The Iowa Review, the literary magazine at the University of Iowa, received and NEA Art Works grant for a recommended $15,000 to support the publication of creative writing by U.S. military veterans.
The funding will allow The Iowa Review to expand the reach of its Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans, a contest sponsored by the family of Vietnam War veteran and antiwar writer and activist Jeff Sharlet. The Iowa Review held its first veterans’ writing contest in 2012, with winners published in its spring 2013 issue. NEA funding will be used to publicize the contest among possible entrants, to allow for an expanded number of prizes to be awarded, and to distribute the work of the winners widely, both in print and on a website gallery.
The next contest deadline will be May 15, 2014. Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead, will be the final judge. The contest is open to U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter.
“With involvement in wars such a major part of our story as Americans, and most recently with our country having been at war continuously for the past 12 years, there are veterans from previous and current conflicts who have returned and are wanting to share and process their experiences,” says Lynne Nugent, managing editor of The Iowa Review. “We believe the contribution of a literary magazine can be to provide a point of connection between those who want to explore their experience through the creative use of language and those who want to learn about it and understand it in the deep way that literature can provide.”