Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Some Upcoming Events in Fayetteville

19 Oct. Veterans Writing Collective Presents Deployed
1 Nov.  Writer’s Workshop 
12 Nov. Veterans Writing Collective Literary Showcase
Thanks, Jerry Bradley, for keeping us informed!

Veterans Writing Collective Presents Deployed
Date and Time: 19 October 2014, 2:00 p.m.
Deployed tells stories of war through the words of veterans including poems, essays, and diary excerpts. They describe the pressures of preparing for war, deployment, and battle. Words by the late NC playwright and novelist Paul Green frame the beginning and end.
Fee: Admission is free
Location: Huff Concert Hall Reeves Fine Arts Building
Contact(910) 630-7110 or rgreene@methodist.edu


Writer’s Workshop

Dates and Times: 1 Nov. 2014, from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and
2 Nov. 2014, from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Second annual Writers Workshop @ Your Library is now a two-day event with concurrent workshops by Les Edgerton, Suzanne Adair, Annette Dunlap, Craig Faris, Marni Graff, Clay and Susan Griffith, Chris Roerden, Susan Sloate and Sam Wazan. Registration is required. To register or for more information, visit the Writers' Workshop website. http://cumberland.lib.nc.libguides.com/WritersWorkshop2014
Fee: Free
Location: Headquarters Library  Pate RoomContact: Robin Deffendall
Contact Number: 910-483-7727 x 1349

Veterans Writing Collective Literary Showcase
Date12 Nov. 2014, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Listen and express your thanks to members of the Veterans’ Writers Group as they share pieces that reflect their experiences as service or family members. You are welcome to share your own work that expresses a connection to military services or Veterans Day, and you may join the writers’ group. Readings should be 3-6 minutes in length. Registration is recommended. Please indicate if you plan to share when registering.
Fee: FreeLocation: Headquarters Library Pate RoomRegistration Ends: 11/12/2014 at 6:30 PMContact: Kelly Vadney
Contact Number: 910-483-7727 ex 1368

Friday, August 22, 2014

Transform Your Health: Write to Heal

Do you know that writing can help you to heal?

Research tells us that expressive writing has the power to help us transform our physical, mental, and spiritual health. In fact expressive writing has been shown to:

  • Decrease the heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Enhance breathing
  • Strengthen the immune system so that it can better fight off infection
  • Improve self-esteem
  • Help manage stress

Writing can help us face our most difficult challenges with past or present experiences and even future challenges.  Put another way, when we write we can gain perspective on our circumstances, we provide provident information to our body, and we engage our internal healing resources.

"I was finally able to get the thoughts out of my head and put them down on paper instead of fighting with the difficult thoughts that kept recurring."

"This has been one of my highlights at Duke Integrative Medicine."

"(The workshop) gave voice to something I always knew was important, but didn't know how to approach."

"My experience was excellent, empowering, and fun."

"I'm still benefiting months later."

"I believe I sleep better, and I certainly feel much less stress about this issue that I have been dealing with for a very long time."

Sources:  Duke Integrative Medicine, John Evans, MAT, MA, EdD writing workshops, and Pennebaker, J.W. & Chung, C.K. (in press). Expressive writing and its links to mental and physical health. In H.S. Friedman (Ed.), Oxford handbook of health psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Owning your story: How writing helps veterans heal - Article in SOLDIERS

The Veterans Writing Project (VWP), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has several goals in mind – primarily, to help people involved with the military tell their stories by providing tools and advice to build a foundation for good writing.

A Soldier for 25 years, Ron Capps completed two tours in Afghanistan, and was later sent to Iraq as a Foreign Service officer (he has also served in Rwanda, Darfur and Kosovo). He was traumatized by the violence he encountered.
“(I) came very close to committing suicide – I was actually interrupted. I survived, obviously, and now I’m here. Writing helped me get control of my mind.”
Capps is a regular Time Magazine contributor, and has been a featured speaker on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” In 2008, he left government service and attended the graduate fiction and nonfiction writing programs at Johns Hopkins University, where he got the idea to start the project. More here and here.

