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The first class of MFA Creative Writing for PCVs and RPCVs at National University begins on April 10, 2017.
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Talking with Sabra Moore (Guinea)
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Review: NUNS, NAM & HENNA by Larry Berube (Morocco)
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COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR REORGANIZING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
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Ron Arias Wetback Story Into film (Peru)
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Openings: A Memoir by Sabra Moore from the NYC Women’s Art Movement (Guinea)
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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 7
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Talking with Larry Berube (Morocco)
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Dr. Joseph T. English, M.D. Peace Corps Shrink
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Review: of A SILENT HERALD OF UNITY by Martha Driscoll (Ethiopia)

The first class of MFA Creative Writing for PCVs and RPCVs at National University begins on April 10, 2017.

The first class of MFA Creative Writing for PCVs and RPCVs at National University begins on April 10, 2017. This total online graduate degree program will begin with a seminar in Creative Nonfiction. Students write and critique each others’ original work in an online workshop-style format. Through presentation and critique of published and student-generated work, students will advance their understanding of the genre’s many forms, including memoir, autobiography, nature writing, literary journalism, and the personal essay. The course is being taught by novelist and nonfiction writer John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64). If interested in enrolling in this special MFA program, contact John Coyne at jcoyneone@gmail.com, or Frank Montesonti, Lead Faculty at National University at fmontesonti@nu.edu.

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Talking with Sabra Moore (Guinea)

Sabra Moore (Guinea 1964-66) an artist and activist before, during, and after her Peace Corps years has just published her memoir of twenty-two years in New York working as an artist and freelance photo editor. The book is entitled, Openings: A Memoir from the Women’s Art Movement, New York City 1970-1992. Her book also goes back to her Peace Corps years and her childhood in east Texas. I recently interviewed Sabra about her career, in and out of the Peace Corps, and her current life in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Sabra, what was your background before the Peace Corps?  I grew up in east Texas- my grandparents were farmers, my father organized for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and was a railroad engineer for the Cotton Belt and my mother was a dedicated first-grade school teacher. I graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a BA cum laude and studied in the liberal . . .

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Review: NUNS, NAM & HENNA by Larry Berube (Morocco)

  Nuns, Nam & Henna: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose Larry Berube (Morocco 1977-79) Peace Corps Writers Imprint January 2017 59 pages $5.99 (paperback), $1.99 (Kindle) Review by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) • In Nuns, Nam & Henna: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose, the two-page prologue is one of the most powerful openings I’ve ever read.  The author is six years old. His three sisters and mother are at the kitchen table when the father comes in and starts striking the mother in the face with a hammer! Shock and bedlam ensue, his mother screams to her son to get help, but he is paralyzed, and his sister instead runs for help.  This moment haunts him, perhaps for his whole life.  His mother could not forget it, as she brought it up whenever they got drunk together.  “Why didn’t you go get help?” “The unanswerable question finally stopped . . .

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COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR REORGANIZING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH

(Please Note: I, Joanne Roll, made certain sections BOLD.) March 13, 2017 Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch EXECUTIVE ORDER   COMPREHENSIVE PLAN FOR REORGANIZING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows: Section 1. Purpose. This order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies (as defined in section 551(1) of title 5, United States Code), components of agencies, and agency programs. Sec. 2. Proposed Plan to Improve the Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Accountability of Federal Agencies, Including, as Appropriate, to Eliminate or Reorganize Unnecessary or Redundant Federal Agencies. (a) Within 180 days of . . .

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Ron Arias Wetback Story Into film (Peru)

Los Angeles movie director A.P. Gonzalez will begin shooting a short film, “The Wetback,” as a prelude to an intended feature-length movie based on the celebrated novel, The Road To Tamazunchale, by Ron Arias (Peru, 1963-65). The short comes from the title story of Arias’ recently published collection, The Wetback And Other Stories, which focuses on a largely Latino neighborhood called Frogtown next to the L.A. River. As an example of the timely theme and style of the feature, the short will be entered in festivals and shown to prospective investors and producers to raise interest in the full-length movie project. “The short,” he says, “accurately reflects on the lives of immigrant and working-class Latinos in the U.S. It’s not a story about misery and poverty and other stereotypical notions of American Latinos; it’s about respect, compassion, humor and the magic in our culture. “I have cast the short with an . . .

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Openings: A Memoir by Sabra Moore from the NYC Women’s Art Movement (Guinea)

Openings is a memoir from the women’s art movement in New York City, from 1970 to 1992. It was written by Sabra Moore (Guinea 1964-66). After her Peace Corps tour, Sabra moved to New York City and became involved with the feminist art movement. She was president of the NYC/Women’s Caucus for Art, a key organizer of the 1984 demonstration against MoMA for excluding women and minority artists, a member of the Heresies Collective, an active member of Women Artists in Revolution and Women’s Action Coalition, and a leading organizer/creator of several large-scale women’s exhibitions in New York City, Brazil, Canada, and New Mexico. Her artistic and political involvement was showcased in the feature length film The Heretics (2011). Moore also worked for thirty years in NYC as a freelance photo editor for publishers such as Doubleday, Harper Collins, American Heritage, and Random House. Her most recent major solo show, Out of the Woods, . . .

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 7

Elaine Chao was appointed Peace Corps Director by President Bush on October 8, 1991. She resigned on November 13, 1992. I believe her thirteen months as Director is the shortest tour. When I interviewed her in her first months at the Peace Corps, she had already made one tour to Africa and sitting in her office she broke down in tears recalling how the PCVs were living overseas. This was first of many ‘teardowns’ she would have in speaking to RPCV groups. It became a standard joke and RPCVs began to laugh at her when she had her outbursts. Hey, this is the Peace Corps, what did you expect? Later I would learn on her first trip to West Africa and visiting a female volunteer living in a village and seeing how the young woman was dealing with life in the developing world, she burst out, “Does your mother know . . .

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Talking with Larry Berube (Morocco)

  Last month Larry Berube (Morocco 1977–79) published with Peace Corps Writers his memoir Nuns, Nam & Henna: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose.  The poems and prose are recollections from his boyhood experiences at St. Peter’s Orphanage in Manchester, New Hampshire, from the age six to twelve; his time as a young soldier in the U.S. Army with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam; and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco where he worked in small villages of the Middle Atlas Mountain region of Morocco on various water projects. We talked to Larry recently about his life and his new book. •   Larry, you were a PCV from ’77 to ’79. Where were you and what was your job? I was in Beni Mellal, Morocco, which was a provincial capital. But my work took me to small villages in the Middle Atlas mountain region. My job was leading a local government surveying team, which . . .

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Dr. Joseph T. English, M.D. Peace Corps Shrink

One of the famous Mad Men of the Peace Corps in the early years of the Peace Corps was the stoic Doctor Joseph English, a young MD and research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1961 when Shriver was putting together the Staff for the new agency, he came across a paper written about a student mental health center that English had established at his alma mater, Saint Joseph’s College. Sarge at the time was looking for a psychiatrist to evaluate new PCVs. As Joe recalls in a recent profile in The Chironian, a publication of the New York Medical College, where Dr. English is the Sidney E. Frank Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, he was in his office at the NIMH reading an article in the New York Times how JFK’s call for a New Frontier was exciting young people . . .

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Review: of A SILENT HERALD OF UNITY by Martha Driscoll (Ethiopia)

  A Silent Herald of Unity: The Life of Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu by Martha Driscoll OCSO (Ethiopia 1965–67) Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications 1990 142 pages $45.94 (hard cover), $4.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Patricia Taylor Edmisten (Peru 1962–64) • FOR NON-BELIEVERS, Protestants or Catholics who no longer attend services or Mass, the experience of reading this book will be like entering an exotic country without benefit of cultural sensitivity training. I speak as a still-practicing Roman Catholic, despite my disagreements with Rome. Without familiarity with the concepts and language of monasticism, self-denial (lots of it), ritual, and frequent prayer, at a time when women continue to press for respect and equal treatment under the law, this book will appear anachronistic. Readers would do well, however, to reserve judgment and pay respectful attention to the no-nonsense prose of Sister Martha Driscoll. “Mother Martha,” as she is known, is Mother Superior of an Indonesian . . .

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