Author Sean Brown shares his experience writing as a military veteran and teaching veteran writing workshops. Not only can writing be a great way to help cope with PTSD, but it can be a way to form a community (around writing – such as with writers groups).
Check out their publication, Veterans in War, Veterans in Peace.
Starting Your Own Veteran Writers Group.
Sean shared information about this great resource, “How to Build Your Own Veteran Writers Group.” Pretty self-explanatory title – awesome content.
Who is Sean Brown?
Currently, I am an active member of Maxine Hong Kingston’s Veterans Writing Workshop. “Art,” says Maxine Hong Kingston, “is the transformation of feelings and experience into meaning. Writing is a tool for accessing events and memories and giving them meaning …we have lived with war experiences in our hearts. Now we can put them through the process of art. Now is the time for the healing and the coming home.”
Maxine Hong Kingston and the other veterans of our workshop gave me the strength to stop running and begin healing. I found other veterans and people who understood the horrible tragedy and grief that war causes. I know now, as many veterans have learned, that I will never be fully whole until I revisit Iraq and make peace with the people I once falsely believed were my enemies. I long for that day.
Philosophy Much of my writing is evidence of my distrust and disbelief in war as an option, as well as expressions of my personal experiences during and after the Gulf War.
Awards I am the recipient of the 2006 Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Barbara Mandigo Peace Poetry Prize First Place. I was formerly the Poetry Editor and Managing Editor for Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review. I am a two-time winner of the Mark Linenthal Poetry Award and a Finalist in the Ann Fields Poetry Prize.
Publications My poetry and fiction has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, EM, Big Ugly Review, First Intensity, Fourteen Hills, Indiana Review, LUNA, Sentence, Transfer, Paragraph, Parthenon West, Potpourri, Sleeping Fish, Small Town, and Mobius magazines. My work is anthologized in My America, Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, by Koa Books, and in [Firewheel Editions], An Introduction to the Prose Poem and in the companion anthology 100 Contemporary Prose Poems published in China. The Chinese version will be co-published by an educational publisher for use in teaching English in the classroom.
And here’s a link to the ebook also, Military Veterans in Creative Careers! 100% of the proceeds are used to support this podcast.