Friday, March 17, 2023
10:00 AM-12:00 PM Workshop with Jenny Pacanowski for students and the general public (in person)
This workshop was initially designed as reintegration programming for military veterans to facilitate skills to thrive in daily life and empower all of the different experiences in life. Throughout the years we have discovered that the empowerment and writing model we developed can help anyone improve their life, writing and storytelling skills. Do you want to speak your truth and be heard? Join the empowerment workshop and train your brain to succeed and THRIVE.
1:30-3:30 PM Workshop with Jenny Pacanowski for veterans only (hybrid event)
All veterans are welcome regardless of discharge status or time in service for this empowerment workshop! Learn skills to ignite your writing and speak your truth! This workshop was designed as reintegration programming for military veterans to facilitate skills to thrive in daily life and empower all of the different experiences in life. The empowerment and writing model we developed can help anyone improve their life, writing and storytelling skills. Do you want to speak your truth and be heard? Join the empowerment workshop and train your brain to succeed and THRIVE.
4:00-5:30 PM Roundtable and Q&A (hybrid event)
Eric Fair, an Army veteran, who worked in Iraq as a contract interrogator in 2004 and won a Pushcart prize for his 2012 essay "Consequence," will lead a roundtable discussion that will explore the silence that persists between returning veterans and civilians and how we can work together to bridge the gap. Roundtable panelists will include Chad Frame, the author of Little Black Book (2022, Finishing Line Press), nominated for the Lambda Literary Award; Marilyn Kelly-Cavotta, the Executive Director of Veteran & Military Services at Moravian University; and Carole Reese, the former chief research officer and director of special projects at Moravian, as well as the wife of an Army National Guardsman and a veterans advocate.
7:00-8:30 PM Keynote Reading Talk with Matt Gallagher (hybrid event)
After the Forever War and the Search for Peace: Why America Needs War Literature
Two decades of war in Afghanistan and Iraq formed a new generation of American military veteran. Those who returned home came back with experiences that were tragic, or brutal, or funny, or harrowing, or all of those at once. For many years, storytelling and literature proved effective, if complicated, ways to bridge the divide between Americans at war and the America in peace.
Now what? The so-called “Forever War” may’ve ended, but war itself continues to rage across the globe. What role can writing about armed conflict, directly or otherwise, play in a world on fire? Why do ongoing foreign wars matter to 21st-century American life? Novelist and Iraq war veteran Matt Gallagher will explore these issues, making the case that modern citizens and thinkers need the messy grayness found in literature now more than ever.
Saturday, March 18
9:30-11:00 AM Workshop with Matt Gallagher (in person)
Imagination and History
“The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.” Putting E.L. Doctorow's famous words to practice, this workshop will examine how creative work interacts with historical moments, large and small, and how that work can augment or even subvert the hard, factual record. Attendees will examine works set in the midst of change, progress and upheaval. How does time and perspective influence this literature? What makes certain works stand that test of time, while others fail it? How do writers place the interiority of individual experience within societal and cultural history? This workshop will explore those questions and more, with a focus on storytelling and generating new creative work by attendees.
A few samples of readings will be sent for completion before workshop.
11:30AM - 12:30PM Lunch and Open Mic - Details to come
1:00-3:00PM Workshop with Andria Williams for students and the general public with emphasis on military spouses and families (virtual)
Across All Lines: Military Spouses Write
In this workshop, we will read several poems and discuss what it means to be a military spouse who writes or makes art, and how we can use our experience to make art not only for other military spouses, but for anyone concerned with issues of time and distance, danger and worry. We will have a generative portion of the class to free-write and share, if desired. This is an open space for any military spouse who wants to write about their experience in a meaningful and artful way.
1:00-3:00 PM Workshop and Reading with Steve Nolan (in person)
Voices of War
Steve Nolan will be running a workshop on the topic of trauma, post trauma, resiliency and reintegration. He will use poetry and discuss how poetry and journaling can be agents of change and recovery. He welcomes audience feedback and participation (civilian, veteran, and/or combat veterans) to further understanding of this vital topic. Processing trauma and grief is a universal human experience but does not manifest the same for all people. Religious, gender, cultural and family differences all contribute to a variety of ways we handle pain. There is not a right or a wrong way to grieve, process loss and trauma. Voices of war, like voices of abuse, separation, injury and loss, are not expected to be identical. Even medical and mental health treatment for trauma and post-traumatic-stress vary significantly. We will examine that and how the creative process has and continues to aid in recovery.
3:15-4:00 PM Guided Meditation with Professor Francesco Bellini (hybrid event)
Dr. Bellini will lead the participants in two mindfulness/meditation practices.
Donations support Moravian's Writers' Conference and/or Veteran and Military Affairs.
Moravian University welcomes and encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Campus Police at 610-861-1421.