REMEMBERING Jean Kennedy Smith
The NYU Creative Writing Program mourns the loss of Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, who was instrumental in founding and sustaining our cherished literary outreach programs. In 1984, along with Rose Styron and Professor Sharon Olds, Ambassador Kennedy Smith founded NYU’s Goldwater Hospital Writing Workshop on Roosevelt Island, a weekly creative writing class uniting MFA fellows and the “Golden Writers,” a group of long-term Coler Hospital residents with severe disabilities. Building upon the Goldwater program's success, the Ambassador partnered with NYU again in 2008 to launch a new outreach program for recent veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now entering its thirteenth year, the NYU Veterans Writing Workshop serves as a national model of its kind, offering veterans in the New York City metropolitan area an opportunity to express themselves on paper, to cultivate a voice with which to bear witness and tell their stories, and to record their experiences in combat and afterward.
These essential and life-changing programs testify to Ambassador Kennedy Smith’s faith that creativity can flourish even in the most challenging circumstances. We honor her exceptional legacy as a visionary who enriched the lives of so many. She will be deeply missed.
We share here remembrances featured in The New York Times.