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Free Veterans Writing Workshops Memorial Day Weekend at SteelStacks

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Sessions culminate with public performance May 26

BETHLEHEM, PA–In honor of Memorial Day, veterans and their family members are invited to participate in empowering workshops designed to build comradery, provide strength and offer catharsis by discussing war and home front experiences through the written word. The free writing workshops – one for veterans and another for their families – are led by Iraq Veteran Jenny Pacanowski and Vietnam Veteran Jan Barry Sat., May 26 2-4 p.m., in the ArtsQuest Center’s Fowler Blast Furnace Room.

The workshops, presented by Female Veterans Empowered to Transition, Warrior Writers New Jersey, One Fight Foundation and ArtsQuest, are limited to 12 participants each. To reserve a spot, please contact Jenny Pacanowski at fvetinfo@gmail.com. No previous writing experience is necessary.

Following the workshops, the community is invited to attend a reading at 5:30 p.m. and hear the servicemen and women as they speak and make a tribute to those they have lost. Pacanowski will curate the spoken word performance, which includes a collaboration of professional veteran performers and workshop participants.

“In these workshops we recreate ‘warrior culture,’ which meant returning home and sharing stories,” says Pacanowski, a resident of Bethlehem. “As veterans, we always hear ‘Thank you for your service’ and ‘Support the Troops.’ We want to teach people that supporting also means listening.”

Pacanowski is a poet, combat veteran, public speaker and writing workshop facilitator who has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times and Humans of New York. She facilitates writing and performance workshops for veterans and their family members and has founded two projects – FVET: Female Veterans Empowered to Transition and Writing For You: Camaraderie, Creativity and Community.

Barry is an award-winning journalist and poet whose books include “Life After War & Other Poems” and “Winning Hearts & Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans.” A U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam, his poetry presentations range from New York theaters to high school classes. A resident of Teaneck, N.J., he facilitates Warrior Writers workshops for veterans and family members in the New Jersey-New York area.

The ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks is located at 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem. For more information on these workshops and other Memorial Day programs at SteelStacks, please visit www.steelstacks.org.