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The Enemy, Allied Memorials, Native Americans, Colonial Soldiers, New WWI Art, Music, Poetry, and Fiction, and Scholarship and Teaching: Part 5 of Not One, But Two Years of WWrite in Review! January 2017 - January 2019.


Belgian artinstallations"ComingWorldRememberMe" Ypres art installation by Koen Vanmechelen. 600,000 miniature clay sculptures represent a figure mourning WWI bearing the name of a dead soldier. Image credit: DW


The last installment of the WWrite 2-Year Review! Since January 2017, WWrite has published a diversity of voices and stories from past and present. This week, part 5 takes a look at the following categories: The Enemy; Allied Memorials; Native Americans; Colonial Soldiers; New WWI Art, Music, Poetry, and Fiction; Scholarship and Teaching. Read the fascinating ways international writers, scholars, and artists have commemorated the centennial at WWrite this week!

The Enemy


Elliot Ackerman “Ernst Junger: The Modern War Story”


In an interesting flip for convention, this post steps out of the current narrative in war literature to explore our culture's allure not to peace but to violence. Rather than glorifying war, recent memoirs and books have concentrated on its debilitating and destructive effect on the returning soldier. In this post, award-winning veteran writer, Elliot Ackerman, gives us his take on ErnstJünger's seminal war memoir, Storm of Steel, and the ways in which it assigns a redeeming quality to combat violence. 


Christian Carion “The Film, Joyeux Noel: A Place of Memory”


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Winter 1914. WWI’s first major battles have stagnated in the trenches. In an icy field in the North of France, French, Scots, and Germans spy on each other until Christmas Eve when the nostalgic song of bagpipes escapes from the underground while the sound of a Berlin tenor’s Lied rises and spreads in the night. Soon the two melodies harmonize, and the soldiers from all sides emerge from the trenches and meet each other in No Man’s Land. Strategic enemies become war brothers. Christian Carion, captures this battlefield miracle in his 2005 film, Joyeux Noël, now a WWI classic. 


David Eisler Heroes’ Grove: Remembering and Forgetting the Great War in Germany



After war, how does a country commemorate its soldiers in the shadow of defeat and shame?  David Eisler explores the question at WWrite by analyzing the evolution of a war cemetery in Germany’s Rhein-Neckar Valley. Eisler, a U.S. Army veteran whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, War on the Rocks, The Daily Beast, Collier’s Magazine, Military Review, Drunken Boat, and the anthology of short fiction, The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War, is a PhD candidate at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies in Heidelberg, Germany. His doctoral dissertation focuses on the relationship between American civil-military relations and contemporary war fiction from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. Read this eloquent, perceptive post about remembering and forgetting Germany's WWI dead.


Ruth Edgett The Enemy You Killed


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What happens when a past enemy has become a modern ally?  Last week on WWrite, David Eisler contributed a post about WWI memorials in Germany. Ruth Edgett gives another perspective on German mourning as she takes us to a German cemetery in France near Vimy Ridge where her Canadian grandfather fought with the Allies in 1917. In this post, Edgett provides a non-fiction behind-the-scenes look at her short story inspired by her grandfather's experience, "Hill 145," which won the 2017 Consequence Magazine "Women Writing War" Prize in Fiction and was featured at WWrite this June. Read "The Enemy You Killed," a moving post about Germany's place among the Allied war dead.


Mark Facknitz “From Tsingtau – Remembering and Forgetting: Some Photographs From a Small Corner of the Great War”


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Think Tsingtao is just a tasty Chinese beer? Think again! Learn about the Siege of Tsingtao/Tsingtau with this week's blog post, which features James Madison University Roop Distinguished Professor of English, Member, Historical Advisory Board of the World War I Centennial Commission, WWI scholar, and writer, Mark Facknitz, who helps broaden our perspective with an impressive photo essay about his German grandfather's internment in a Japanese prisoner of war camp from 1914-1919. The post displays, for the first time, rare photos from the Eastern front and the Siege of Tsingtao/Tsingtau. A disarming tale from a small corner of the Great War.


Patricia Hammond “Soon, All Too Soon: British Musicians Bring Life and Melody to Exhumed Body of WWI German Soldier Ernst Brockman”



When British musicians Patricia Hammond and Matt Redman found and performed German sheet music written by a soldier killed in Verdun, they had no idea the song, "Soon, Too Soon," would also lead to the discovery of the composer's body, which had been buried in an unmarked grave in France's Meuse-Argonne region. Read about the captivating hunt for a man behind a melody in this blog post!


