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We Recommend — Writing Across the Civil-Military Divide

My wide hips raised two warriors
from sweat & clay, blood sonata
& birth cry. I said anger & avarice,
& they called themselves Cain & Abel.
I said gold, & they opened up the earth.
I said love, & they ventured east
& west, south & north. I said evil,
& they lost themselves in reflected rivers.

Love in the Time of War
Yusef Komuntakaa (b. 1947)
Middletown, CT: Robin Price, Publisher, 2013
PS3561 O455 L68 2013

Yusef Komunyakaa was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana. The son of a carpenter, Komunyakaa says that he was first alerted to the power of language through his grandparents, who were church people: “the sound of the Old Testament informed the cadences of their speech.” And, “It was my first introduction to poetry.” Komunyakaa served in the Vietnam War as a correspondent; he was managing editor of the Southern Cross during the war, for which he received a Bronze Star. He earned a BA from the University of Colorado Springs on the GI Bill, an MA from Colorado State University, and an MFA from the University of California-Irvine.

From the colophon: “The 25 poems are printed letterpress with silver ink in Adobe Jenson Pro from polymer plates. The sheets are individually painted, hand-dyed silk…Small pieces of Moriki paper and printed glassine are sewn inside the fore-edge-folded sheets. The aluminum covers are photochemically etched in pattern based on camouflage fabric. Daniel E. Kelm co-designed the modified paper-case book structure.” Edition of seventy copies. Rare Books copy is no. 24, signed by the poet and author.

Writing Across the Civil-Military Divide

Writing Across the Civil-Military Divide is a series of lectures and writing workshops that aim to help veterans’ stories be seen by the American
public. Participants, both veterans and civilians, will come together to explore and write literary fiction and memoir related to experiences with
the civil-military divide, culminating in a publication of their own writing on the topic.

Writing Across the Civil-Military Divide: Memoir Workshop
Saturdays, February 22nd and 29th, 1-3PM
2-Part Workshop
Community Writing Center
210 East 400 South #8
Free. Registration is required*

As human beings, we connect with each other through story. We read and write to help us make sense of our own lives. There is a strong tradition of veterans’ stories being shared through memoir. From Robert Graves’ WWI memoir Goodbye to All That to Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor, military memoir has worked to help veterans connect, to each other and the public, through story. In this workshop, we’ll write and read memoir and other forms of creative non-fiction towards making sense of contemporary military experiences.

Ambush Your Experience: Using Innovative Literary Techniques in Veterans Writing
Thursday, February 27, 7PM
SLCC South City Campus, Multipurpose Room
1575 South State Street
Free and open to the public

Roy Scranton grew up in a working-class family in Oregon. He dropped out of college after his freshman year. In 2002, he enlisted in the US Army, serving four years including a fourteen-month deployment to Iraq. He went back to school and earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and a PhD. He is an assistant professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, where he teaches creative writing. He is the author of War Porn and Total Mobilization: World War II and American Literature.

War Story
Saturday, March 7, 1-3PM
1-Part Workshop
Rare Books Classroom, Level 4, Marriott Library, The University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Free. Registration is required*

From historical, foundational book forms to unexpected, innovative book forms, writers and artists collaborate to emphasize message. Collaboration prompts consideration of relationships between text, image, and form. Form creates a place to combine language with visual elements. Image adds to the understanding of text. Both interact with text to enhance intimacy between writer and reader, emphasizing a physical engagement with language. Artists’ books develop narratives using typography, photographs, postcards, paper scraps, cutting, folding, erasing and other elements suggesting history, people, dates, and events, real and imagined. This hands-on opportunity to read and discuss war stories considers text, form, and image as integral parts of storytelling. Led by Luise Poulton, Managing Curator and Head of the Rare Books Department, granddaughter of a Marine, daughter of a Marine, aunt of a Marine.

Writing Across the Civil-Military Divide: Fiction Workshop
Wednesdays, April 15th and 22nd, 6-8PM
2-Part Workshop
SLCC Redwood Campus, AAB 135. 4600 S Redwood Rd
Free. Registration is required*

Marine veteran and fiction writer Phil Klay writes that “Believing war is beyond words is an abrogation of responsibility” it lets civilians off the hook from trying to understand, and veterans off the hook from needing to explain. In this workshop, we’ll explore how fiction has been used to explain experiences of war (both abroad and at home) and make our own efforts at using fiction to both explain and understand the civil-military divide.

*For more information & to register, contact:
Community Writing Center
Salt Lake Community College

“I should not have wondered by this time to find that they had their respective musical bands stationed on some eminent chip, and playing their national airs the while, to excite the slow and cheer the dying combatants.”

War: From Walden
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Bremen, ME: Red Angel Press, 2006

PS3048 A3 2006

Taken from the chapter “Brute Neighbors” in Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, this text is a metaphorical and satirical observation of red ants battling black ones in the author’s woodlot. References to historical battles – the Trojan War, Napoleonic Wars and the American Revolution – suggest the absurdity of man’s bellicose nature. Concept and editing by Betty Keller. Design and printing by Ronald Keller. Illustrated with woodblocks printed on Sekishu paper. The illustrations progress from an extreme close-up of the protagonists locked in deadly combat to an overall view of battalions of adversaries arrayed as if in Armageddon-like confrontation. Text hand-set in Plantin type and printed on Nideggen paper. Bound by Ronald Keller in brick-colored cloth stamped with “W” on front Panel and “AR” on back panel in slightly deeper color, brownish-red endpapers. Edition of one hundred copies. Rare Books copy is no. 20, signed by Ronald Keller.

“A Boy Scout is a boy, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in a worldwide Scouting movement…Boy Scouts are organized into troops averaging twenty to thirty Scouts under guidance of one or more Scout leaders. Troops subdivide into patrols of about six Scouts and engage in outdoor and special interest activities. Troops may affiliate with local, national and international organizations. Some national Scouting associations have special interest programs such as Air Scouts, Sea Scouts, outdoor high adventure, Scouting bands and rider scouts. Some troops, especially in Europe, have been coeducational since the 1970s, allowing boys and girls to work together as Scouts.”

Postage Due: Forever Stamps
C. David Thomas (b. 1946)
United States: C. David Thomas, 2009
N7433.4 T478 P67 2009

From the colophon: “This book contains twelve sets of stamps with images that cannot be found on U.S. Postal Service stamps. These include, among others, images of Vietnam’s leader, Ho Chi Minh working with U.S. soldiers during World War II, images of American prisoners of war…drawn by a former North Vietnamese soldier/artist, images of Agent Orange victims, images of the My Lai massacre in South Vietnam, images of a badly burned young girl fleeing from her village which had just been napalmed, and images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, after the U.S./ nuclear bombing of those densely populated cities…Paper is Innova short grain, 200 gram, natural white soft texture duo paper. Printed from a Hewlett Packard Photosmart Pro B9180 using archival ink. Housed in a black linen box handmade by craftsmakers in Hanoi, Vietnam. Edition of twenty-five copies with five artist’s proofs, numbered and signed by the author/artist.]

In 1968, C. David Thomas joined the US Army and was sent to Pleiku, South Vietnam as a combat engineer and artist. Thomas drew a picture of a fellow soldier’s girlfriend. In lieu of payment for the drawing he asked his friend, who worked in personnel, to change his records and shorten his stint in Vietnam from twelve to eleven months. Thomas was able to return to the United States weeks earlier than originally scheduled. The helicopter on which he routinely rode was shot down during what would have been the twelfth month of his tour of duty. There were no survivors. Thomas holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Grant to Vietnam.


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