Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the Cold War era gathered at Fairfield University Monday night, November 11, to read from their creative writing.
After the readings, the veterans participated in a panel discussion about the therapeutic value of writing. Three of the veterans served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Colin D. Halloran is a U.S. Army combat veteran who served in Afghanistan and is the author of the award-winning memoir-in-verse Shortly Thereafter. He read from the book Monday night.
“The only way to determine the pain and suffering experienced in the wars is to ask the people who’ve actually been there.”
Colin D. Halloran
Lauren Kay Halloran is a U.S. Air Force veteran who has been published in Glamour magazine and in Fairfield’s online literary journal, Mason’s Road. She read from her non-fiction essay.
A former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps read from a fiction novel she’s working on. Mariette Kalinowski is a combat veteran who was deployed twice to Iraq. She often focuses on the experiences of women in combat roles, is a regular contributor to The New York Times Opinionator, and was included in the veterans’ anthology, Fire and Forget.
U.S. Air Force veteran Joe Carvalko rounded out the panel. On Veteran’s Day, he shared an essay he read in Milford. He’s best known for his recent book, We Were Beautiful Once: Chapters from a Cold War.
The panel discussion also included David Eisler, a U.S. Army veteran. Eisler is a policy-writing fellow at Words After War, a New York City-based nonprofit dedicated to building a community of thoughtful, engaged veteran writers through high-quality literary programming.