R206. You Can’t Go Home Again: Post-Iraq Assimilation, Trauma, and Narrative Art

Room 609, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6
Thursday, February 27, 2014
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm


How does one write in the long shadow of the Iraq War? While the war is now largely elided in the popular consciousness, a new American postwar fiction and nonfiction is surfacing. Three author-veterans of Iraq and two civilians take up the issues of writing about PTSD, Iraq’s effect on contemporary narrative, and the intersection of national memory and creative work, as well as the struggles, advantages, and best practices of writing about the war as a civilian, or as a Veteran.



Arna Bontemps Hemenway is the author of Elegy on Kinderklavier. His fiction has appeared in A Public Space, Ecotone, AQR, FiveChapters, and the Missouri Review. He is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Baylor University.

Roy Scranton's work has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review, New Letters, LIT, and Theory & Event. He is co-editor of Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. He holds an MA from the New School for Social Research and is earning a PhD in English at Princeton.

David J. Morris is a former Marine and author of Storm on the Horizon, an account of the Gulf War battle of Khafji. His war reportage has appeared in Salon, Slate, VQR, and the Best American Nonrequired Reading series. His biography of PTSD, titled The Evil Hours will be released in fall 2014.

Phil Klay served in the United States Marine Corps and was deployed to Iraq in 2007. He is the author of the forthcoming short story collection, Redeployment, and is a contributor to Fire and Forget: Short Stories From the Long War. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, and Tin House.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Washington State Convention Center