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Showing posts from July, 2022

Poet-Veteran to Bear Witness to War & Homecoming: November 2022

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In an explosive first collection of poetry , HEAT + PRESSURE , U.S. Army veteran and Tennessee storyteller Ben Weakley explores what it means to have gone to war . In 2018, as he was retiring from the Army, Weakley began participating in writing workshops with Rockville, Maryland-based Community Building Art Works (CBAW) . The practice sparked in him a passion for creating opportunities for dialogue among “civilians” and “military” audiences through writing and literature. “I wrote these poems on phone screens in the back of commuter buses and metro trains. I wrote them in notebooks on lunch breaks at work and quiet Sunday mornings before the rest of my family was awake,” the poet writes. “At first, I wrote about combat, acts of war, and unprocessed violence. As I pushed myself further, I wanted to know more about why I had decided to go to war [...] I wanted to know what it meant for my life now. The words happened. I bore witness . ” Weakley now enjoys creating spaces for people

October 2022: Michigan Poet-Veteran Explores Human Terrain of Post-War Trauma

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A prolific creator of books and anthologies centered on Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, Ron Riekki now delivers an insightful, poetic exploration of wartime trauma and healing .  Riekki is an author of poetry, fiction, memoir, theater, and film . He is also an Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm veteran of the U.S. Navy, as well as the U.S. Air Force Reserve.  “With gusty cuts and scalpel grace, Ron Riekki is clear-eyed and unsentimental as he navigates his own human terrain back from war and other traumas. Military veterans and families of all eras will appreciate how Riekki lights his way —his waypoints may differ from yours, but our journeys are often the same,” says Randy Brown, editor and publisher of Middle West Press. In 2019, Riekki authored My Ancestors are Reindeer Herders and I Am Melting In Extinction , a collection of non-fiction, short stories, and poetry about the Karelian- and S├ími-American experience. He also wrote Posttraumatic: A Memoir . His 2008 novel