Courtesy Lovella Calica
For as long as I’ve known her, Lovella Calica and the community of Warrior Writers have worked tirelessly to create spaces of healing and action through writing and art workshops for veterans. Lovella is one of the people I bring up when I try to explain the use of poetry and literature, as well as its luxury. We’ve published several authors from the group in our pages and their voices have been a vivid and important testament that we’re a country at war. And the war — as far from our daily lives as we allow it to seem — affects us all as we welcome soldiers home. I hope to see you at Warrior Writers’ reading Saturday! Lillian Dunn
Lillian: What was the process of collecting work for the Warrior Writers’ fourth anthology?
Lovella: We sent out a call for submissions more than 6 months before it was finished. Then we did a lot of calling, emailing and texting people to remind them and help them feel confident enough to submit. We saw a lot of our community face to face too, so we would talk about the book and their writing then as well.
Lillian: What process do the writers go through to create the work?
Lovella: Many of the pieces were created during our writing workshops, but many were done on their own as well. We (including a large team of volunteers) did a lot of work to help folks revise their writing. Some folks hadn’t ever done revisions and were nervous about it, while others knew about it but just had a hard time sitting with the work because some of it is very heavy. A lot of this part is about relationships and there was a good deal of growth among the writers and amongst writers. They were also encouraged to get others to look at and give feedback on their work as well.