Justin and Megan’s interview addresses the need for veteran literature and literary outreach in general, and, in insightful and revealing detail, they break down the process of creating and editing Incoming, both the book and the episodes of the radio show.
[W]e’d like to see the literary industry become much more populist in general, willing to invest more in developing voices and mentoring them rather than just waiting for finished novels and memoirs to show up at their door, because the majority of those come from people of privilege and education, which results in a monotone body of works available. If people aren’t reading enough, I believe it’s because they’re not seeing their lives reflected in the stories being shoved at them.
I believe the Incoming project—as much media as funding allows us to generate through it—is good for our democracy, to “bridge the gap” as the oft-used phrase goes, between the small minority that carries the burden for their entire country’s foreign policy, and the rest in order for them to understand the world they’re living in.
Read the rest here: http://wlajournal.com/wlaarchive/28/kahn.pdf
Thank you Megan and all at WLA. The issue of WLA Journal also features poetry, fiction, memoir, art, other interviews, critical essays, lectures, reviews, and more. And for you veteran writers out there, they accept submissions year round, so send them your work!
“What they have to say is often unbearable, sometimes hilarious, always compelling, and cinematic.” – Robin Young, NPR’s Here and Now.
The book that launched the public radio series is officially available! Featuring many of the contributors you’ve heard already, along with several you’ll hear when Incoming returns to the air this summer, Incoming: Veteran Writers on Returning Home is one of the most important new collections of modern war literature available. Featuring the true, poignant, funny, and brutally honest accounts by American veterans of their experience returning to civilian life, this collection stands as a beautiful piece of literature, an important historical document, and a powerful tool to help bridge the divide between civilians and their military.
Here’s how you can get your hands on it and help the project:
– Buy the book!
– On Goodreads: mark the book as to-read, and once you’ve read it, rate it!
– Like the Incoming Facebook page!
– Ask your friends to contribute to our fund to finish the Incoming Radio series!
– If you’re going to AWP LA this week: come visit So Say We All at table 438! We’ll have copies of the book (along with other titles from our catalogue in supply), the officers of the organization will be there to shake your hand, and a full handle of decent rye whiskey is under the table that we’ll be happy to tip back with you.
– If you work in education and you think this important book will serve your classroom, contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for the special education bulk rate, so we can get this title in your students’ hands as easily as possible.
Thank you all for being supporters of the written and spoken word, and helping So Say We All serve those who have served us all.
– Justin Hudnall, Executive Director
Benjamin Busch served 16 years as an infantry and light armored reconnaissance officer in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Iraq in 2003 and again in 2005 where he was wounded in the battle for Ramadi. He is the author of a memoir, Dust to Dust, and has published in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Five Points and Michigan Quarterly Review among others. He has been a contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered and The Daily Beast. He lives on a farm in Michigan.
Samuel Abel is a California native who served overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom as a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman. Until recently, he was living in San Diego at the ASPIRE Center, a long term residential treatment program for post-911 veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) run by the Veterans Administration. He is very new to writing, enjoys it very much and hopes to continue to use literature as a creative outlet to help in his treatment and recovery.
Rolf Yngve rose from seaman to captain during a thirty-five year active-duty career in the US Navy. A surface warfare officer, he commanded a destroyer, served as the US Defense Attaché to Rome, and deployed for naval operations at sea with eleven different ships and staffs. Rolf holds an MFA from Warren Wilson, was a 2012 MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a 2014 Bread Loaf Camargo Residency Fellow. He is the fiction editor for Shadowgraph Magazine and teaches resume writing to veterans in recovery at Veterans Village of San Diego. He lives in Coronado, California, with his spouse, Sharon Shelton, Captain, USN (retired).
Gill Sotu isn’t strictly a poet, a musician, a writer, a DJ or host, but strives to combine the artistic elements of himself as he strives to be an ever present forceful undercurrent of soulful, comedic, thought-provoking passion that engages and inspires his audiences throughout California. Gill is currently the host of Neo Soul Tuesday at the Onyx Room, Raw Artist Showcase at the House Of Blues, Train Of Thought Podcast & Radio Show on KNSJ 89.1, as well as being selected to be the first Artist in Residence for the Jacob’s Center For Neighborhood Innovation.
LCDR Liam Corley teaches American literature at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and his work on literature and war can be found in Chautauqua, College English, and War, Literature, and the Arts. LCDR Corley is currently on military leave to teach at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. Find him online at http://www.cpp.edu/~wccorley/
Adam Stone is a retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant with 20 years of service including multiple combat tours in the middle east. He is married with four kids, and at the time of writing his piece, a freshman at San Diego City College.
Brent Wingfield is a former U.S. Army Sergeant with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has always enjoyed writing, primarily as a means of coping, and he now spends his time pontificating about the eight years he spent in the Infantry. His favorite writers are Hemingway and Kafka. Brent enjoys long walks on the beach, craft beer, and belt-fed machine-guns.