Veterans Book Group

Veterans Book Group events in 2022 will be mostly virtual. Please see below for details.

Maryland’s veterans connect through humanities discussion

After a successful launch eight years ago, Veterans Book Groups return for 2022.

At Maryland Humanities, we know that the humanities can play an important role in articulating the unique issues and concerns faced by veterans. Using literature to discuss service fosters connection, reduces feelings of isolation, and provides a safe context in which to explore issues regarding military service.

Veterans Book Groups aim to bring veterans of all eras together to talk about military experiences and returning to civilian life while providing an informal, supportive environment for discussion.

Readings range from classics to contemporaries – that means Herman Melville to Khaled Hosseini and everywhere in between! Syllabi vary, but all groups read the full gamut of literature including memoirs, novels, poetry, short stories, and essays.

Here’s a selection of titles, some of which are read by our Veterans Book Groups.

Groups gather regularly in Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s Counties.

Check below for details on discussions near you!

  • Baltimore County - Towson Library

    Fourth Mondays of the month, January to May 2022
    January 24, February 28, March 28, April 25, and May 23, 2022
    6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

    Led by Dr. Karen Arnold, former visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, this book group is open to current service members and veterans from all eras. Participants should plan to attend all five sessions. Materials are provided. Registration is required.

    Register: Please email ace@bcpl.net or call 410-887-0238 to register.

    PREVIEW THE SYLLABUS   Get Directions

  • Harford County - Bel Air Library

    Second Wednesdays of the Month, January to May 2022
    January 12, February 9, March 9, April 13, and May 11, 2022
    6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

    Led by Dr. Karen Arnold, former visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, this book group is open to current service members and veterans from all eras. Materials are provided. Registration is required.

    Register here.

    PREVIEW THE SYLLABUS   GET DIRECTIONS

  • Howard County - Central Branch

    First Sundays of the Month from February to June 2022

    February 6, March 6, April 3, May 1, and June 5, 2022
    1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    Led by David Owens, United States Naval Academy, Class of 1994, this book group is open to current service members and veterans of all eras. Participants should plan to attend all five sessions. Materials are provided. Registration is required.

    Register here

    PREVIEW THE SYLLABUS    GET DIRECTIONS

  • Prince George's County - Montpelier Arts Center

    Third Tuesdays of the Month, January to May 2022
    January 18, February 15, March 15, April 19, and May 17, 2022
    7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

    Led by Dr. Karen Arnold, former visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, this book group is open to current service members and veterans from all eras. Materials are provided. Participants should plan to attend all five sessions. Registration is required.

    Montpelier Arts Center
    9652 Muirkirk Road
    Laurel, MD 20708

    Please note that these sessions will be in person, but could switch to virtual.

    Register: Please email Montpelierarts@pgparks.com or call 301-377-7800 to register.

    PREVIEW THE SYLLABUS   GET DIRECTIONS

  • St. Mary's County - Lexington Park Library

    First Saturdays of the Month, February to June 2022
    February 5, March 5, April 2, May 7, and June 4, 2022
    10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

    Led by Vietnam Veteran, Author, and College of Southern Maryland Professor, Wayne Karlin, this book group is open to current service members and veterans from all eras, as well as their spouses, children, and other family members. Participants should plan to attend all five sessions. Materials are provided. Registration is required.

    Register here

     

    Preview the Syllabus   Get Directions

Veterans Book Group is coordinated statewide by Maryland Humanities and presented locally in partnership with the Baltimore, Harford, Howard, and St. Mary’s County public libraries and Montpelier Arts Center. The program was created by the Maine Humanities Council to promote understanding of the military experience and to support returning veterans.

Veterans Book Group is supported in part statewide by Lockheed Martin, David Bruce Smith, and The Wawa Foundation, with additional support for Baltimore County from the Citizens of Baltimore County via the Baltimore County Commission on the Arts & Sciences.

 

Baltimore County Commission on the Arts & Sciences logo
Logo of The Wawa Foundation
  • “It was an interesting thing to do. The process of digging through photos, souvenirs, copies of old orders, and other memorabilia was meaningful after 43 years. I WAS impressed with all of the students I met.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • “[Veterans Book Group] was better than expected! [I got] a feeling of connection and pride with the other member [and] I’d love to participate again in any future book clubs—I enjoyed the stimulation.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • “I feel very proud and happy that I did this, it motivates me to learn more about history. My opinion of history has changed. It made me more motivated to learn about history and it seems much more interesting now.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “It was an amazing experience to meet and talk to a veteran.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • “Talking with students also helps those of us who have said little about our combat experiences because, in a sense, we feel guilty about why others died and not us/me? So, to be able to talk about it helps the veterans. The opportunity you provided to both students and veterans is wonderful and I do hope that our messages are meaningful to students.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • I enjoyed it as much as the students.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • “I feel more connected to history.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • It was an interesting thing to do. The process of digging through photos, souvenirs, copies of old orders, and other memorabilia was meaningful after 43 years…I was impressed with all of the students I met.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • It was more than just a research project, it was more personal than that.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • Thank you once again for the opportunity for me to share with your students a little about my Vietnam experiences. What you are doing is very special and I hope you will be able to continue this fine effort.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, veteran participant
  • “This oral history experience was amazing. I learned so much and will never forget this. I LOVED IT, I was super skeptical at first. I felt like we had a lack of planning but I think everything went so great.”

    ​Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, student participant
  • We were really moved by the testimony of the veterans and impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the students.

    Standing Together: Veterans Oral History Project, parent
  • “[In Veterans Book Group,] I made connections with other vets.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • “This was the first time I felt comfortable admitting that I was a female Viet Nam vet!”

    Veterans Book Group participant
  • “I met some great people, read books I might never have otherwise, [and] had great discussion.”

    Veterans Book Group participant
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Maryland Humanities is a statewide, educational nonprofit organization that creates and supports bold experiences that explore and elevate our shared stories to connect people, enhance lives, and enrich communities.
Maryland Humanities
108 West Centre Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4565
(410) 685-0095
(410) 685-0795 fax
info@mdhumanities.org
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