Archive - August 2012

1
Winner of the 2011 Award for Travel Writing — Lawrence F. Lihosit (Hondurus:1975-77)
2
2011 Winner of the Poetry Award–Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002-04)
3
Winner of 2011 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award (Memoir)–Chris Honore' (Colombia (1967-69)
4
Selling Your Novel Today
5
Winner Of 2011 Maria Thomas Fiction Award–Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92)
6
In Case You Haven't Seen Director Williams' Letter of Resignation
7
Winner of the 2011 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award — Kevin G. Lowther (Sierra Leone 1963-65)
8
Danger: Transitions – Continued : IGO comments on Political Appointees
9
J.Edgar, Ronnie, Clark Kerr, Mario & The Peace Corps
10
Danger: Transitions Ahead

Winner of the 2011 Award for Travel Writing — Lawrence F. Lihosit (Hondurus:1975-77)

The winner of the Peace Corps Writers Award for Best Travel Writing in 2011 is Lawrence F. Lihosit (Hondurus 1975-77) for his Years On: And Other Travel Essays Lawrence F. Lihosit was born in the southern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois in 1951. His family later moved to Arizona where he graduated from grade school, high school and Arizona State University. He reluctantly served in the U.S. Army Reserves during the closing years of the Vietnam War and enthusiastically volunteered for the Peace Corps (Honduras, 1975-1977). His travels and work have taken him from the salmon spawning Nushagak River Basin in southwestern Alaska to the fertile Argentine Pampas. His continuing studies have included master’s coursework in urban planning at la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, art and creative writing at Skyline College in San Bruno, California and education at California State University Fresno. He earned his living as . . .

Read More

2011 Winner of the Poetry Award–Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002-04)

2011 Winner of the Poetry Award–Jeff Fearnside (Kazakhstan 2002-04) author of Lake, and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land. Winners  of the Peace Corps Writers Awards receive a certificate and small cash award. Jeff Fearnside taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kazakhstan from 2002 to 2004. After completing his service, he remained in Central Asia for another two years, marrying his Kazakhstani bride Valentina. Their courtship and his experiences in general while living overseas were explored in his chapbook Lake, and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land. Most of his work since Peace Corps has involved education in some way, from managing the Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to teaching at Western Kentucky University and Prescott College. As a Visiting Assistant Professor in Creative Writing at WKU, he was nominated for a Faculty Award for Teaching, one of that institution’s highest . . .

Read More

Winner of 2011 Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award (Memoir)–Chris Honore' (Colombia (1967-69)

Winner of the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award (Memoir) for 2011 is Chris Honore’ (Colombia (1967-69) for his book Out in the All of It, published by iUniverse. Winners  of the Peace Corps Writers Awards receive a certificate and small cash award. Chris Honore’ was born in occupied Denmark during WWII. His father was in the Danish resistance. His mother still remembers the day the Germans arrived and the day they left. After the war, they immigrated to America. Chris attended San Jose State University and then the University of California, at Berkeley, where he earned a teaching credential, an M.A. and a Ph.D. And then he joined the Peace Corps. Since then he has been a freelance journalist based in Ashland, Oregon. He is married and his wife owns a famous bookstore on Main Street in this charming town. Their son is a cinematographer and lives in Hollywood. . . .

Read More

Selling Your Novel Today

Here is a writer who have solved the marketing problem of her first novel. I have been reading about Kathleen Grissom’s novel, The Kitchen House. It is about life on a Southern plantation and was published by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, in February 2010. The first run was 11,500 copies, which is a lot for a first novel, but, of course, that didn’t attract much attention. While most of us focus on the Internet and creating buzz, it was the old-fashioned book-club-word-of mouth that made the difference for The Kitchen House. Today, the book is in its 21st printing, with 254,000 copies in print and another 152,000 e-books sold. It is now being carried at Target and Costco. Grissom received a good advance of $35,000 from Touchstone and now has had several more royalty checks for $100,000 plus. How’s that for a first time novelist! How did . . .

Read More

Winner Of 2011 Maria Thomas Fiction Award–Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92)

Winner Of 2011 Maria Thomas Fiction Award–Susi Wyss (Central African Republic 1990-92) author of The Civilized World: A Novel in Stories Winners  of the Peace Corps Writers Awards receive a certificate and small cash award. Susi Wyss book of fiction set across Africa that was largely inspired by her twenty-year career  managing international health programs. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Central African Republic from 1990 to 1992, and currently works for Jhpiego, a Baltimore-based international health organization. She has one master’s degree in public health from Boston University, and another in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. Her writing has appeared in numerous literary magazines, and she has received awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and other arts organizations. The Civilized World:  A Novel in Stories by Susi Wyss (Central African Republic, 1990-92) Henry Holt and Company $15.00 226 pages March, . . .

