Last week I presented twice at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Tampa, Florida. One presentation was part of a panel called Community Writing Programs for Veterans; my contribution was a discussion of the New York City writers’ collective Words After War. Two days later, I read a paper titled, “When the Veteran in the Class is the Teacher” as part of a panel on student-veterans.
This week, I read original fiction at Pete’s Candy Store, Brooklyn, NY, as part of their annual veterans reading night event. Also reading will be Teresa Fazio, Chris Wolfe, and Brandon Willitts, hosting will be Matt Gallagher.
My next stop is the American Comparative Literature Association conference in Seattle, where I will join a seminar titled, “What Does War Look Like? Visual Trauma and Representation.” My paper is called “Ariella Azoulay and the Photographic Situation of War in Iraq.”
Then on to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference, or “AWP” for short, in Minneapolis. I’m moderating a panel titled “Who Can’t Handle the Truth? Memoirs by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans” that features Ron Capps, Kayla Williams, and Colin D. Halloran. Capps is the author of Seriously Not All Right and the maestro of the Veterans Writing Project. Williams’ two memoirs are Love My Rifle More Than You and Plenty of Time When We Get Home. Halloran is the author of the poetry collection Shortly Thereafter and has a memoir and another volume of verse in the works.
Last stop is the American Literature Association conference in Boston. I’ll be on a panel called “The Politics of Contemporary War”; my paper will be on canon (not “cannon”!) formation within the contemporary war body of fiction and poetry. The panel will be moderated by Aaron DeRosa, and also presenting will be Stacey Peebles and Laura Clapper. DeRosa and Peebles are currently co-editing an upcoming issue of Contemporary Fiction Studies dedicated to 21st-century war fiction; Peebles is also the author of Welcome to the Suck: Narrating the American Soldier’s Experience in Iraq, the praises of which I’ve sung many times in Time Now.