Archive - March 9, 2016

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Writers who joined the Peace Corps to “burn with a hard, gemlike flame”

Writers who joined the Peace Corps to “burn with a hard, gemlike flame”

Cupple House, St. Louis University This is an article I wrote for my college alumni magazine at Saint Louis University about a writing professor of mine who also was the teacher of several other PCVs in the early years of the agency. This professor was the mentor of dozens of future poets and writers and shows, I hope, how one professor can influence and encourage students to write, whether they join the Peace Corps or not. • “To Burn With A Hard, Gemlike Flame” Let me tell you what it was like to be in the English Department in the ’50s during the Silent Generation, at the time of the Beat Poets, when Gas Light Square was in its infancy, and everyone was on the road. I came to Saint Louis University in 1955 because of the Writers’ Institute founded by Dr. James Cronin. Dr. Cronin was the first person to tell me . . .

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