Sunday, March 29, 2015

Warrior Writers

Last Sunday, I attended a workshop at the Dietrich Theater about the Warrior Writers project. It's a grassroots effort whose mission is to "create a culture that articulates veterans' experiences, provide a creative community for artistic expression, and bear witness to the lived experiences of warriors." - from Warrior Writers website. Through "writing and art-making workshops, we provide a creative community for self-expression and reflection, while also fostering mutual understanding and peer-to-peer support." - from the introduction to the Warrior Writers 2014 collection book.

What an amazing mission it is - use of the arts as a tool for veterans to process their experiences and express them creatively and genuinely. They have offered writing and art workshops, art exhibitions, and performances with vets throughout the US since 2007 and have published several compilation books of vets' stories and poems. This organization uses the arts as tools of healing. Even among us civilians with cushy lives, who couldn't use a little healing?

The Dietrich plans to host a monthly workshop for interested vets. Each workshop will be facilitated by Jennie, a combat veteran who has been active in the Warrior Writers in the Allentown area. A co-facilitator, typically a local writer, will assist. If the project is embraced here the way it has been elsewhere, Jennie expects that local veterans will be ready to lead the workshops in about 6 months. If you or a vet you know who would like to participate, please call the Dietrich at 570-836-1022.

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