Veterans’ Voices Project (VVP) is a creative writing outreach program connecting graduate students from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with veterans on campus and throughout Iowa in order to help them share their stories. VVP emphasizes personal narratives, explores the varied and diverse experiences of veterans, and is individually tailored. Writers and veterans meet one hour per week for six weeks, one-on-one or in small groups (participants outside Iowa City will meet in person for first and final sessions and via Skype and/or email in between). This project is funded through the University of Iowa Office of Outreach and Engagement and is free to all participants.
The therapeutic value of writing is well-documented. VVP is a branch of The Patient Voice Project, which collaborates with healthcare professionals to improve knowledge and understanding of therapeutic writing. Expected benefits for participants in VVP include improved health, well-being, and resiliency; meanwhile veterans returning to college receive valuable preparation for that transition.
Participants can opt to have their writing anthologized in future issues, which are published and distributed in an effort to raise awareness and stimulate new and deeper understanding of the unique and important experiences of veterans in the community.