May 2016: Words After War: a conversation with Matt Gallagher and Brandon Willitts

You are invited to the first of our NYU Cultures of War evening summer events this Tuesday May 31st from 7.00-8.30pm in the NYU English dept, 244 Greene St, Rm 306 (between Waverley Pl and Washington Place one block east of Washington Square Park).

Words After War: a conversation about recent war writing,
writers’ workshops, and civilian veteran dialogue

a discussion with:
Matt Gallagher, writer, essayist, co-editor of Fire and Forget (2011), author of Youngblood: A Novel (2016)
Brandon Willitts, writer, Executive Director and Co-founder of the
Words After War literary organization

moderated by Patrick Deer, Associate Prof of English, NYU

Tuesday, May 31st 7.00-8.30pm
244 Greene St, Rm 306

Refreshments served!


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Images: from PBS feature on the Words After War civilian and veteran writers workshop, Brooklyn 2014
Matt Gallagher

Matt Gallagher is the author of the novel Youngblood, published in February 2016 by Atria/​Simon & Schuster. Reviewing for The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani wrote of Youngblood, “On one level, the novel is a parable – with overtones of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American – about the United States and Iraq and the still unfurling consequences of the war … Mr. Gallagher has a keen reportorial eye, a distinctive voice and an instinctive sympathy for the people he is writing about … [This] is an urgent and deeply moving novel.” Youngblood has also received positive reviews or been featured in The Washington Post, Esquire, The Wall Street Journal and Vogue.

A former U.S. Army captain, Matt’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review Daily and Playboy, among other places. He’s also the author of the Iraq memoir Kaboom and coeditor of, and contributor to, the short fiction collection Fire & Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. In 2015, Gallagher was featured in Vanity Fair as one of the voices of a new generation of American war literature. Among other media, he’s appeared on CBS News Sunday Morning and NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show.  A graduate of Wake Forest University, Matt also holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn and works as a writing instructor at Words After War, a literary nonprofit devoted to bringing veterans and civilians together to study conflict literature.

Brandon Willitts

Brandon Willitts is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Words After War. The fourth generation of his family to have served in the military, Brandon enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence specialist shortly after 9/11, and was first assigned to the Directorate for Intelligence on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the early-months of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

He was selected by the Center for a New American Security as a 2015 Next Generation National Security Leader, and his nonprofit work has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, and Narratively, among others. He holds a B.A. in literature and writing from Marlboro College. A native of California and Maryland, he now lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Patrick Deer 

Patrick Deer is Associate Professor of English at NYU.  He is author of Culture in Camouflage: War, Empire and Modern British Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), which OUP released as a paperback in 2016 with a new Preface.  He has published widely on transatlantic modernism and contemporary literature and culture and guest edited special issues of Social Text on The Ends of War (2007) and co-edited Punk and Its Afterlives (2013) and his essay, “Mapping Contemporary American War Culture,” appears in College Literature 43.1 in January 2016.  His current book projects are: Surge and Silence: Understanding America’s Cultures of War; and Deep England: Forging British Culture After Empire.  He is co-organizer of NYU’s Cultures of War and the Post-war research collaborative.

The NYU Cultures of War and the Postwar Research Collaborative aims to contribute to the debates around war culture and to produce concrete outcomes for post-war cultural policies which bridge the divides between academia, veterans, the military, activists, writers and creative artists in today’s challenging global climate. More information at
See you there!

Patrick Deer, Bill Blake and AB Huber
co-organizers, NYU Cultures of War and the Post-War Research Collaborative