Archive - 2017

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Review: MAIL FROM KYRGYZSTAN by Michael Licwinko (Kyrgyzstan)
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Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia) publishes TALES OF FAMILY TRAVEL with Peace Corps Writers
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Peace Corps staging in Philly
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Larry Berube (Morocco) publishes NUNS, NAM & HENNA
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Writer Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) turns political
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New books by Peace Corps writers — January 2017
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Peace Corps writers at AWP Conference
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Carrie Hessler-Radelet named President & CEO of Project Concern International
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Former Deputy Director in Ethiopia hears challenge to Trump’s travel ban
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Talking with Poet Jacqueline Lyons (Lesotho)

Review: MAIL FROM KYRGYZSTAN by Michael Licwinko (Kyrgyzstan)

  Mail from Kyrgyzstan: My Life as an Over-50 Peace Corps Volunteer Michael Licwinko (Kyrgyzstan (2008–10) Self-Published November 2016 300 pages $15.99 (paperback), $2.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Catherine Varchaver (PC/HQ 1990–94; Kyrgyzstan APCD 1995–97)   • In this journal-like collection of annotated blogs and emails, Michael Licwinko sketches a lucid, patient portrait of life as an older Peace Corps Volunteer posted in a remote corner of Central Asia. Licwinko takes us from 2008 to 2010 and gives us a glimpse into the culture and people of Kyrgyzstan — and some of the satisfying and shadowy sides of the Peace Corps experience. If you want to take a virtual trip to Kyrgyzstan by reading one man’s observations and stories, this will help you travel Lonely Planet style — on the cheap, with plenty of “local (post-Soviet) color” and details on what to expect. This isn’t about places to visit and cool things to do. This is about local . . .

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Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia) publishes TALES OF FAMILY TRAVEL with Peace Corps Writers

  In Kay Gillies Dixon’s new book, Tales of Family Travel: Bathrooms of the World, she chronicles her family’s globe trotting through Rome, Kenya, Cyprus and parts beyond. Returned Peace Corps Volunteer parents Kevin and Kay Dixon embraced a passion for travel that they hoped to imprint on their four daughters. In the late 1970s, Kevin landed a contract to work in Saudi Arabia. The Dixons could not pack their bags fast enough. This was the opportunity to provide two fundamental values to their children — roots and wings. The author narrates their story with finesse and descriptions that take you along on the journey. Their child-centric exploits lead them to unimaginable experiences that otherwise might have been missed. A day visiting a Maasai settlement nearly takes a deep dive when their precocious toddler wanders away. Determined to go on an elephant safari in Nepal sends them river rafting after their . . .

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Peace Corps staging in Philly

  This is a short essay that appeared on LinkedIn from a woman who calls herself Kewatki2. She says she is a ‘student and childcare’ person from Salisbury, NC and she wrote this on February 3, 2017 as she prepared to leave ‘staging’ and head overseas for Africa and her Peace Corps assignment. I thought you might enjoy reading it and it will also bring back your memories of your time at Staging. JC note. • STAGE ME Friday, February 3, 2017 Whoa. This past year has been long. Each year that goes by makes me less familiar with the Me I was the year before. In March of 2016 I started the journey through my application to serve in the US Peace Corps. Honestly, I didn’t think I would make the cut. I had been filling my mind with reasons why I should wait “a little bit longer” so . . .

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Larry Berube (Morocco) publishes NUNS, NAM & HENNA

  Nuns, Nam & Henna: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose has been published by Larry Berube (Morocco 1977–79). 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. Nuns Nam & Henna is an honest, straightforward — and sometimes heartbreaking — account of the author’s story. Larry says that he “writes with humor when he can, and with an absence of victimhood all the time.” Larry Berube was born in Nashua, New Hampshire. He has a B.A. in Writing and Communications from Rivier College. The author lives in Dunedin, Florida. • Nuns, Nam & Henna: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose . . .

