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The WWrite Blog

WWrite Weekend Update for June 11th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

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The Great War Theatre Project, Contemporary Veterans Respond to WWI Letters with David Chrisinger, and PTSD Awareness Month


wierbe1
This Week's Post:  This week's post, "A Journey of Commemoration: The Great War Through the Lens of Art," comes from Susan Werbe, the executive producer of the The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of Bitter Truth, performed in Boston, New York, and Letchworth (UK). Werbe discusses the process of weaving voice, dance, theatre, writings, and song cycles to examine the collective memory of war on the individual. She also talks about her latest project, Letters You Will Not Get, a libretto, using various genres of women's WWI writing, set to commissioned contemporary music. A wonderful showcase of an extraordinary, multidisciplinary project—not to miss! (photo above - a scene from The Great War Theatre Project)

Read more: WWrite Weekend Update for June 11th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

A Journey of Commemoration: The Great War through the Lens of Art, by Susan Werbe

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A Journey of Commemoration: The Great War through the Lens of Art

WWITheaterProject

Scenes from The Great War Theater Project performances.

In late June 2013, I stood on the banks of the SambreOise Canal in northern France.    The scene before my eyes was peaceful and bucolic.  It could easily have been 1913 instead of 100 years later.  A lone fisherman plied the waters of the canal; an elderly woman, dressed in black walked her dog.  I had come to this peaceful spot to remember the British war poet Wilfred Owen.  André – my guide, a former Belgian military officer steeped in the history of The Great War—showed me the exact spot where Owen had been killed on November 4, 1918, one week before the Armistice was declared.

My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.

(Wilfred Owen)

 

Read more: A Journey of Commemoration: The Great War through the Lens of Art, by Susan Werbe

Beyond Friend or Foe. World War I American Immigrant Poetry: A Digital Humanities Project, by Lorie A. Vanchena

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Germans emigrate 1874

Beyond Friend or Foe. World War I American Immigrant Poetry: A Digital Humanities Project

Lorie A. Vanchena organizes the WWI American Immigrant Poetry project at the University of Kansas. It aims to create a single source for storing poems by American immigrant voices—for or against the war—to shed light on the historical, national, and ethnic contexts in which the poems were written and to demonstrate that this poetry can help us understand  the way WWI continues to shape our world today. In this post, she discusses some of her findings. (photo above -"From the Old to the New World," showing German emigrants boarding a steamer in Hamburg, to New York. (Harper's Weekly, New York) November 7, 1874)

Read more: Beyond Friend or Foe. World War I American Immigrant Poetry: A Digital Humanities Project, by...

WWrite Weekend Update for May 28th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

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Seamus Heaney and Edward Thomas for Memorial Day, Censored Works by WWI Nurses, and Next Week's Post on WWI American Immigrant Poetry

The Last WWrite Featured Post:  The last post featured another installment in the series about WWI censored written works. Jennifer Orth-Veillon, the WWrite blog curator, discussed two censored works by Army nurses: Ellen N. La Motte's The Backwash of War (book cover image, left) and Mary Borden's The Forbidden Zone. If you have a censored literary work in mind, please email Jennifer Orth-Veillon at [email protected].

BackwashWarLaMotteNext Week's Post:University of Kansas Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures Associate Immigrantwriter 327133598Professor, Lorie A. Vanchena, will discuss  WWI American Immigrant Poetry: A Digital Humanities Project, an impressive and original project about WWI American poetry. Poems written in response to World War I by immigrants in the United States constitute a broad range of commentary on the war. The poems exist primarily in print format and are widely dispersed throughout North America.  (Photo, above right: The writer during the moment of creative inspiration, Eugene Ivanov | Shutterstock).

 Don't miss this original post!

Read more: WWrite Weekend Update for May 28th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

Censored WWI Works 2: Mary Borden's Forbidden Zone and Backwash of War by Ellen LaMotte

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Two WWI Nurses Writing From No-Man's-Land

"I have not invented anything in this book."
Mary Borden, The Forbidden Zone: An American Nurse at the Western Front (1917)

"War, superb as it is, is not necessarily a filtering process, by which men and nations may be purified. Well, there are many people to write you of the noble side, the heroic side, the exalted side. I must write you of what I have seen, the other side, the backwash.'"
Ellen Lamotte , The Backwash of War: The Human Wreckage of the Battlefield as Witnessed by An American Hospital Nurse:  (1916)

NursesGasMasksNurses in gas masks at the trenches, France, c. 1917 (U.S. postcard). From the archives of the National Library of Medicine, via Wikimedia Commons.

The first post in this series,, "Censored WWI Works" addressed Stanley Kubrick's film, Paths of Glory, and Gabriel Chevallier's novel, FearFrance censored both works decades after WWI because each seemingly portrayed the French military in a negative light. Today, they are considered among the best artistic representations of the war due to the realistic way they paint a gory, corrupt, and anti-triumphant picture of combat and trench warfare. 

Read more: Censored WWI Works 2: Mary Borden's Forbidden Zone and Backwash of War by Ellen LaMotte

WWrite Weekend Update for May 15th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

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Rich Bachus on Writing Fiction from a Family Archive, Praise for WWrite Bloggers' Forthcoming Book, It's My Country Too, the Mothers of WWI Soldiers, and Poetry in the Trenches

This Week's WWrite Featured Post:  This week's post features journalist, writer, and teacher, Rich Bachus. Bachus edits and curates the WWI bachus cvr final frontCentennial Commission blog, Trench Commander, which chronicles his family's military adventures and the ways in which they influenced his generation of Baby Boomers. For the WWrite Blog, Bachus discusses the complex process of writing his novel, Into No Man's Land, inspired by a family archival collection of letters and other artifacts dating from his grandfather's experience in WWI as a Trench Commander in France to the present. Check out Bachus' fascinating work in his interview with Chris Isleib, Director of Public Affairs, WWI Centennial Commission, Four Questions for Rich Bachus, "Bringing the War to Life Through the Details (both Great and Small) of One Soldier." (Bachus book cover, image right).

Read more: WWrite Weekend Update for May 15th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

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