All of us experience trauma at various points throughout our lives. On one end of the spectrum, we have negative experiences from which we tend to think we can recover quickly. This might include a fight with a friend or an hurtful comment made in passing. On the other end of the spectrum, we have those experiences that induce so much anger, sadness, fear, or disgust that we readily acknowledge our difficulty moving forward. These are everything from the death of loved one to the diagnosis of a disease to an instance of sexual abuse. How might creative expression help with the healing process? What can we learn and teach others from the writing and artwork that emerge from these traumas? How might we come to value personal writing as worthy of increased scholarship? In Facing the School: Composing Through Trauma in Word and Image (Parlor 2015), Roy Fox, shares his reflections based on years spent developing a graduate course that asks students to come to terms with the most difficult moments in their lives.
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