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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)
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PCV teacher in Eritrea, Ethiopia … 50 years later is saving and sustaining Eritrean lives (Ethiopia)
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Peace Corps Trainees arrive in Guyana
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Thank You: From a Black Peace Corps Volunteer to a Black President
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Review: Bob Stevenson by Richard Wiley (Korea)

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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PCV teacher in Eritrea, Ethiopia … 50 years later is saving and sustaining Eritrean lives (Ethiopia)

  John Stauffer, an Ethiopia VII PCV, got profoundly reconnected with Eritrea many years after his service there, when he learned that the regime that took control of the country following independence from Ethiopia in 1991, has been brutally oppressing the population in order to maintain absolute control.  Over 400,000 Eritreans have fled the country, and Stauffer’s nonprofit, The America Team for Displaced Eritreans (www.EritreanRefugees.org) works daily to get assistance — material, legal, financial — to refugees and asylum seekers in many countries around the world… including in the United States. I recently interviewed John about his connection to Ethiopia and the Peace Corps and his efforts to help Eritrean refugees. • John, where are you from? I’m originally from the Philadelphia area and still live here. I first attended York Junior College (now York College of Pennsylvania), and then transferred to Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Why the Peace Corps? A. As . . .

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Peace Corps Trainees arrive in Guyana

Thirty-eight US Peace Corps Trainees arrived in the country on Tuesday to begin their two years of service to the people of Guyana. A release from the US Embassy yesterday said that the 30th group of Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in Guyana have begun pre-service training on the Essequibo Coast, living with local host families and learning the Guyanese way of life. They are stationed in the villages of Suddie, Huist D’ieren, Queenstown, Windsor Castle, Capoey Lake, Lake Mainstay and Anna Regina. This US Embassy photo shows the Volunteers As health and education volunteers, they will engage in field practicums in local schools and health centres.  The group is expected to be officially sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers in early April, after which they will begin service throughout Guyana, the release said.

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Thank You: From a Black Peace Corps Volunteer to a Black President

Brittany White (Peru 2015-17) is a Youth Development PCV in Northern Peru working with young people to help promote sexual health awareness as well helping to promote diversity and inclusion within the volunteer community. This item is from her own blog which she kindly agreed to let me republish. Thanks also to Don Messerschmidt (Nepal 1963-65) for giving me the “Heads Up” about Brittany’s piece. Thank You: From a Black Peace Corps Volunteer to a Black President On October 11,  2008, I woke up in the middle of the night to stand outside and wait for the Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to speak. I had read all of his books, kept all the important newspaper clippings, obsessively watched CNN, and could tell you random facts like, “Did you know that Senator Obama is a two time Grammy winner?” I was 18, excited to be a first time participant in a . . .

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Review: Bob Stevenson by Richard Wiley (Korea)

Bob Stevenson (novel) by Richard Wiley (Korea 1967-69) Bellevue Literary Press, 2016 221 pages $16.99 (paperback) Reviewed by Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978-79) Up until reading Richard Wiley’s new novel Bob Stevenson, I had not given much thought to Robert Louis Stevenson since my sons, now in their early twenties, were in the first and third grades.  Alas, both, as I recall, proved equally determined to process through the Murray Elementary School auditorium brandishing Treasure Island in the “Books Alive” parade that serves in our system as a reasonable facsimile of a Halloween event.  (I live in a part of the country where enough evangelical Christians write off Halloween as devil worship that bona fide Halloween parties are not allowed in the schools).  I finally managed to talk one of them into dressing up as Robin Hood instead of Long John Silver, but it wasn’t easy. Suffice it to say that . . .

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