For the past year, author Shawn Wong, along with a team of teachers in the Red Badge Project, has been teaching veterans at Joint Base Lewis-McChord how to construct the stories of their lives in writing. Through the project, soldiers are able to translate and articulate their lives away from home, their experiences and their traumas to themselves, their families and a wider audience. Whether the narrative voice on the page is in the first person non-fiction voice of the soldier/writer or a surrogate fictional voice, the goal is the same – to be heard and understood. Wong will discuss what he has learned from this program and how communities and soldiers might learn to share, hear and understand the stories of our veterans. We will talk about how veterans’ stories can give us insight into the traumas of war.
About Shawn Wong. Shawn Wong’s first novel, "Homebase," won a Washington State Governor’s Writers Day Award and Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award. His second novel, "American Knees," was recently made into a film. Among Wong’s six other books is the landmark "Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers," a collection largely credited as the first to showcase Asian-American literature. He was featured in the Bill Moyers documentary "Becoming American: The Chinese Experience." Currently, Wong is a professor of English at the University of Washington where, for the last 28 years, he has taught courses in fiction writing, screenwriting, Asian American literature, Chinese-American history, plus courses in travel writing at the UW campus in Rome, Italy. Wong currently lives in Seattle and Pacific County.
Funded project of Humanities Washington. Humanities Washington is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.