Michael Heaney – an acquaintance, turned SPI recording subject (Surviving Operation Crazy Horse) turned friend – and I will be co-leading a continuing education course in 2013 titled Finding Your Voice / The Creative Response to Trauma. The course will be offered through the Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth (ILEAD).
This course is for those either already involved in some aspect of preserving their personal history or who have a keen interest in memoir writing. It is designed to guide class members through some of the stumbling blocks relative to writing about difficult life experiences, with a particular emphasis on writing about war or other traumatic experiences.
Writing is a way to gain perspective and make sense out of life events that are otherwise hard to come to terms with and/or to communicate. By reading and discussing the works of those who have attempted to navigate their way through trauma via the written word, you’ll find ways to effectively and honestly communicate events that have had a profound effect on your life and played a key role in shaping who you are. Class members will be asked to share their writing. This is, by design, a small class and one in which all voices will be honored as each person finds his or her path to either starting or completing their personal narrative.
Michael Heaney, my co-leader, received his BA from Middlebury College, JD from Harvard Law School, and in 2008 his Ph.D. in History from Rutgers University. He practiced law for many years, then taught college for 10 years, focusing on law and war-related topics. He served for 15 years as a seasonal Outward Bound instructor in Maine, and is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. He is writing a war memoir and working on a scholarly study of the post-war lives of Civil War veterans.
The class will be offered in March 2013.