Read More

In Case You Haven't Seen Director Williams' Letter of Resignation

August 21, 2012 Dear Colleagues: For the past three years, I have had the privilege to lead one of the most beloved and valued agencies in the United States federal government.  It has been a distinct honor to serve as the Director of the Peace Corps in President Obama’s Administration and to further his policy of broader global engagement.  That is why it is with a heavy heart that I announce my decision to step down as Peace Corps Director effective September 17, 2012. This has been a difficult choice because serving in this position has been the highlight of my public service career.  It has brought my personal journey in government full circle – from Peace Corps Volunteer to Director.   It is time, however, for me to shift my focus to my family. It has been an honor to lead an outstanding team who support our remarkable Volunteers day . . .

Read More

Winner of the 2011 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award — Kevin G. Lowther (Sierra Leone 1963-65)

Winner of the 2011 Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award is Kevin G. Lowther (Sierra Leone 1963-65) author of The African-American Odyssey of John Kizell: A South Carolina Slave Returned to Fight the Slave Trade in His African Homeland. Winners  of the Peace Corps Writers Awards receive a certificate and small cash award. Kevin Lowther served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone (1963–65), teaching African and world history at West Africa’s oldest secondary school in Freetown. He spent the next six years with the Peace Corps in various capacities: trainer, campus recruiter, public information officer (in charge of a news service targeted at college students), desk officer for programs in Southern Africa and manager of an office to support volunteerism among former PCVs. He also was in charge of Volunteers to America — the “reverse” Peace Corps program-during its final year of operation. In 1971, Lowther worked with C. Payne . . .

Read More

Danger: Transitions – Continued : IGO comments on Political Appointees

The recently published Inspector General’s Report, Final Evaluation Report: Impacts of the Five-Year Rule on Operations of the  Peace Corps (IG-12-05-E)  focused on the problems caused by the so-called Five Year Rule.  But the report did acknowledge the effect of the Peace Corps’ political appointment structure. I think the observations are critically important. Do you?  From the IGO report: Staffs’ concerns regarding the Peace Corps’ political appointment structure Throughout the course of this evaluation many interviewees expressed their beliefs and attitudes regarding the effect that political appointees, particularly appointees with no previous Peace Corps experience, were having on the operations of the agency. Many respondents insisted that it was important for our evaluation to consider the combined effect on the agency’s operations of constant staff turnover and the agency’s political appointment structure. The commonly expressed reasoning respondents articulated was that these two features of the agency’s personnel structure—high turnover created by . . .

Read More

J.Edgar, Ronnie, Clark Kerr, Mario & The Peace Corps

The August 17, 2012 issue of the Chronicle Review, published with The Chronicle of Higher Education, has an excerpt from Seth Rosenfeld’s new book Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power published this month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Rosenfeld was for many years an investigative reporter for both The San Francisco Examiner and the San Francisco Chronicle.The book is about Mario Savio, leader of the Free Speech Movement, Berkeley’s most notorious campus agitator, and Clark Kerr, the president of the university. It is also about Ronald Reagan and most importantly, J. Edgar Hoover, who in the 1950s and 1960s ran a secret operation within the FBI called the “Responsibilities Program” to hunt down professors whose political views were deemed by J. Edgar as unacceptable. Frustrated in 1964 by the successful uprisings by students at Berkeley, Hoover was eager to find a collaborator in Reagan . . .

Read More

Danger: Transitions Ahead

The unexpected and early resignation of Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams and the possible change in the political party winning the White House in November may mean trouble ahead for the Peace Corps.  Four of the most egregious crimes against serving Peace Corps Volunteers occurred during a time of transition or anticipated transition from one political party in power to the other. The extraordinary number of political appointees in the Peace Corps agency and the always rapid staff turnover due to the Five Year Rule may have contributed to a lack of support to Volunteers during such times. Four crimes over more than thirty years do not a pattern make, nor are these by any means the only crimes against serving Volunteers. What they do is highlight the inadequacy of the agency’s response associated with a time of political transition. The mid-70s were a time of political turmoil. Under threat . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.