R235. Humanizing “the Enemy”: Veterans Share Poetry of Reconciliation

Grand Salon D, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Thursday, March 8, 2018
3:00 pm to 4:15 pm


Veterans and service members have received a lot of attention over the past decade, with politicians and media focusing on themes of sacrifice, heroism, and trauma. But what about those countries attacked and occupied by the US? Inspired by the work of Maxine Hong Kingston, Warrior Writers and others representing the Veteran Art Movement will read original poetry of reconciliation and cross-cultural understanding, turning the focus towards Iraqis, Afghans, and others affected by US militarism.


Kevin Basl is a writing facilitator for Warrior Writers, and a papermaking and printmaking instructor for Combat Paper NJ and Frontline Arts. He earned an MFA in fiction from Temple University, where he has taught writing, and he also holds degrees in literature and philosophy.

Toni Topps is a poet, community builder, and motivational speaker. As a community builder with Warrior Writers, she is committed in changing the narrative of disabled veterans around the world and their lack of inclusion back into society. Dedicated to helping through safe creative outlets, she is a teaching artist.

Anthony Torres served in the US Army from 1999–2006, which included a yearlong deployment to Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq. He is executive director of Combat Hippies, a veteran performance group based out of Miami, Florida. He received a master’s degree in social work from Barry University in 2016.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside