Archive - May 2015

1
URGENT LETTER FROM Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65)
2
Ready or Not
3
Review: Nigeria Revisited by Catherine Onyemelukwe (Nigeria 1962–64)
4
Gerald Karey writes: Breaking Bread with Lindsay Lohan and Obama
5
Review: Bartram’s Garden by Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde 1998-2000)
6
The Jack Nicklaus Room at the USGA Museum
7
Special Deal for RPCV Writers: West Virginia Writers' Workshop This Summer at West Virginia University
8
Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-1993) Reading Saturday at Politics and Prose
9
Review of John Michael Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) Keepers Meet Questing Eyes
10
Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90) On Top Ten List For Best Horror Fiction by American Library Association

URGENT LETTER FROM Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65)

Friends: Shortly after the Nepal Earthquake of April 25 2015, Peace Corps/Nepal withdrew all 53 volunteers and 32 trainees and sent them home, out of concern for “Volunteers’ health, safety and security.” See peacecorps.gov/media/forpress/press/2548/, and peacecorps.gov/resources/faf/nepal/. I am seeking to find out who among the almost 4,000 volunteers who have served in Nepal, have either returned since April 25 (or were there at the time and stayed on) to help in earthquake relief and recovery, and any others who have been working from home on Nepal Earthquake relief, fund raising, etc. I am preparing to write an article which touches on PC and RPCV response to the crisis, and I need their stories and perspectives. If you are one of them, or know of one or more, please contact me by email at dmesserschmidt@gmail.com. I, too, am going to Nepal, arriving in Kathmandu on June 13 for about a month. . . .

Read More

Ready or Not

It’s done. I’ve launched my baby, my decade of long, laborious hours, of multiple versions and wrenching rewrites. My memoir, Marrying Santiago. I still can’t avoid the sensation that the words “my memoir” sound pretentious. And now I’m not totally comfortable in this new role of promoting my book and putting myself out to the world. Heartening comments from those who have read the book – that they couldn’t put it down or that it caused them to laugh or cry – lift my self-confidence. When a day goes by with no input, the doubts march in. It’s not that well-written. Or that chapter is lack luster. I reread parts at random to reassure myself. Early this morning I lived a vivid dream. I say “lived” because it was very real. I was there. In the small bookshop in my hometown, I’m talking to the owner (to whom I did . . .

Read More

Review: Nigeria Revisited by Catherine Onyemelukwe (Nigeria 1962–64)

Nigeria Revisited: My Life and Loves Abroad Catherine Onyemelukwe (Nigeria 1962–64) Peace Corps Writers October 2014 314 pages $14.62 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Marianne Arieux (Ethiopia 1965–67) • It is 1969. Former Peace Corps Volunteer and American Midwesterner, now Nigerian wife and mother, Catharine Onyemeluke nests with her family in her in-laws remote Igbo village, fleeing the encroaching Biafran war. For the first time since coming to Africa, she must become part of a rural African village without electricity, running water, or a health facility nearby; an undertaking that is a hallmark of Peace Corps training. Onyemelukwe’s telling of this particular venture highlights her achievement in this well written memoir — a tale of a young woman whose adventurous spirit carries her into a life path introduced and limned by the Peace Corps and its lore. Her book has the tone of a life-cycle epic. We are invited on . . .

Read More

Gerald Karey writes: Breaking Bread with Lindsay Lohan and Obama

A Writer Writes — Breaking Bread with Lindsay Lohan and Obama by Gerald Karey (Turkey 1965–67) • It was Lindsay Lohan’s attendance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner where former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw drew the line. Not at Ozzy Osbourne, Paula Jones, Larry Flint, Donald Trump or, Lord have mercy on us, Kim Kardashian. “The breaking point for me was Lindsay Lohan. She became a big star at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Give me a break,” Brokaw said after the 2013 dinner. “There was more dignity at my daughter’s junior prom than there is [at] what I’m seeing on C-SPAN there.” That may be an unfair comparison. Junior proms set a rather high bar. But cut Lindsay some slack. She may have been better behaved than the room full of liquored-up hacks. Her host, Greta van Susteren, who spins right-wing fables for Fox News, said: “The table . . .

