Tag Archives: war stories

To take the unknown and discover what we know

imageTuesday, January 20th, 2015

Friends and Colleagues,

Today is the FINAL DAY of our Voices From War INDIEGOGO FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN and the last chance to make a difference on this campaign. Now is the time—for any last minute sharing with friends and to contribute if you can.

A donation of any size is appreciated—each show of support makes a difference.

And there are still some great perks remaining!

THANK YOU to all of you who have contributed, through your online donations, by sharing our Appeal with others, by valuing Voices From War’s programming—valuing veterans and their stories—and letting us know in so many ways.

We will continue to update you on upcoming events, publication of our first collection of participant work in Voices from War, Volume 1, and other interesting news, writing tips, and thoughts on veterans’ stories and writing.

At Voices From War, we understand…

Through writing we are offered a means to create something bigger than the parts from which it is made. To take what we think we know, and find the unknown. Or the inverse: to take the unknown and discover what we know.

Each voice matters.

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“Recently, I have come to see that while we will change whether or not we want to, our history – what we’ve inherited from others, and from ourselves – doesn’t change. Our task is not to wipe a difficult history away and start fresh, but to get right with it.”
–  Peter Mountford, from “A Table Set for the Past and the Future”

Don’t forget to sign up for our blog—plus keep an eye on our Facebook page (and “Like” it if you haven’t already).

Our Indiegogo Appeal ends tonight at midnight!

You can view again on Indiegogo what Voices From War has accomplished in our first year-and-a-half of workshopsand what we’re planning next with the help of our supporters and participants, our VOICES From War.

REGISTRATION and Class Details for the Winter-Spring 2015 Voices From War (NYC, Season 4) workshop available on the website.

The Voices From War OPEN HOUSE & SOCIAL is Tuesday, FEBRUARY 3rd – RSVP to info@voicesfromwar.org

Indiegogo:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/voices-from-war/x/8978084

Voices From War workshop details (Winter-Spring 2015):  https://voicesfromwar.org/workshop/

Thank you!

All the best,
Kara

Kara Krauze
Founder, Director
Voices From War

Writing Workshops for Veterans
VoicesFromWar.org

Voices_logo_+web__smaller

Stories, Respect, and the News

photo 1(1)With so much sad news and divisiveness in our city and the world, I’ve been trying to remind myself of the small actions people can take to bridge divides in experience and perspective and to make sense of their own experiences. I started Voices from War and our writing workshops for veterans in 2013 with this in mind: the gaps between people’s experiences, the silence, the voids of comprehension, the need on the individual level for this to be different, and what it does for broader communities to be able to speak of or explain what seems unspeakable or inexplicable.

Readers of this blog know that experiences of war are complex, often difficult to explain; and veterans have too few places to share them, or simply make sense of them for oneself. Narrative helps bring disparate and contradictory actions, emotions, relationships, together. Writing helps in creating a sense of order from disorder. Without hostility; with respect.

I keep thinking of the mutual respect we share within the Voices from War workshops – among different generations and backgrounds, different political groundings, while engaging with harsh realities – and the community that arises alongside the discussions and stories, both fiction and non-fiction. Divides within ourselves and between ourselves and others are bridged in the workshops – in the room and with writing – and through related outreach, publication, and public events.

In this difficult period of strife and too-frequent bad news… in this period of generosity of spirit, family, and festive lights… may there be more support for civil discussion, mutual respect, telling and hearing, with empathy, each others’ stories.

Please consider supporting Voices from War and our work during this season of giving. Our first fundraising appeal is going on now through Indiegogo.

We need your support to sustain and grow what we do.

Thank you – and Happy Holidays to all.photo 4(2)

Kara Krauze

New York City, Dec. 22, 2014

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https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/voices-from-war   photo 3(4)

You can read about our exciting perks on the Indiegogo page, including great books, subscriptions to Tin House literary journal, our own logo Notebooks and Totes – and more!

