Weekly Round-Up: Summer’s End

Let us have peace

Welcome to the Words After War Weekly Round-Up: “Summer’s End” Edition. In this space we share links relevant to our mission of improving the military-civilian dialogue through high-quality literary programming.

And we are back. After taking some much-needed time away from the blog, we are now ready for the final weeks of summer and the beginning of the fall season of our literary programming, with such events as Brian Castner’s workshop in Buffalo, NY and Matt Gallagher’s workshop in Brooklyn, NY scheduled to begin in September. Despite being ‘offline’ for a bit, we didn’t take any time away from producing some really amazing literary events. As many of you probably saw through our social media channels, we partnered with Marlboro College to bring more than 20 writers up to Vermont for a week of writing workshops, literary seminars, readings, and author Q&A’s.

The Summer Writing Intensive was a major success, for sure. But we could not have accomplished such an amazing week without the tremendous support of the Marlboro staff and faculty, every single one of the participants, and the generous time and knowledge of our talented guest lecturers. To everyone who made this year’s Summer Writing Intensive possible: we extend our most sincere and humble, thank you.

This summer has brought a series of tragic events around the globe. Because we are living through such turbulent times, I often feel little in the way of certainty. The only thing I know for certain is this summer – unlike the many other summers I have known before it – has served as further evidence to the increased need for those who strive to make sense of all this madness. If this summer’s global tragedies have taught me anything it is that we must continue to write. We must continue to share our stories. We must continue to observe. We must continue to search for meaning within all of this madness. Perhaps, even more than all of that, we simply must continue.

Here we go.

  1. Considering recent events, I feel compelled to share a piece that was published in May’s Vanity Fair on the disappearances of Austin Tice and James Foley.
  2. Lea Carpenter has an excellent short story in The Daily Beast, which is both magnificently structured and an intimate exploration of the untold consequences of love during wartime.
  3. For The New York Times, Rivka Galchen and Zoe Heller weigh in the somewhat exhausted debate of whether or not writing can be taught. And on the opposite side, maybe even an often-neglected side of that tired argument, writer Nick Ripatrazone published a timely article in The Millions on the need for teaching the business side of creative writing.
  4. Elliot Ackerman explained to NPR what being a man means to him: It’s protecting what you love, even though that notion is often at odds with the work of being a servicemember.
  5. For Vanity Fair, a combat veteran examines the dramatic events that took place in Ferguson, MO.
  6. Michael Pitre’s debut novel, Fives and Twenty-Fives, received a rather positive review this weekend in The New York Times. Well worth the read.
  7. For The Washington Post, Matt Gallagher reviewed Robert Timberg’s Blue-Eyed Boy: A Memoir.

Have a great week.

–Brandon

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