Connie Ruzich In a Lonely Forest: Josef Rust Found
Connie Ruzich Uncovers Lyricist for Ernst Brockman's "Soon, All Too Soon"



WWICC and WWrite have shared Patricia Hammond’s story of the haunting WWI song, "Soon, all too soon," by Ernst Brockman and the search that led to the identification of the forgotten composer’s body.  But what of the song’s lyricist, Josef Rust? In this post,"In a Lonely Forest,' amateur detective and WWI poetry expert, Connie Ruzich, talks about her quest to find Rust, a journey that led her to uncover another great WWI writer. 


Benjamin Sonnenberg “August 8th: The Short Story Behind a Photo”


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This post gets inside the mind of the enemy.  Benjamin Sonnenberg writes from the point of view of two of the most important WWI German Generals—Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff— who commiserate over a failed military operation. The story's inspiration? The photo to the left.


Lorie Vanchena “Beyond Friend or Foe: WWI Immigrant Poetry, a Digital Humanities Project”


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University of Kansas Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures Associate Professor, Lorie A. Vanchena, discusses  WWI American Immigrant Poetry: A Digital Humanities Project, an impressive and original project about WWI American poetry. The poems are written in response to World War I by immigrants in the United States and constitute a broad range of commentary on the war—for, against, and much more.


Allied Memorials


Sarah Biegelsen “Forgetting to Remember: Making America’s Great War Monumental Again”


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The ground breaks. As the new WWI Memorial materializes in D.C., it's fascinating to take a look at other war memorials and the narrative of their construction. Reading the "story" of the ways memorials are conceived plays an important role in the understanding of public, cultural memory. Delve into the subject this week with WWrite's blog post,"Forgetting to Remember: MakingAmerica's Great War Monumental Again," by WW1CC intern, Sarah Biegelsen. Don't miss this fascinating tour of some of America's interesting WWI monuments...and their stories.


Benjamin Busch “A US Marine Discovers British WWI Military Cemetery During Iraq War” and “A British Cemetery Revisited 10 Years After Serving in Iraq War”



Actor, writer, filmmaker, and photographer Benjamin Busch was a Marine who led a Light Armored Reconnaissance unit during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and operated around the city of Kut. The posts come from his memoir, Dust to Dust, and an article that appeared in Harper ’s in which he notes the last surviving evidence of WWI in the region of Kut—a British war cemetery.


Mark Facknitz "Blessed are they that have the home longing": St. Michael, Pershing, Spiritualism, and Capt. Walker Beale."



The impeccable St. Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial in Thiaucourt, France is a solemn yet majestic tribute to the 4,153 military dead who perished in the St. Mihiel offensive in September1918. However, just after the war, to impose a message of victory and order on a landscape that had borne so much disruption and carnage was a formidable undertaking. This week at WWrite, Mark Facknitz, member of the Historical Advisory Board of the WWICC, tells the complicated story of the cemetery's conception and the various narratives the St. Mihiel memorial offered those who came to grieve their war dead. Read " "Blessed are they that have the home longing": St. Mihiel, Pershing, Spiritualism, and Capt. Walker Beale." as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of one of American's largest battles in military history.


Eric Chandler Accidental Tourism and War Memorials



As a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, writer EricChandler discusses the voyage he's taken (mostly on foot!) to grasp the lasting impact of WWI. In this week's WWrite post, "Accidental Tourism and War Memorials," Chandler, author of Hugging This RockOutside Duluth, and Down In Itbrings us along with him as he jogs through major American and Canadian cities searching for traces of WWI amidst other war memorials Read this compelling post about Chandler's awakening to the presence of World War I history in our daily lives.


Native American Soldiers


Alan Leventhal Writing the Story of California's Muwekma Ohlone Indian Tribe in WWI


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In 1925, the Muwekma Ohlone Indians were erroneously declared extinct in California. Ethnohistorian AlanLeventhal has dedicated his life and career to correct this mistake. Don't miss WWrite's look at his work on writing and telling the story of Muwekma Ohlone WWI veterans, who have proved that they have never stopped living...or fighting.


