers, civilians and veterans.

Illustrious writer Roxana Robinson, author of deeply engaged and affecting novels like Cost, about a family facing a son’s heroin addiction, and her new work Sparta, drawing us into the life of a soldier just returned from Iraq, will be reading alongside four amazing writers who are veterans.

Maurice Decaul served in Iraq and went on to get a B.A. in History from Columbia and is now pursuing his MFA in Poetry at NYU. In addition to being a powerful poet, he is a major contributor to Vijay Iyer (2013 MacArthur winner) and Mike Ladd’s new album, Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project, an intoxicating  fusion of jazz and hip-hop.

Mariette Kalinowski, completing her MFA at Hunter and instructing a new crop of writers, is a probing writer of short fiction, on display in her story “The Train,” included in the anthology Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. She deployed twice to Iraq and is at work on what will surely be an amazing novel, illuminating the female veteran experience.

J.A. Moad II, a former Air Force pilot, who continues to fly commercially from his home base in Minnesota, has been a professor of war literature, educating fellow soldiers and veterans in the power of literature to enlighten and inform. While at work on an exciting novel, he also serves as fiction editor with War, Literature and the Arts, actively engaged in presenting new voices on the complicated subject of war.

Jacob Siegel, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, who continues to serve in the National Guard, is editor of The Hero Project at The Daily Beast, a singular and important voice for dialogue on veterans, national politics, heroes and literature. His own prose, tightly crafted and powerful in its evocation of veteran experience, will be on display in his novel-in-progress, and has already appeared in national publications and in the story “Smile, There are IEDs Everywhere” in Fire and Forget, which he co-edited. Jake co-teaches Voices from War, a writing workshop for veterans, with writer and educator…

Kara Krauze, who will be moderating the discussion with these five diverse voices during our evening of “Reading, Writing & Talking War.”

Follow this link to go straight to online details and ticketing:


Be sure to check out the full week of events, veteran-focused and arts-focused, during the Veteran Artist Program’s Arts & Service Celebration, November 2nd – 9th:


                           Event brought to you by…  http://vap-nyc.org
Veteran Artist Program

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Don’t miss the stories. Don’t miss the dialogue.

If you are a veteran, and want to work on your own stories…

REGISTER for Voices from War’s Writing Workshop for Veterans, team-taught by Kara Krauze and Jake Siegel.
Come work on your story in a supportive community of fellow vets.


Don’t miss…

Reading, Writing & Talking War
on November 8th

Scaled ticketing available: $10, $15, $25 (open seating).
Block comp tickets available for veterans and students, and reserved comp tickets on request.
For any complimentary ticketing, please contact…


Facebook Event page


For other exciting events the week of November 2nd – 9th…visit the Veteran Artist Program at http://vap-nyc.org

Don’t miss the stories. Don’t miss the dialogue.

If you are a veteran, and want to work on your own stories…

REGISTRATION open for Voices from War’s Writing Workshop for Veterans.
Come work on your story in a supportive community of fellow vets.

A poem with a story of war—and after

Today, a poem from Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai (1924-2000), which encapsulates transitions from childhood to war to the pain of after, ending on a note of possibility:

Autobiography, 1952

  • My father built over me a worry big as a shipyard
  • and I left it once, before I was finished,
  • and he remained there with his big, empty worry.
  • and my mother was like a tree on the shore
  • between her arms that stretched out toward me.
  • And in ’31 my hands were joyous and small
  • and in ’41 they learned to use a gun
  • and when I first fell in love
  • my thoughts were like a bunch of colored balloons
  • and the girl’s white hand held them all
  • by a thin string—then let them fly away.
  • And in ’51 the motion of my life
  • was like the motion of many slaves chained to a ship,
  • and my father’s face like the headlight on the front of a train
  • growing smaller and smaller in the distance,
  • and my mother closed all the many clouds inside her brown closet,
  • and as I walked up my street
  • the twentieth century was the blood in my veins,
  •  blood that wanted to get out in many wars
  • and through many openings,
  • that’s why it knocks against my head from the inside
  • and reaches my heart in angry waves.
  • But now, in the spring of ’52, I see
  • that more birds have returned than left last winter.
  • And I walk back down the hill to my house.
  • And in my room: the woman, whose body is heavy
  • and filled with time.

Yehuda Amichai

From The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, ©1986, 1996

Translated by Chana Bloch and Stephen Mitchell

What’s your story?

REGISTRATION open for Voices from War’s Writing Workshop for Veterans – Fall 2013.
Come work on your story in a supportive community of fellow vets.