The Veterans Writing Workshop has been held at Fordham’s Westchester campus since 2010 and later expanded to the Lincoln Center campus. The workshops are held three times per year at both campuses and culminate in a reading of their work. This year’s reading was held at Lincoln Center on Feb. 15, celebrating their fourth annual anthology.
Veterans meet weekly to learn about and practice the craft of writing and to receive feedback and support from their peers. The workshop is “intensive and creative,” said founder and instructor David Surface, and functions primarily as a writing class rather than as a support group or a therapy session. Even so, it’s difficult to separate the therapeutic value of such a group from its artistic value.
“Writing can be healing,” Surface said. “When you write about your experiences, particularly in a serious, intensive, craft-based way, there’s something that happens that doesn’t happen in a therapy session or support group. It has to do with taking mastery of your experience, or taking control of your experience in a way.” This year’s publication features the work of three female veterans, said Surface.