WRITING MY WAY BACK HOME: A WORKSHOP FOR KANSAS CITY VETERANS GIVES VOICE TO THE MODERN MILITARY EXPERIENce 

 

The Writers Place, in conjunction with RezVets of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, presented Writing My Way Back Home, a weekend of free writing workshops for veterans and their families, from March 27-29, 2015. Held at the National World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial, the workshop was designed to help veterans gain the tools and confidence they need to tell their stories and document their wartime experiences. Countless studies have shown that writing can be therapeutic, aid self-reflection, and help people organize their experiences and gain power over traumatic events.

Writers who led this year's sessions were current Missouri poet laureate William Trowbridge, novelist Matthew Eck, writer and artist José Faus, poets Trish Reeves, Al Ortolani , and Andrés Rodriguez, playwright Frank Higgins, and essayist Emma Johnson.

The Writers Place and RezVets hosted the first Writing My Way Back Home seminar in April of 2014.  It was attended by more than two dozen military members, who learned writing techniques from some of the KC metro area’s leading literary figures.  Since then, many graduates of the workshop have been meeting on a monthly basis and continuing to hone their writing abilities. In May 2015, Writing My Way Back Home was honored to be invited back to the Liberty Memorial for a six-word memoir program to accompany the Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial exhibit. Over 70 moving and enlightening essays were collected.

Recent wars have created a new generation of soldiers with their own unique stories to tell.  We believe that many of this generation’s literary works of outstanding quality will likely be produced by veterans and their families, and deal with the wartime experience--perhaps in part as a result of workshops like this.  The Writers Place is proud to provide support, resources, guidance, and inspiration for our veterans and their families.

 

ABOUT THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION

The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection is located at 13720 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas.  It also has locations in Olathe, Blue Springs and downtown Kansas City.  Resurrection is the largest Methodist church in the country with over 18,000 members.  Additional information about the church is available at www.cor.org.

 ABOUT THE REZVETS

The RezVets is a ministry group in The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. Its mission is to help restore, reconcile and re-integrate veterans and their families to a holistic relationship within family and community including the community of faith.  Additional information about RezVets is available atwww.cor.org/veterans.