You can also help by sharing on Facebook and Twitter, or by email.
http://igg.me/at/VoicesfromWar


On writing—and war stories we want to read

Redepolyment & The Bosnia ListToday, some words of wisdom from wonderful writer and former U.S. Marine Phil Klay, author of the acclaimed new short story collection Redeployment.

“When I came back I had all these questions to think about that were interesting or important for me, and writing the book was one way for me to grapple with both what the experience meant to me and what the war in Iraq meant to our country and culture.”

        – Phil Klay, author of Redeployment

*interviewed by Kirkus Reviews (Megan Labrise)

Redeployment powerfully encompasses multiple perspectives and experiences of war. The collection recently received a fabulous review (an engaging read in itself, while informative about the qualities that recommend the review’s subject), by Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War, in the New York Times Book Review.

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In April, The Center for Fiction, in midtown Manhattan, near Grand Central, hosts Phil Klay on Redeployment and Jennifer Vanderbes, whose new book The Secret of Raven Point, is about a brother and sister, soldier and nurse, stationed in Europe during World War II.

That’s April 10th at 7:00 p.m. in NYC.

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War literature is also coming up at Franklin Park’s Reading Series. You can catch Jennifer Percy, author of Demon Camp, about a returning Afghanistan veteran, along with Kenan Trebincevic and Susan Shapiro, writing about Trebincevic’s experiences as a Bosnian émigré and his trip back after the war in The Bosnia List, plus Liza Monroy, author of The Marriage Act, and essayist Melynda Fuller.

That’s this coming Monday, March 24th at 8:00pmFranklin Park Bar and Beer Garden.

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** 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. **

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Start telling your story.

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Voices from War’s Writing Workshop for Veterans – Winter-Spring 2014 is running now.
Stay tuned for summer options.
Come work on your story in a supportive community of fellow vets.
Space Limited.
Next Class (#6 of Season 2): March 23rd.
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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.

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 *"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.

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** 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. **

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Start telling your story.

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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.
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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

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Start telling your story.

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OPEN HOUSE— SUNDAY, JANUARY 26th—NYC
4:00-6:00pm
RSVP – info@voicesfromwar.org
344 East 14th Street, NYC
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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

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What’s your story?

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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

“READING, WRITING & TALKING WAR”

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…

jordan@veteranartistprogram.org

                                                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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:

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/446813

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:
http://vap-nyc.org/

AND, come RSVP on FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/events/663154410384776/


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

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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.

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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…

jordan@veteranartistprogram.org

Facebook Event page

Flyer__READING_WRITING_and_TALKING_WAR_Nov_8_2013 _picREADING, WRITING & TALKING WAR

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?

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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.
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War and music and poetry—Iraq veteran Maurice Decaul

Poet and veteran Maurice Decaul is partnered up with musicians Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd for their new album, Holding It Down, which received four (of four) stars in the LA Times last week. Critic Chris Barton writes,

“An exposed nerve on the edge of madness, ‘Shush’ may be one of the most haunting songs of the year. With Decaul repeating, like a mantra, ‘I’ve been talking in my sleep again,’ he conjures muzzle flashes, burning diesel and ‘sandbag eyes, large like dish plates, scared.’ As Iyer’s flickering piano hurtles behind him, Decaul builds to a matter-of-fact admission so raw it burns: ‘I prayed to die in Iraq.'”

Barton writes on the possibilities of music and the album’s combination of jazz, hip-hop, and oral history:

“At their best, hip-hop and jazz remain most adept at breaking the mold, and the footprints of both genres can be heard on Vijay Iyer’s and Mike Ladd’s inspiring new album. An ambitious collaboration between one of the most celebrated jazz pianists today in Iyer and poet-MC Ladd, who has worked with a host of underground rap acts including El-P’s Company Flow and Saul Williams, ‘Holding It Down’ is the duo’s third in a series of unclassifiable blends of music, theater and spoken word that paint a vivid oral history of post-9/11 America.”

What’s your story? What’s your dream?
You can also hear Maurice Decaul read his haunting poem, “Shush” online at The Daily Beast.
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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.
__________