Guest Blogger Matt Komatsu: Ahead

Dear Reader,
Ever since we wrapped up Danger
Close Alaska
, I’ve been wondering what the future would hold for an effort
like this. Thing is, you do something like this, and maybe it was great, but
then maybe it never happens again. Years pass, interest wanes, and then a
decade from now, some young writer will say, “How come we never have any
writing workshops for veterans?”
Sustainability is a word you hear quite often in the
nonprofit world. And it’s not just about fiscal responsibility. It’s also
about responsible use of human capital, the resources required to get something
done in addition to the humans required to participate. Folks like you. My
dream for Danger Close was always that
it would turn into something bigger than my idea.
It’s hard to say what the future will hold for Danger Close, but I also know that in
the meantime, we need to keep moving forward wherever possible. One of the
exciting ways that is already happening is that Alaska Humanities Forum, one of
the partners for Danger Close, is
already opening up opportunities to further the exploration of the relationship
between war and the arts.  Megan Zlatos
asked me to ensure you know about the following:           
  • Forum Magazine: If you are interested in
    publishing a piece (fiction, non-fiction, or poetry) in our twice-yearly Forum
    , please submit your draft or pitch to our editor, David Holthouse: If you would like
    to receive a free subscription to the magazine, please send me ( your address, and I will
    add you to our list.
  • Standing Together Live Event: David
    Holthouse is organizing a live storytelling event in mid-March to explore war
    and its aftermath. We are interested in diverse experiences, including those of
    military family members at home. If you are interested in telling your story or
    having an actor read a work of yours at this event, please contact David
  • Talking Service: We are working on putting
    together reading/discussion groups using the Talking Service model.
    In Talking Service, small groups under the guidance of skilled
    facilitators get together to reflect on short, powerful writings about military
    service by some of the world’s greatest authors. Participants are encouraged to
    share their insights, build on each other’s comments, and challenge their
    assumptions through lively, informal conversations centered on the anthology Standing Down:
    From Warrior to Civilian
    , published by the Great Books Foundation with
    an introduction by Benjamin Busch. If you would be interested in leading or
    participating in a Talking Service discussion group, please contact
  • Standing Together Alaska Network: We would love
    to stay in touch with all of you interested in supporting or participating in
    other Standing Together programming and projects. We have created a Facebook Group,
    and we encourage you to join to stay in touch, share, bounce around ideas for
    new projects, etc.

If you are interested in receiving updates about Standing
together programming and projects, you can sign up to receive updates here
by checking “Standing Together: Humanities and the Experience of War” when you
sign up.
You can also  contact Megan directly ( to share your feedback,
ideas, questions, or to set up a meeting to talk in more detail. As this
initiative is just getting off the ground here in Alaska, we could really use
your help and support – please let her know if you would be interested in taking
on a leadership role in this effort.
Good things are happening and it’s encouraging to know that
whatever does happen, will happen through community.
All the Best,

Matthew Komatsu is an author, currently serving veteran, and Nonfiction candidate in the University of Alaska-Anchorage’s MFA in Creative Writing program. He is a Pushcart Prize nominated essayist whose work has appeared in The New York TimesWar, Literature and the ArtsBrevityStorysouth; and VICE Motherboard. He has also essays forthcoming in The Southeast Review and The Normal School. You can follow him on Twitter @matthew_komatsu or at his website, The opinions here are the author’s alone and do not reflect official policy or position.

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