Defending Your Voice: Teaching Soldiers How to Tell Their Stories
Downtown Bremerton Library, May 8th at 6:30pm
A discussion on helping veterans cope with trauma through writing and storytelling. Shawn Wong, author and University of Washington professor, speaks of his work with soldiers at JBLM and will talk about how our community can help soldiers tell their stories.
For the past year, author Shawn Wong, along with a team of teachers in the Red Badge Project, has been teaching veterans at Joint Base Lewis-McChord how to construct the stories of their lives in writing. Through the project, soldiers are able to translate and articulate their lives away from home, their experiences and their traumas to themselves, their families and a wider audience. Whether the narrative voice on the page is in the first person non-fiction voice of the soldier/writer or a surrogate fictional voice, the goal is the same – to be heard and understood. Wong will discuss what he has learned from this program and how communities and soldiers might learn to share, hear and understand the stories of our veterans. We will talk about how veterans’ stories can give us insight into the traumas of war.
About Shawn Wong:
Shawn Wong’s first novel, Homebase, won a Washington State Governor’s Writers Day Award and Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. His second novel, American Knees, was recently made into a film. Among Wong’s six other books is the landmark Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers, a collection largely credited as the first to showcase Asian-American literature. He was featured in the Bill Moyers documentary Becoming American: The Chinese Experience. Currently, Wong is a professor of English at the University of Washington where, for the last 28 years, he has taught courses in fiction writing, screenwriting, Asian American literature, Chinese-American history, plus courses in travel writing at the UW campus in Rome, Italy.