About the Workshop

Writing Through the Wounds of War offers soldiers, veterans, conscientious objectors, and their families the opportunity to explore the dimensions of healing and recovery made possible through writing poetry, fiction, and essay. Before writing together, we will read inspiring examples of writing from conscience and memory, in relation to war. We will consider writing as a possible intervention that interrupts the cycles of dissociation, suffering, intergenerational trauma, and other possible effects of war. We will also consider our own strategies for writing even when we’re feeling too pragmatically, creatively, intellectually, and emotionally burdened.

During this workshop, there is no pressure to share one’s own writing or to consider one’s self a ‘writer.’ Please join even if you just hope to be able to write someday, or if you find yourself wanting to better put your memories and reflections to paper, even in your private journals, but you’re needing some encouragement. Beginning and advanced writers of any age, race, gender, or sexuality are welcome to attend.

The workshop faciliatator

After writing with Maxine Hong Kingston’s veterans writing group since 2007, Julie Thi Underhill is offering the workshop Writing Through The Wounds of War on August 5th at the 2011 Veterans For Peace national convention in Portland, Oregon.

Born in 1976 in Missouri, Julie grew up in Texas and Oklahoma as the daughter of three veterans of the war in Viet Nam. Her mother was a Cham-French war widow whose first husband was an ARVN officer killed in action. Her father was an American civilian contractor aiding U.S. military efforts in South Viet Nam. And her stepfather was a combat helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army. Since 1999 she’s been grappling more directly with the inheritances of war, as an artist who continually returns to war and its aftermath. As Julie wrote in 2006, “I negotiated an inheritance of ghosts and regret, while living in a culture of theatrical cinema, hushed tones, and conspicuous silences about Viet Nam.”

Today Julie is a poet, essayist, photographer, filmmaker, and historian whose works have been included in Takin’ It to the Streets: A Sixties Reader (Oxford University Press, 2004), Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace (Koa Books, 2006), Embodying Asian/American Sexualities (Lexington Books, 2009), New America Media (2010), and Hayden’s Ferry Review (Arizona University Press, Spring/Summer 2011). She is a core member of Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network and a managing editor and frequent contributor for diaCRITICS. She is also a Chancellor’s Fellow and graduate student instructor at UC Berkeley, where she is earning her doctorate. She is a 2005-2006 recipient of the Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities from UMass-Boston’s William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences. She holds a BA in Liberal Arts from The Evergreen State College (2000) and a MA in Ethnic Studies (2009) from UC Berkeley.


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