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Writer Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) turns political

Contact: Mark Brazaitis Pronunciation: Braz-EYE-tis 304-276-8846 markbraz@yahoo.com www.markforwestvirginia.com   WVU English Professor Announces Candidacy for Morgantown City Council   February 6, 2017—Mark Brazaitis, a WVU English professor and the author of seven books, announced today he will run for a position on the Morgantown City Council from the sixth ward.   “We have a wonderful city,” Brazaitis said. “But we have challenges now and ahead, and we could be doing much better.”   Brazaitis is running on a campaign to protect and enhance Morgantown’s small- and medium-sized businesses, its parks, recreation areas, and green spaces, its roads and bridges, and its distinct neighborhoods, including downtown.   “We are a growing city, which presents obstacles as well as opportunities,” he said. “We must ensure that we grow in a smart, thoughtful way—a way that respects the health, safety, and prosperity of the people who live here, including families, as well as . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — January 2017

   To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — Click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? — Send a note to peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • Tales of Family Travel: Bathrooms of the World by Kay Gillies Dixon (Colombia 1962–64) Peace Corps Writers October 2016 230 pages $12.00 (paperback), $4.00 (Kindle) • A Silent Herald of Unity: The Life of Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu by Martha Driscoll OCSO (Ethiopia 1965-66) Cistercian Publications 1990 142 pages $45.94 (hardcover), $4.95 (paperback)   • Should I Still Wish: A Memoir John W. Evans (Bangladesh 1999–2001) University of Nebraska Press January 2017 156 . . .

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Peace Corps writers at AWP Conference

  Crossing Borders, Spanning Genres RPCVs at the Associate Writers Program Conference presented a panel on Friday, February 10, 2017, where poets, journalists, and novelists shared their experiences as Peace Corps Volunteers. The panelists discuss how their service affected their writing, their relationship to literature, and their careers.  The panelists were: Peter Chilson (Niger 1985-87) got his MFA in creative writing from Pennsylvania State University in 1994 and teaches writing and literature at Washington State University. His essays, journalism and short stories have appeared in Foreign Policy, The American Scholar, The North American Review,  Audubon,  Ascent, Creative Nonfiction, Clackamas Literary Review, Gulf Coast, Rain City Review,  West Africa, North Dakota Quarterly and elsewhere. His reporting has been supported by a Fulbright grant and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. His work has twice appeared in the Best American Travel Writing anthology (the 2003 and 2008 issues) and other collections of creative nonfiction. Chilson’s book Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa (University . . .

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Carrie Hessler-Radelet named President & CEO of Project Concern International

  Former Peace Corps Director takes helm of International Development Organization   SAN DIEGO, CA–(Marketwired – February 07, 2017) – Carrie Hessler-Radelet was selected as the new President & CEO of Project Concern International (PCI) by its Board of Directors on February 3. Hessler-Radelet will lead PCI’s efforts working with families and communities in 16 countries to enhance health, end hunger, and overcome hardship. “Carrie is a recognized leader with decades of experience in global humanitarian affairs, and we are thrilled to have her expertise as PCI seeks to impact the lives of 20 million people annually by 2020,” said PCI Chair Dr. Robert S. Sullivan. “From leading the Peace Corps, to implementing maternal and child health programs in Asia with John Snow, Inc., to establishing Special Olympics programs in Africa, Carrie knows first-hand the difference that can be made when we partner with people and communities on the ground . . .

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Former Deputy Director in Ethiopia hears challenge to Trump’s travel ban

William Canby Jr. is one of three judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who on Tuesday will hear oral arguments in the challenge to President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Canby’s colleagues are Michelle Friedland, who was appointed by Barack Obama, and Richard Clifton, who was appointed by George W. Bush. William Canby in 1962 joined the Peace Corps as an Associate Director after spending some time working in private practice. He would go on to becoming the deputy director for the Peace Corps for Ethiopia. After that, he became the director of the Peace Corps for Uganda for two years. He returned to the United States in the late ’60s to teach law at Arizona State University, but he returned to Ethiopia in 1999 to help achieve peace in the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea.    

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Talking with Poet Jacqueline Lyons (Lesotho)

  Jacqueline Lyons (Lesotho 1992-95) is the author of the poetry collection, The Way They Say Yes Here, poems about her time in Lesotho. Peace Corps Writers awarded this collection its poetry award in 2005. Her poems and essays have been published in over 20 literary journals and she has won several writing awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship (2003), a Utah Arts Council Literary Award for Poetry and Nonfiction (2002). Jacqueline’s collection will be the poetry textbook for the forthcoming (we hope) MFA in Creative Writing for PCVs and RPCVs at National University this coming April. With that in mind, I interviewed Jacqueline recently about her career and poetry since the Peace Corps. • Where did you grow up, Jacqueline, and what college did you attend? I grew up in eastern central Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with two majors in English . . .

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