How Can Writing Save Your Life? – With Poet Seema Reza, George W. Bush Stand-To Veteran Leadership Scholar

Seema Reza is a 2019  President George W. Bush Stand-To Veteran Leadership Scholar. She is the author of two books and CEO of Community Building Art Works, an organization that bridges the veteran and civilian communities and combats social isolation through writing, art, improv, and music workshops in military and veteran healthcare settings. 

Through her participation in Stand-To, Seema is working on bringing the programs she developed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital to VA and Military Medical Center staff to reduce burnout, build resiliency, improve communication, and bridge the civilian-military divide.

Based in Maryland, she has led writing workshops within correctional facilities, military and civilian hospitals, elementary and secondary schools, and universities. She is the CEO of Community Building Art Works, a unique arts organization that encourages the use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization among a military population struggling with emotional and physical injuries. Reza’s work with veterans is featured in the 2018 HBO documentary We Are Not Done Yet. She was awarded the Col John Gioia Patriot Award by the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore for her work with service members. An alumnus of Goddard College and VONA, she has had writing online and in print in McSweeney’s, The LA Review, The Feminist Wire, The Offing, and Entropy among others. Case studies from her work with military populations have appeared in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Related Diseases in Combat Veterans. She has performed across the country at universities, theaters, festivals, bookstores, conferences, & one fine mattress shop.

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