Chag Lowry “Native Americans: Soldiers Unknown”


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Chag Lowry wants us to feel the experience of Native Americans in WWI. This week's WWrite blog comes from his project working to release these lost voices. Conscripted from their tribal home in Northern California by a country they barely knew - to serve in a war they could hardly call their own - young Yurok men nevertheless demonstrated immense courage and humanity on the battlefields of France in WWI. In his post, Lowry talks about his forthcoming graphic novel, Soldiers Unknown,which reveals the untold story of the native Yurok men who fought and died for the US in 1914-1918. 


Colonial Soldiers


Stéphanie Trouillard WWI Soldiers From the French Colonies: "They took part in the history of France"
A Webdocumentary Gives Voice to the Forgotten on the French Riviera



An American snapshot of the French Riviera post-WWI: the sparkling turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the dry perfume of parasol pines, chilled white wine, the Lost Generation, jazz... Few know the famous "Côte d'Azur" was also the place where thousands of soldiers from French colonies –Senegal, Indochina, Madagascar–died in military hospitals from their battle wounds. French journalist, Stéphanie Trouillard, returns to WWrite to write about her webdocumentary on the memorial and cemetery built in their honor.


Andria Williams Black Poppies: Writing About Britain’s Black Servicemen


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"The First World War is usually viewed as a predominantly white conflict," writes historian Stephen Bourne in his book Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War. Writer Andria Williams found this to be true as she began research for her next novel featuring a WWI black British soldier. At WWrite, Williams shares her exploration into this little-known aspect of WWI history that she aims to bring to light in her fictional work. A military spouse, Williams is the author of The Longest Night, a scintillating debut novel about a young couple whose marriage is tested when they move to an army base rife with love triangles, life-or-death conflicts, and a dramatic cover-up. Read this unique post about navigating between historical facts and the creative craft of writing fiction.


New WWI Art, Poetry, Music, and Fiction


Donald Anderson How Do Wars Begin?



A WWrite Blog exclusive!  WWrite asked DonaldAnderson, Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at the United States Airforce Academy, to write a post about WWI for the blog. Anderson's Gathering Noise from My Life: A Camouflaged Memoir, was named by the Christian Science Monitor as one of “12 Electrifying Memoirs” of 2012. A few days after WWrite's request, he sent the following original piece, entitled "How Do Wars Begin?" A unique mix of poetry, prose, fiction, and history, "How DoWars Begin?", brings together British poet Wilfred Owen, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the Archduke's assassin, Princip, bombs, and an expired cyanide pill to put into question not only the origins of WWI but of all contemporary conflicts.


Rich Bachus “How I Turned a Family Archive Into an Epic Sage of the Great War”


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This post features journalist, writer, and teacher, Rich Bachus. Bachus edits and curates the WWICentennial 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." 


Robert Olen Butler Interview with Pulitzer Winner Robert Olen Butler: The Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller Series and the Importance of WWI



For Veterans Day and the Armistice Day Centennial, WWrite had the honor to speak with Robert OlenButler. Butler, who has been called the “best American living writer.” Butler won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 1993 and the F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for Outstanding Achievement in American Literature in 2013. A Vietnam veteran and a former reporter, Butler unites war and journalism in his Christopher Marlowe Cobb espionage thriller series. Four books trace the journey of American spy, Kit Cobb, as he navigates his way through the most important aspects of the WWI-era. The Hot Country(2012), The Star of Istanbul (2013), The Empire of the Night (2014), and Paris in the Dark (2018), take the characters and plot through the Mexican Civil War, the sinking of the Lusitania, the use of Zeppelins, and trench warfare. Butler is best known for his literary fiction, but in this interview, he explains the equally-intricate, equally-literary process of writing spy novels against the historical tectonic shifts of 1914-1918, a time, he says, closely resembles our present era. 


Ruth Edgett Hill 145


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How has agony been rendered so gracefully? This is the question asked by the narrator in Ruth Edgett's short story, “Hill 145,” as he gazes up at a WWI memorial. "Hill 145,” the winner of Consequence Magazine's 2017 Prize in Fiction, brings us to 1936 as Canadian WWI veterans return to the French battleground that cost their country 3,598 lives. This week, WWrite features: "Hill 145," a story that illuminates the ways war veterans are “well-practiced at moving between worlds” when reconciling their soldiering pasts and civilian presents.


