National Endowment for the Arts Hosts Operation Homecoming Writing Workshops At Camp Pendleton, Feb. 24-25
Author/veteran Tobias Wolff and military historian Victor Davis Hanson encourage troops to share their wartime experiences at writing workshops
February 1, 2005
Washington, D.C. - The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the United States Marine Corps, will host writing workshops and discussions for military personnel and their families at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, on February 24 and 25. The workshops are part of the NEA's Operation Homecoming, a unique program that documents and preserves the wartime experiences of men and women in uniform and their families. Since April 2004, Operation Homecoming has brought writing workshops with distinguished authors to military bases nationwide and abroad.
Two noted writers will conduct the writing workshops at Camp Pendleton: Tobias Wolff and Victor Davis Hanson. Tobias Wolff is the author of two memoirs. This Boy’s Life (1989), which chronicles Wolff's difficult childhood, won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and was adapted into a motion picture featuring Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Ellen Barkin. His second memoir, In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost War (1994), is an unflinching account of his military service from 1964-1968, including a tour in Vietnam. Wolff's short story collections include The Night in Question (1996) and Barracks Thief (1984), which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. His latest novel, Old School (2003), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction. Wolff is the recipient of two Literature Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Whiting Writers Award. He is the Woods Professor of English and Creative Writing at Stanford University.
Publisher’s Weekly described Victor Davis Hanson as the potential heir to Stephen Ambrose as "America's laureate of military history." Hanson has written extensively on ancient Greek military history and modern warfare. His books include The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny (1999), The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece (2000), An Autumn of War: What America Learned from September 11 and the War on Terrorism (2002), and Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the Past Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think (2003). He has written for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and writes regular columns for the National Review Online. In 2002, Hanson served as Visiting Professor of Military History at the United States Naval Academy. He has been a professor at California State University, Fresno since 1985, where he initiated its Classics Program.
"For the men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, these workshops will be an invaluable opportunity," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. "Guided by talented writers, they will have the opportunity to reflect, learn, and write about their experiences."
Operation Homecoming is presented in coordination with the Department of Defense and the Southern Arts Federation. Operation Homecoming is made possible by The Boeing Company.
Camp Pendleton hosts workshops and reception
A welcome reception featuring remarks by both authors will be held on Thursday, February 24, from 6:00-8:00 pm at the San Luis Rey Officer’s Club, Building 1795, MCB Camp Pendleton. Victor Davis Hanson will lead the first writing workshop on Friday, February 25 from 9:30-11:00 am at the Paige Fieldhouse, Building 1110. Tobias Wolff’s workshop also will be held at the Paige Fieldhouse, Building 1110, Friday, February 25 from 1:30-3:00 pm.
The writing workshops and reception are open to military personnel who served after September 11, 2001, retired veterans, reservists, and members of the National Guard as well as their immediate adult family. MCB Camp Pendleton will admit active-duty and retired military personnel and guests as capacity allows.
Personnel and guests who would like to attend the workshops and opening reception must complete a registration form; call 760-725-6590 to register or obtain more information. The registration deadline is Friday, February 18. Media that wish to attend must RSVP directly with MCB Camp Pendleton Public Affairs Office; contact Deputy Director Major R. T. Player at 760-725-5011.
Military personnel and family members who want to learn more about wartime literature can obtain the Operation Homecoming audio CD. The CD features recordings of war letters, poems, fiction and memoirs from the Civil War to the Vietnam War. Copies of the Operation Homecoming CD can be ordered free of charge through the NEA Publications section at www.arts.gov. Audio clips are also available at www.operationhomecoming.org.
Call for submissions
In addition to workshops and educational resources, the NEA has issued an open call for submissions from military personnel, reservists, National Guard members, and Coalition Authority members who served after September 11, 2001, as well as their immediate families. Items may include essays, letters, short stories, poems, and other writings related to recent military service. All submissions will be preserved in an appropriate federal archive, and an Operation Homecoming anthology will feature the best writings submitted to the program. The anthology will be distributed free of charge to military installations, schools, and libraries. Submissions will be accepted through March 31, 2005. To learn more about Operation Homecoming submission guidelines, visit www.operationhomecoming.org.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency