Abstract Rant. A Bird Knows No Barbed Wire. Dear Simon. We Are Not Your Heroes. Ghost Limb. Iraqi Kids 2003. Living Without Nikki. You Are Not My Enemy. Real Vet Fake Vet. A Trip to the Zoo. That Damn Truck. War Is Not a Video Game.
All are works of art created through Warrior Writers, a Philadelphia-based organization with members and activities in several states, including California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachussetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas. Warrior Writers is dedicated to creating “visibility for veteran artists and their work” while “telling the truths about veterans experiences.”
The organization describes itself as “a community of military veterans, service members, artists, allies, civilians, and healers dedicated to creativity and wellness.” They embrace art making as a creative tool for understanding and transcending “experiences of trauma and emotional disruptions” — and consider art a language essential to bridging “the gap between veterans and civilians.”
Today I’m setting aside time to explore a collection of their works online, which includes about 100 pieces of poetry and creative writing, plus dozens of videos and poetry readings. Also several works of visual art and music. They’re working now to bring folks together for the creation of a wall mural in Philadephia, and folks in Chicago can see their works (and others) exhibited at the National Veterans Art Museum.
The Warrior Writers website, an official honoree of the 2010 Webby Awards, is a great resource for veterans eager to learn more about self-expression through the arts. Opportunities currently listed include the 25th Annual Writing Workshop sponsored by the William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences, and The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans.
Warrior Writers shares creative works with the public through books, performances and exhibitions that provide “opportunities for the broader public to better understand veterans’ experiences.” Three Warrior Writers books featuring works by post 9/11 veterans are currently available online — “Move, Shoot and Communicate,” “Re-Making Sense” and “After Action Review: A Collection of Writing and Artwork by Veterans of the Global War on Terror.”
Click here to learn more about their work and ways you can get involved. Today and every day — remember, reflect and never take our many freedoms for granted. Vote, participate and pay heed to the voices of diverse veterans, military personnel and family members who’ve made sacrifices the rest of us can scarcely begin to imagine.
Coming up: Arizona honors young artists, Summer concert fare, Prescott art adventures