Matti Friedman and Brian Castner “Echoes of Sassoon”



"Echoes of Sassoon: A Conversation with Matti Friedman" comes from Brian Castner, co-editor of The Road Ahead author of All the Ways We Kill and Die and The Long Walk. He also wrote the foreword for David Chrisinger's book, See Me for Who I Am (Chrisinger was last week's featured blogger.) Castner interviews award-winning Israeli Canadia author and journalist, Matti Friedman, about his memoir, Pumpkinflowers. Their discussion centers on Friedman's experience as an Israeli soldier fighting in southern Lebanon in 1998-1999, a conflict that still has no official name. As Friedman and Castner point out, more Canadian soldiers died in the Great War than in any other conflict, and its influence can be felt throughout Pumpkinflowers.  This puts Friedman at odds with most contemporary American veteran-authors, who often reach to other conflicts for comparison—Vietnam for Iraq, and Korea for Afghanistan, have become typical—when writing about their wars. Don't miss this fascinating post about how and why WWI would color a Canadian’s view of a very different war in Middle East.


Paul Groves “Benjamin Britten’s Musical Masterpiece, War Requiem: Interview With Tenor Paul Groves.”


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This post features the WWI musical masterpiece by British composer, Benjamin Britten–War Requiem. We hear from the world-renowned tenor, Paul Groves, on the unique performance of War Requiem at Europe's premier opera house, the Lyon Opera in France. Part poetry, party liturgy, part theater, see the ways in which this operatic representation has wowed the world. Through the lens of WWI, Groves talks about Pink Floyd, Hiroshima, Wilfred Owen, education, and his family's war history.


RJ MacDonald A Distant Field: America’s Great War Highlanders



The literary centennial week kicked off with bagpipes and kilts. WWrite takes a look at RJ MacDonald’s WWI historical novel, A Distant Field, which will be released on November 11, 2018. A former US Marine and Royal Air Force Reservist and veteran of Libya and Iraq, MacDonald has written the first in a series that follows the characters, Stuart and Ross McReynolds, Scots-Americans who survive the sinking of the Lusitania. Together with four Irishmen, a Canadian, and a young English officer, they join Scotland’s Seaforth Highlanders and head towards the bloody battlefields of WWI. Read the preview and behind-the-scenes look at this unprecedented literary perspective of the Great War.


Yoshi Oida “Listen to the Silence: Yoshi Oida on Directing Britten’s War Requiem


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Listen to the silence. This is what Yoshi Oida, director of the unprecedented performance of Britten's musical masterpiece War Requiem at the Lyon Opera, asks of his spectators. Read about Oida's connection with WWI through stories about Hiroshima, the experience of children in war, and his latest film with Martin Scorcese. This is a follow-up to the interview with Paul Groves, the tenor of Oida's show!


Jane Satterfield Yoga and Animals: Inspiration for WWI Poetry


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WWrite features the inspired poetry of JaneSatterfield, whose father is a Desert Storm veteran. Satterfield’s poetry and prose have appeared in American Poetry Review, Antioch Review, The Common, Crazyhorse, North American Review, Notre Dame Review, Pleiades, and many more, as well as on Verse Daily and Poetry Daily. The daughter of an American airman and a British mother, she grew up near Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland. A unique post about yoga and animals as vehicles for creating poetry about WWI.



Benjamin Sonnenberg “A Pretty Tame One: A Story Exploring the Experience of Thomas Craft Neibaur”


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"God Armeth the Patriot." These words come from Thomas Croft Neibaur, the first Mormon to receive the Medal of Honor during WWI for his heroism during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, one of the bloodiest battles in American military history. Writer Benjamin Sonnenbergreturns to WWrite this week with another riveting short story, inspired by Neibaur's letters home. Delve into Neibaur's legendary experience in WWI with this captivating, well-researched, fictional narrative.

Brian Turner “Sleeping in the Trenches: Poet Brian Turner Plays WWI Musical Composition”



Brian Turner helped compose "Sleeping in the Trenches" for an upcoming album inspired by the experience of war from Roel Vertov and the Retro Legion, an international group of musicians and artists. Flugelhorn, cello, accordion, euphonium, electric and acoustic guitars, glass jars, taiko drums, pedal steel guitar, concertina, mandolin, tuba, trombone, percussion and drums, drone, tenor sax, flutes, serpent, piano, tank drum, djembe, vocals, and, yes, typewriters are among the instruments the group uses to create unique, dynamic blends of sound and voice. "Sleeping in the Trenches" tries to create a soundscape/landscape for enriching the conversations on the WWrite Blog. Roel Vertov is also an avid ambient sound recordist, and he recorded and layered in several versions of rain to help create the soundscape to this piece. Turner sang the vocals, along with Skip Buhler and Major Jackson. Turner recommends listening to it before, during, and after reading posts as its significance may amplify an understanding of not only WWI but of all wars.  

