Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace
Author Biographies (alphabetical order - click on letter)
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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | W | Y | Z
I was born in 1947 in Los Angeles. I’ve worked as an actor, book
designer and typographer, bookstore clerk, assistant hospital administrator, legal secretary, longshoreman, magazine editor in chief, office
temp, and web weaver. I attained a B.A., in English, in 1970. I’d
always shied away from writing workshops, until I happened upon
Maxine Hong Kingston’s veterans’ writing sangha, in 1994. I currently teach haiku at Book Passage University, Stanford University,
and the San Francisco Zen Center. And I facilitate mindfulness meditation at the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples.
I am editor of What Book!? Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop, which
includes works by a number of veterans; author of The Complete Idiot’s
Guide to Understanding Buddhism; and cotranslator of three books of
poetry by Ko Un (Flowers of a Moment, Songs for Tomorrow, and Ten Thousand Lives).
ROBERT GOLLING, JR.
I am a U.S. Navy veteran of the American War in Viet Nam. My tour
of duty was from January to June 1969. I am a retired telephone engineer living with my loving wife, Rebecca, and our two sons in the
foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I home-school my thirteen-year-old
son, Matthew, and watch (mindfully) my sixteen-year-old son, Alex,
begin his adult life. My four older sons are grown and have their own
I believe it is my duty to live well, to lead a righteous life, and to
remember the sacrifice of the soldiers and sailors who came before
me. I am currently writing a story about a soldier who comes home
from the Korean War, plants roses, and finds enlightenment.
During the Vietnam War, I worked with the Moratorium in Washington, D.C., helping plan demonstrations. In 1969, I married Barbara Sonneborn, a widow of the war. The indelible mark the war imprinted on her continues to have a dramatic effect on my life. We mourned Jeff’s death together for years. Then I became coproducer of Barbara’s film, Regret to Inform, about Vietnamese and American war widows. The film garnered awards around the world, including an Academy Award nomination, Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival, and a Peabody Award.
I have enjoyed a long legal career. In 2000, after eighteen years on the bench, I retired from the State Superior Court of California. Over the years, I published numerous articles about law and social justice in a variety of media, including The New York Times Magazine. Currently I work as a mediator and arbitrator. I’ve spent the past four years writing a novel about a judge and the basic issue of truth, both in the law and in personal life.
I joined the Vets’ Writing Group many years ago. Barbara had been a member, and I was asked to join because my life had been so affected by the war in Vietnam.