Veterans Offer Healing Words Through Writing at CSM Connections Readings March 6, April 13

April 24 as part of its Literary Connections Series. The theme for this semester’s program is “Writing after War: Healing Words.”

The College of Southern Maryland’s Spring Connections series will feature three veterans who are award-winning writers to discuss the concept of writing as a path toward healing after war. The first program of the series will showcase author Ron Capps and poet Dr. Fred Foote beginning at 7:30 p.m., March 6, on the La Plata Campus, Center for Business and Industry (BI) Building, Dr. John M. Sine Conference Room, BI-103, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata.

“The writers are part of a series we are doing this semester called ‘Writing After War: Healing Words,’” said Connections Coordinator and CSM Professor Wayne Karlin. “These are authors who have utilized writing to get their fellow veterans to tell their own stories and share their experiences with other vets, as well as with the large part of the American population which has never been to war.”

Enlisting in the National Guard in 1983, Capps spent 25 years as a soldier. He received a commission in 1985 and served on active duty for nine years before returning to the Army Reserve. As a reservist, he was re-called to work with special operations forces in Africa, to a combat tour in Afghanistan and as an international peacekeeper in Darfur.

Since 2011, Capps has served as founder and director of the Veterans Writing Project (VWP), a non-profit organization program designed to help veterans find their voices and tell their stories. His book, “Writing War: A Guide to Telling Your Own Story,” serves as the core curriculum for VWP seminars.

Capps is also the curriculum developer and lead instructor for a National Endowment for the Arts program that brings expressive and creative writing seminars to wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence.

He has master’s degrees in Liberal Arts and in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The American Interest, All Things Considered and RiverLit. His writing has received numerous honors and awards, including “Writing My Way Home,” which was listed as notable in Best American Essays in 2014.

A retired U.S. Navy physician, Foote is the author of “Medic Against Bomb,” a book of poetry inspired by his work with the wounded Americans, Iraqis and Afghanis during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. His work describes the inspiring healing efforts of the nation’s military medics and workers at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Medic Against Bomb” won the Grayson Books Poetry Prize for 2013. The poems have been published individually in a wide range of national magazines and are popular in military and veterans’ communities.

By putting a human face on the nation’s wounded warriors, Foote said he hopes to stimulate his readers to engage veterans in arts activities. Through his efforts with the Warrior Poetry Project, he has found that art-making offers powerful healing effects, especially for those with brain injury and PTSD.

A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Foote is a doctor of pharmacology. He has received numerous awards for his military service and is an adjunct assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in the Health Services Administration.

Subsequent programs this spring will be 7:30 p.m., April 3 at the Leonardtown Campus with poet and author W.D. Ehrhart and the Connections Magazine reading at 7:30 p.m., May 1 at the La Plata Campus. To be considered for the spring 2015 issue, the deadline for submission is March 17.

Tickets for the Connections readings are $3 through advance sale at the CSM box office and $3 at the door with a student ID. General admission at the door is $5. For tickets, contact the box office at or call 301-934-7828. For information on Connections, study guides and author links visit Featured books are available at any CSM College Store or online at


Calendar Listings  

CSM Connections Literary Series: Ron Capps and Dr. Fred Foote. 7:30 p.m., March 6. Center for Business and Industry (BI) Building, Dr. John M. Sine Conference Room, BI-103, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Author Ron Capps and poet Dr. Fred Foote will discuss their time in the U.S. Military and how it has influenced their literary writing., 301-934-7864,


CSM Connections Magazine Submission Deadline. March 17. College of Southern Maryland’s Connections magazine is a regional literary journal published twice a year that features the very best poems, stories, artwork and photography of Southern Maryland. Also included in each issue is featured material from visiting writers. Publication readings take place in December and May each year. Submissions are limited to five poems, two stories, one essay, or five black and white photographs. Email submissions to For information, visit


CSM Connections Literary Series: W.D. Ehrhart. 7:30 p.m., April 3. College of Southern Maryland, Leonardtown Campus, Building A, Auditorium, 22950 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown. W.D. Erhart is an award-winning poet who began writing when he was 15 years old. Exclusively a poet until he was almost 30, the Vietnam Veteran has since written and published a wide variety of nonfiction prose from 400-word newspaper commentaries to 40-page scholarly essays to 400-page personal narratives. $3 in advance, $5 at the event, $3 with CSM Student ID., 301-934-7864,