Turner says “Even I,  a veteran of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iraq, hear war resonate in new ways each time I listen and perform it.”


Susan Werbe “A Journey of Commemoration: The Great War Through the Lens of Art” 



This WWrite post comes from Susan Werbe, the executive producer of the The Great War Theatre Project: Messengers of a 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.


 Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War`


WWICC featured Werbe for her 2014 TheGreat War Theatre Project: Messengers of a Bitter Truth, a multi-media theatre piece. It has evolved now to include music as a way of introducing women’s writings. Werbe talks about her latest piece, Letters that you Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from The GreatWar, a song cycle based on women’s writings from both sides of the conflict and set to contemporary music. Read this moving post about the premiere performance in New York.


Andria Williams Black Poppies: Writing About Britain’s Black Servicemen



"The First World War is usually viewed as a predominantly white conflict," writes historian Stephen Bourne in his book Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War. Writer Andria Williams found this to be true as she began research for her next novel featuring a WWI black British soldier. At WWrite, Williams shares her exploration into this little-known aspect of WWI history that she aims to bring to light in her fictional work. A military spouse, Williams is the author of The Longest Night, a scintillating debut novel about a young couple whose marriage is tested when they move to an army base rife with love triangles, life-or-death conflicts, and a dramatic cover-up. Read this unique post about navigating between historical facts and the creative craft of writing fiction.


Scholarship and Teaching

David Chrisinger “More Gentile Than Grim: Letter Home From WWI”

This post comes from author, editor, and award-winning teacher, David Chrisinger. Chrisinger is the editor of See Me For Who I Am, a collection of essays by veteran students that seeks to undermine media-created stereotypes that divide them from the American people they have fought to protect.  He discusses a WWI project he completed with new student veterans at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point using hundreds of letters written by WWI soldiers from the town where the university is located. Don't miss this post describing their surprising, insightful reactions!


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Audrey Coleman “Archive Fellow for Armenian Advocacy”


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It is hard to believe that as barbarous battles raged on the Western and Eastern Fronts, another, different human atrocity was committed by Ottoman authorities and Young Turks around the geographical region of modern-day Turkey: the Armenian Genocide. To better understand the Armenian Genocide and its place in WWI better, The Robert and Elizabeth Dole Archive & Special Collections at the Dole Institute of Politics, the University of Kansas in Lawrence, is pleased to announce a special fellowship opportunity for the 2017-2018 programming year: the  Archival Fellow for Armenian advocacy. 

Adin Dobkin Dead on the 4th of July: WWI Poet Alan Seeger


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Dead on the 4th of July. This Independence Holiday, WWrite focuses on American poet Alan Seeger, who perished during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. It is said that he continued to sing a patriotic marching song as he lay wounded and dying, troops passing him by. Post includes words and analysis by Adin Dobkin, who published on Seeger this week in the New York Times Magazine.


Bryan Doerries “A Common Language for Suffering and Healing: Greek Tragedy, Contemporary Veterans, and WWI”


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As counterintuitive as it sounds, Theater of WarProductions works to help heal contemporary combat veterans— with Greek tragedy. With over 600 performances and still counting,">Theater of War represents one of the largest and most ambitious projects ever brokered between artists and the Department of Defense. The WWrite Blog was lucky enough to spend some time talking to artistic director, Bryan Doerries, about the ways in which Theater of War might enlighten us about the experience of WWI soldiers and military personnel throughout the Centennial year. A post with one of America's most influential public artists!


Keith Gandal War Isn’t the Only Hell: 100 Years Later, Time To Tell the Truth about the African American and Lost Generation Experiences



It may seem surprising, but, unlike every other combatant nation in WWI, America's lasting literature on the conflict was written entirely by noncombatants –Hemingway, Dos Passos, Katherine Anne Porter. This week on WWrite, Keith Gandal discusses his work on the unknown yet vital role noncombatant writers, such as African Americans and women, played in shaping America's WWI memory.


