Many of us have an experience we can point to that, for better or for worse, rerouted the course of our lives. For me, it was joining the U.S. Army.
I was a mobile radar operator from 2003 to 2008, and twice deployed to Iraq. While I got an education (I hold a BA in literature and philosophy and an MFA in fiction writing), and met many artist-veterans and friends, my military experience also haunts me. The Iraq War was illegal and unjust and, as a direct participant, I helped destroy a struggling people's culture and livelihood. I can't un-see that, nor should I.
My writing, music and art almost exclusively deal with the issue of reconciling the above. I've come to terms with the idea that, in one form or another, my war experience will be a recurring theme in my art for years to come.
A native of rural Western Pennsylvania, I currently live in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York. I've been an instructor for several veteran-focused arts organizations over the years: Combat Paper NJ, Frontline Arts and Warrior Writers. I also co-organize a website and podcast for the emerging Veteran Art Movement.
If you're interested in booking a talk, musical performance, reading, etc., please use the below form to contact me. I will do my best to respond to general inquiries about veterans issues (for questions about Combat Paper and Warrior Writers specifically, please refer to their respective websites.)
© 2020 by Kevin Basl