Sierra Veteran Writers with Welcome Home Vets is offering a weekend residential retreat for 12 local war veterans by the South Yuba River. This retreat will provide a safe environment under the guidance of warrior poet, Brent MacKinnon. Brent is an author, a credentialed writing instructor, and a combat vet. He has worked with expressive writing in service to both veterans and civilians for many years.
Our writers retreat will provide a safe space for veterans to tell their own stories, using prompts and discussion covering a variety of military issues and civilian experiences. It is possible to communicate complex and often terrible experiences of war and shape them into powerful, truthful art especially when one is hesitant to talk in front of others. Expression is vital not only for an individual’s health but also for the health of the community. The content and arc of this work bridges the gap between soldiers’ and civilians’ understanding – by listening to and witnessing vets as they share their stories.
We will be self-publishing a chapbook, Sierra Veteran Voices, containing poetry and short stories from this retreat for our veterans to share with friends, family and our community. We are raising funds so that this retreat will be cost-free for our veterans. If you would like to donate, please see our gofundme page.
Special thanks to Jeffrey J. DaCosta who has given kind permission to use his evocative art.