Literary Type

News of writers who have served in the Peace Corps.

1
Writer Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala) turns political
2
Peace Corps writers at AWP Conference
3
Jason McFarland (China) publishes ANNOUNCING THE FEAST
4
The rules for writing A Peace Corps book
5
Charles Carrington Cox (Ecuador 1965-67; APCD/Peru, Brazil 1970-75) publishes first book
6
PROVERBIAL LAUGHTER OF THE WORLD by Nicholas Hosel (Afghanistan)
7
Paul Theroux in The NY Times (Malawi)
8
Ron Arias (Peru) launches THE WETBACK AND OTHER STORIES
9
Ellen Urbani’s dedication to stop Trump (Guatemala)
10
The Theroux Boys

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

Jason McFarland (China) publishes ANNOUNCING THE FEAST

  Jason McFarland (China 2012–14) taught at Zunyi Normal College in Guizhou, Western China and while there he learned Chinese and continued his academic career with the hope of pursuing post-doctoral research in Chinese liturgy after his tour, and before he returned to the US. An avid amateur chef, he also spent his free time learning to cook Sichuan cuisine, as well as learning to play the Chinese gourd flute and also dabbling in Chinese meditation techniques. His academic research interests include liturgical-theological method for the interpretation of non-textual primary sources, liturgical ecclesiology in light of contemporary modes of belonging, the intersection of liturgical studies with ritual studies and ethnomusicology, the dialectic tradition and creativity in liturgical praxis, and the function of liminal phases in religious ritual. Jason has an extensive background in liturgical music, holding undergraduate and postgraduate music degrees. Music is also the topic of his first book: . . .

Read More

The rules for writing A Peace Corps book

There are no rules. And that is what is so great about writing a book. Bonnie Lee Black (Gabon 1996-98) a successful writer/editor/creative writing professor and RPCV, author of How To Cook a Crocodile: A Memoir with Recipes, sent me these wise words on how Peace Corps writers should go about the task of writing a book. Her list: Hopeful Peace Corps writers should take writing courses from reputable instructors to learn the basics and to have the opportunity to workshop their writing among peers. They should also read lots of good How-To books on the craft. There are a gazzillion of them out there. They should avoid at all costs: exclamation points, stereotyping, cliches, and all other proofs of lazy writing. They should plan on revising each chapter or piece at least ten times. Quality writing is all about revision. They should NOT confuse explicit, titillating, borderline-pornographic sex scenes . . .

Read More

Charles Carrington Cox (Ecuador 1965-67; APCD/Peru, Brazil 1970-75) publishes first book

Charles Carrington Cox (Ecuador 1965-67) & APCD (Peru, Brazil 1970-75) who has worked over 50 years in development, living in 50 developing countries and the former Soviet Union and its satellites, retired in 2010 and has just published his first book, Uprooting Terrorism Everywhere.   This book proposes strategies and tactics to dismantle and ultimately destroy insurrectionist movements and genocidal dictators and presidents for life. The approaches to achieve these objectives are presented in the first chapter. ISIS, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram and offshoots of these movements are targeted. The proposed dethroning of murderous dictators is complicated but feasible. The author condemns leaders who played the tragic zero sum game – “my way or we fight to the death” to topple governments or militarily carve out autonomous regions. Many lost the game, but meanwhile their horrendous agendas cost hundreds of millions of lives. A strong thumbs down is given to . . .

Read More

PROVERBIAL LAUGHTER OF THE WORLD by Nicholas Hosel (Afghanistan)

Nicholas Hoesl is an RPCV from Afghanistan (1965–67), a community pharmacist, toastmaster, national keynote speaker, columnist, broadcaster, lecturer, and global volunteer. He has recently published his fourth book, which is about host country sayings. The book is entitled: Proverbial Laughter of the World: Afghanistan to Zimbabwe On his website The Laughter Doc he writes: Laughter is the universal language. For thousands of years proverbs with laughter have remained a joyful part of communication. From countries all over the globe, including the rich cultures of Africa, Arabia, Persia and Native America, Proverbial Laughter takes popular proverbs and turns them into tidbits of contemporary wit, wisdom and laughter. All the world’s a stage. Western culture says, “Know yourself.” The Eastern says, “Become yourself.” The world is ready for a meeting of these two in Proverbial Laughter of the World.  

Read More

Paul Theroux in The NY Times (Malawi)

  Pardon the American Taliban By PAUL THEROUX NY Times, OCT. 22, 2016 In the mid-1960s a young American teacher in a small central African country became involved with a group of political rebels — former government ministers mostly — who had been active in the struggle for independence. They had fallen out with the authoritarian prime minister, objecting to his dictatorial style. The country was newly independent, hardly a year old. The men advocated democratic elections and feared that the prime minister would declare himself leader for life in a one-party state. Fluent in the local language, obscure because he was a teacher in a bush school, and easily able to travel in and out of the country on his United States passport, the American performed various favors for the rebels, small rescues for their families, money transfers, and in one effort drove a car over 2,000 miles on back . . .

Read More

Ron Arias (Peru) launches THE WETBACK AND OTHER STORIES

  This is from today’s LaBloga:   The Wetback and Other Stories marks Ron Arias’ (Peru 1963-65) return to fiction after a career in non-fiction reporting from across the globe for People Magazine. The book brings together fourteen previously published stories, along with two new pieces. Arte Publico Press publishes The Wetback and Other Stories. Here’s a podcast of Arias discussing the collection https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/larb-radio-hour/id998390884?mt=2 • The Wetback and Other Stories Ron Arias (Peru 1963–65) Arte Publico Press September 2016 160 pages $17.95 (paperback)  

Read More

Ellen Urbani’s dedication to stop Trump (Guatemala)

In an effort to speak truth to power in the way I am best able, I wrote and contributed a short personal essay to a movement called Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote. While this started as a collection of stories from Pulitzer Prize-winning and bestselling novelists, it quickly expanded to include not just writers but a military personnel, teachers, community activists, etc — all of whom are thinking beyond the individual and dedicating their votes as acts of hope for the future.  If you’re inclined to share, my dedication is here: https://dedicateyournotrumpvote.blogspot.com/2016/10/ellen-urbanis-dedication.html  Though it often feels I’m preaching to the choir, I also know that every voice raised is a chance to potentially reach someone who may not yet have considered a particular perspective that might give him/her pause. Thank you, Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-93)   Monday, October 3, 2016 When I was 23, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, a country then . . .

Read More

The Theroux Boys

Paul Theroux’s (Malawi 1963-65) son Louis Theroux’s documentary on Jimmy Savile will be broadcasted on Sunday 2 October at 21:00 on BBC Two Louis says, “I was at my wedding in July 2012 when I learned that the DJ and TV presenter Jimmy Savile was to be unmasked as a sexual predator in an upcoming ITV documentary. At that time, I imagined I knew Savile reasonably well. I’d made my own documentary about him in 2000, filming with him for about two weeks at his various homes around Britain. I’d stayed in contact for several years after the film went out, making occasional trips up to Leeds. There was always a professional pretext – a DVD commentary to record, a new series to promote – but the visits also had a social dimension. They usually involved a meal at a local restaurant and sometimes an overnight stay at his penthouse . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.