Windmill, Hofstra University’s journal of literature and art, has published Associate Professor of English Melanie (Conroy-Goldman) Hamilton’s new nonfiction narrative “Caldera.”
“Caldera” is a work that developed after Hamilton spent time with an old friend who served as a military mental health worker. The high school friends maintained written correspondence through his two tours of duty – the first in Iraq, the second in Afghanistan, and Hamilton interviewed him following his service.
The narrative developed into a portrait of the complexities of friendship and the psychological burdens left by military service.
“I think what ended up feeling like a ‘story’ after I’d had some time to process the (interview) tapes and the material was the idea of mental health, of being a professional charged with keeping people sane in an insane environment, and of course how my friend ended up carrying such a heavy burden,” says Hamilton, who publishes under her professional name, Conroy-Goldman.
She views “Caldera” as a collaboration. “I owe him for the story, and for the real, true human experience I get from knowing him and what he’s gone through.”
Hamilton joined the HWS faculty in 2002. She earned her B.A. summa cum laude from Columbia University and her M.F.A from Oregon. Her work has appeared in the Southern Review, Story Quarterly, and the Laurel Review and is anthologized by Morrow, St. Martin’s, and others.
“Caldera” can be found online at Windmill.