Patrick O’Donnell The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America's Unknown Soldier and WWI's Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home


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How much do we know about the Tomb of the UnknownSoldier? Much less than we might think, Patrick K. O'Donnell shows us in his new book, The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America's Unknown Soldier and WWI's Most Decorated Heroes Who Brought Him Home.  On WWrite, O'Donnell gives us a glimpse into the epic story that sheds light on the Unknown Soldier and the eight WWI heroes who brought him home.


Panthea Reid  “Faulkner Stole My Father’s War Wound.” Centennial Reflections on William Faulkner and John Reid. PART 1


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Panthea Reid, Professor Emerita of English at LSU, made a startling discovery while writing her book on William Faulkner. Faulkner, who received the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, had claimed that he was wounded while serving in the British Royal Flying Corps during WWI. Not only did Professor Reid debunk these claims with archival research; she also learned that Faulkner had confiscated the record of her own father's WWI wound and claimed the story for himself. Read the first part of "Centennial Reflections on William Faulkner and John Reid,"  a surprising literary detective story.

“Faulkner Stole My Father’s War Wound.” Centennial Reflections on William Faulkner and John Reid. PART 2  

Faulkner, Part 2! WWrite brings the sequel to the first post by Professor Panthea Reid about her startling discovery while writing her book on William Faulkner. Faulkner, who received the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, had claimed that he was wounded while serving in the British Royal Flying Corps during WWI. Not only did Professor Reiddebunk these claims with archival research; she also learned that Faulkner had confiscated the record of her own father's WWI wound and claimed the story for himself. Read "Centennial Reflections on William Faulkner and John Reid, Part 2," which reveals the riveting details about the rest of this incredible literary detective story and the justice Reid sought for her father.


Anna Rindfleisch Mediated Memory, Myth, and Legend: The Christmas Truce of 1914 and the Great War in Modern Thought


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Mediated memory is a term that means representations of the past that are transmitted through modern media and affect the construction of personal and/or collective memory. At WWrite, English Research Historian and social media expert, Anna Rindfleisch, discusses this concept in the context of WWI through an analysis of a British Sainsbury's advertisement featuring the 1914 Christmas Truce.

In her post, she explains that the massive outpouring of social media postings and institutional centenary events over the past four years suggest that the 100-year-old trauma attached to the iconic image of the Front Soldier has been transmitted down generations and shaped our contemporary understanding of the Great War.


Connie Ruzich Behind Their Lines



For the fall and early winter of 2014-2015, Ruzich was in England as a Fulbright Scholar researching the poetry of World War I. During the last two years of the WWI Centennial, Connie Ruzich and her blog, Behind Their Lines, which shares lesser-known poetry of the First World War, have generously teamed up with WWrite with timely posts. Ruzich excels at drawing the past and present together by linking current events with pivotal moments from 1914-1918. Her archival work into the lost poetic voices of WWI has served as an incredible resource, providing discussion and research on international lost voices, poems written by those on the home front, and poetry that has been neglected in modern anthologies. In 2020, Ruzich will go from digital to print as she publishes her anthology, International Poetry of World War I: An Anthology of Lost Voices, with Bloomsbury Academic Press. 


Lorie Vanchena “Beyond Friend or Foe: WWI Immigrant Poetry, a Digital Humanities Project”


Lorenz Clasen 1860 Germania auf der Wacht am Rhein

University of Kansas Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures Associate Professor, Lorie A. Vanchena, discusses  WWI American Immigrant Poetry: A Digital Humanities Project, an impressive and original project about WWI American poetry. The poems are written in response to World War I by immigrants in the United States and constitute a broad range of commentary on the war—for, against, and much more.


Mark Whalen Fictions of Rehabilitation


Whalencombine imagesWWI saw a complete transformation in the ideas and institutions the government deployed to assist wounded veterans, especially in government-run healthcare. University of Oregon English Professor, Dr. Mark Whalen, author of The Great War and the Culture of the New Negro and American Culture in the 1910s, discusses his new bookWorld War One, American Literature, and the Federal State, which examines the Homefront in the US in WWI, and specifically how American literature engaged with the fierce debates over the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and over what the state was empowered to do, that roiled US society in the war years. Read Dr. Whalan's insightful post, "Fictions of Rehabilitation."