WLA: War, Literature, and the Arts - A Journal

"From time immemorial, war and art have reflected one another, and it is this intersection of war and art that WLA seeks to illuminate. If it seems to fall to the historian to make distinctions among wars, each war’s larger means and ends, the trajectory for the artist, regardless of culture or time, seems to fall towards an individual’s disillusionment, the means and ends of war played out in the personal. For the individual soldier, the sweeping facts of history are accurately written not in the omniscient, third-person plural, but in the singular first. We live in a culture that values the individual. Our works of art about war mirror this welcome bias." More here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How to Heal a Moral Injury

Sometimes, the warrior whose finger pulls the trigger is wounded.  They don’t bleed. But they do hurt.

The concept is called “Moral Injury.” Thirty-nine-year-old Mark Jarrett lives it daily.

“I was well-trained, well prepared, to go and fight my nation’s battles. I did my job professionally," said Jarrett. "What I was not prepared to do, is what I did. Which is kill little children.  I did it for my country.  And absolutely I feel like I murdered people. That’s moral injury.”

Jarrett is one of more than a hundred who gathered at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta Friday for a one day conference called “The Warrior’s Journey: Exploring Ethics, Morality, and Healing in Military Service and War.”Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at Georgia State and Veterans Heart Georgia put on Friday’s symposium.    More on the symposium here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Field Guide to Veteran Writers

Say Homer, Hemingway, Whitman, and Bierce, and you've only begun to scratch the surface of great writing by veterans. A Field Guide to Veteran Writers is a blog dedicated to those known and less known, and names you might not have thought of as veterans--some gone from us and some just now on the rise. More here.

What is Catharsis?

Catharsis (Pronounce it  -  from the Greek κάθαρσις katharsis meaning "purification" or "cleansing") is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. (Wiki)

Calvet's catharsis: 
how painting saved this colourful artist's life
"Having lived an eventful life as a bent cop, underworld bodyguard, criminal fugitive, nightclub impresario and out-of-control drug addict, Calvet eventually hit rock bottom. He holed up alone for three months in his Nicaraguan villa with nothing but drugs (heroine, crack, alcohol, you name it) and paranoid delusions for company. But just when death was on the doorstep, a remarkable thing happened: Calvet discovered painting. Literally discovered it – in the form of some paint cans under the stairs, which he began cathartically flinging at the walls. 'All my hate came out,' he says. 'It was like I was vomiting non-stop … I saw what was disturbing me inside. In fact, no. I saw what was killing me.'" More here.

As a Literary Term

Catharsis is a metaphor originally used by Aristotle in the Poetics to describe the effects of tragedy on the spectator. 
“Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; . . . through pity [eleos] and fear [phobos] effecting the proper purgation [catharsis] of these emotions” (c. 350 BCE, Book 6.2).

The Psychoanalytic Use of Catharsis

A catharsis is an emotional release. According to psychoanalytic theory, this emotional release is linked to a need to release unconscious conflicts. For example, experiencing stress over a work-related situation may cause feelings of frustration and tension. Rather than vent these feelings inappropriately, the individual may instead release these feelings in another way, such as through physical activity or another stress relieving activity.


The act of writing is a kind of catharsis, a liberation, but I never really concerned myself with that. I write because it interests me. ~Nathalie Sarraute

I thought music could take you to a place where you didn't even feel ownership of it, you just felt lucky you were there. It's like church without God, or something. It's about feeling, hope and catharsis and things that are nurturing.  ~Wesley Schultz

My view of actors is that basically they're all harmless lunatics who'd be on the psychiatrist's couch, except that we get this sort of catharsis every six months or so, and we go and be absolutely someone else.
   ~Michael Caine

National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military

The National Initiative for Arts & Health in the Military was launched in January, 2012, following the success of the first National Summit: Arts in Healing for Warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) in October, 2011.

Hosted by Rear Admiral Alton L. Stocks, in partnership with a national planning group of military, government, and nonprofit leaders, the Summit marked the first time various branches of the military collaborated with civilian agencies on a national scale to discuss how engaging with the arts provide opportunities to meet the key health issues our military faces—from pre-deployment to deployment to homecoming. More here.