Read More

Review: Bartram’s Garden by Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde 1998-2000)

Bartram’s Garden by Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde 1998–2000) Carnegie Mellon University Press February 2015 82 pages $15.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978–79) • As luck and timing would have it, I come to Eleanor Stanford’s Bartram’s Garden just as a seemingly infinite number of Brood XXIII cicadas have emerged from their hidey holes in western Kentucky. I can’t imagine a better book to read to the accompaniment of the music of the spheres, as I keep calling the rattling surround sound produced in the resonant abdomens of the male cicadas clinging to the leaves of every tree, bush, and flower in our neighborhood. The last time I heard it — exactly thirteen years ago, in accordance with the periodicity of Brood XXIII — my children, who are now both almost out of the teenage years, were the same age as Stanford’s young children. If the home is a . . .

Read More

The Jack Nicklaus Room at the USGA Museum

In my other role in life–a golf writer–I was invited to the USGA Museum in Far Hills, New Jersey on Wednesday to the dedication of the new ‘Jack Nicklaus Room’. Jack joins Bob Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Mickey Wright. The room has something like 80 artifacts and interactive displays featuring Jack’s career. There was a dedication ceremony on the lawns and Jack’s whole family was with him. Here are a few photos from the afternoon event. If you are close to New Jersey, this is a wonderful museum, even if you don’t play the game. Jack and Barbara Nicklaus at USGA dedication ceremony for The Jack Nicklaus Room. (©USGA/Chris Keane)

Read More

Special Deal for RPCV Writers: West Virginia Writers' Workshop This Summer at West Virginia University

Special Deal for RPCV Writers: West Virginia Writers’ Workshop This Summer at West Virginia University I received a note from Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-1993) saying that “Any Peace Corps-affiliated person who would like to attend the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop-a super deal at $350 for the four-day conference (July 16 to 19)-should email me about a Peace Corps discount!” Mark’s email address: Mark.Brazaitis@mail.wvu.edu and the Workshop’s Web site: http://english.wvu.edu/centers-projects/west-virginia-writers-workshop At the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop, you will: * Participate in an intimate workshop (in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or screenwriting) in which your work will be critiqued gently and thoroughly by a nationally recognized writer as well as by your fellow workshop members. * Absorb valuable lessons on writing in craft talks given by nationally known authors. * Improve your writing through a series of exercises tailored to the craft talks. * Hear dynamic readings by nationally recognized authors. * Read your . . .

Read More

Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-1993) Reading Saturday at Politics and Prose

TRUTH POKER BY MARK BRAZAITIS Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 1 p.m. Politics and Prose 5015 Connecticut Ave N W Washington D.C. A poet and an award-winning novelist (Julia and Rodrigo), Brazaitis was awarded the 2014 Autumn House Fiction Prize for his second collection of stories. Praised as “exquisite” and “innovative” by the judge, these pieces dramatize characters ranging from phantoms to faith healers to corrupt cops, and explore a rich emotional terrain of regret, guilt, and confusion.

Read More

Review of John Michael Flynn (Moldova 1993-95) Keepers Meet Questing Eyes

Keepers Meet Questing Eyes: Poems by John Michael Flynn (Moldova 1993-1995) Leaf Garden Press $6.00 120 pages 2014 Reviewed by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-1993) • John Michael Flynn’s latest collection of poetry doesn’t come in a conventional package. Unlike a standard 6-by-9-inch poetry collection, with its requisite arty (or, on occasion, awful) cover, Flynn’s Keepers Meet Questing Eyes looks and feels more like a coloring book. But in a good-and fitting-way. Flynn’s poems don’t aspire to be arty or clever or coy. They’re honest evocations of life, and they invite the reader in the same way a coloring book invites children in: with generosity and without pretense. Of course Flynn’s poems are aimed at an adult readership, and their rewards lie in their directness and clarity. One of my favorites is “Heath,” about the actor Heath Ledger, who comes across in the poem as a good man despite his having . . .

Read More

Christopher Conlon (Botswana 1988-90) On Top Ten List For Best Horror Fiction by American Library Association

Booklist is a book-review magazine that has been published by the American Library Association for more than 100 years, and is widely viewed as offering the most reliable reviews to help libraries decide what to buy and to help library patrons and students decide what to read, view, or listen to. It comprises two print magazines, an extensive website and database, e-newsletters, webinars, and other resources that support librarians in collection development and readers’ advisory. HORROR FICTION This list of the best horror fiction reviewed between May 15, 2014, and May 1, 2015, covers the gamut, from an old-fashioned horror novel, tasting of blood and dust, to a zombie plague (what would a top 10 list be without one?) to a grisly, darkly comedic road trip. Savaging the Dark. By Christopher Conlon. 2014. Evil Jester, $11.99 (9780615936772). (Starred Review.) “If there’s a single author working in the horror genre who . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.