Guatemala

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Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-93) In D.C. and Virginia This Week
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Special Deal for RPCV Writers: West Virginia Writers' Workshop This Summer at West Virginia University
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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-1993) Reading Saturday at Politics and Prose
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Summer Books From Two Fine RPCV Writers
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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) Publishes Award Winning Short Story Collection
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Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-92) To Publish New Novel Next August
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Review — MAYA 2012 by Joshua Berman (Nicaragua)
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The Rainy Season in Guatemala

Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-93) In D.C. and Virginia This Week

Tuesday, Sept 15Thomas Balch Library, Reading/Discussion Subject: In addition to reading from Landfall, Ellen will be discussing her recent travels to New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Katrina. Location: 208 W Market St, Leesburg, VA 20176 Time: 7 pm Wednesday, Sept 16Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe Reading/Discussion Subject: Listen to a bit of Landfall, talk about storms both public and personal, and then join Ellen for drinks afterwards at …. (you guessed it) … Afterwords Cafe. Location: 1517 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington D.C. 20036, just above DuPont Circle (Q Street Metro exit) Time: 6:30 pm

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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 . . .

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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.

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Summer Books From Two Fine RPCV Writers

Karl Luntta (Botswana 1978-80) A swimming pool in the Kalahari Desert, the ice skates of a boy in a wheelchair, and a midnight train ride in the cool African night form the backdrop of the eight diverse stories in Swimming. Some of the stories take place in Africa, others in the United States, but in all of them, the characters confront cultural and racial differences, both historically and in the present. In “A Virgin Twice,” an American teaching in Botswana struggles to understand a village’s response to a violent assault. In “Jeff Call Beth,” a white American father attempts to connect with the daughter he left behind in Africa. And in the title story, “Swimming,” a Danish expatriate dying of cancer decides to build an Olympic-sized swimming pool in the Kalahari Desert. All of these characters are clinging to emotional survival in a complex world, confronted by a moment or element . . .

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Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) Publishes Award Winning Short Story Collection

This month, Autumn House Press published Mark Brazaitis (1991-93) collection, Truth Poker: Stories that won its 2014 Fiction contest. Of his stories, Mark says, “Truth Poker is a collection of 15 stories whose outcomes hinge on how characters engage with a truth (about a situation, about themselves). In a crucial moment in their lives, will they tell the truth or conceal it? What will the consequences of their decisions be?” In the collection’s title piece, two boys play a real life version of truth poker. When a person loses a hand, he is required to answer his friend’s question. One of the boys, again the story’s main concern, has lost his mother and is living with his father. Through playing the game, he slowly finds connections between his mother’s suicide and his father’s relationship with an Ohio congressman. As it turns out, the boy’s playmate is the congressman’s nephew. Brazaitis’ . . .

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Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-92) To Publish New Novel Next August

Ellen Urbani (Guatemala 1991-92) Ellen Urbani’s (Guatemala 1991-92) memoir, When I Was Elena was published in 2006 by The Permanent Press. It is her Peace Corps story of living in Guatemala. It is also her story of coming of age as young women in the guerrilla-infested mountains of Latin America. Her narrative is interlaced, chapter-by-chapter, with tales told from the perspectives of seven HCN women she meets in her tour. Now Ellen has returned with her second book. Next August, Forest Avenue Press, will publish her  novel, Landfall. It will be released on August 29, 2015, ten years to the day after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. A summary of the novel from Forest Avenue Press outlines the plot: In a car laden with supplies intended for hurricane victims, Rose and her mother catapult off the road onto the shoals of the Black Warrior River in Alabama, killing . . .

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Review — MAYA 2012 by Joshua Berman (Nicaragua)

Maya 2012: A Guide to Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras by Joshua Berman (Nicaragua 1998–2000) Moon Travel Guides 128 pages $7.99 (paperback) October 2011 Reviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975–77) TRAVELERS WHO PLAN TO EXPLORE the Mayan world this coming year need this book! Even the seasoned trekker with a worn and patched backpack, creased boots, frayed hat and a passport bulging with extra pages will want to buy Maya 2012 before it’s sold out. It has it all: great maps, background information, descriptions of tours, transportation and discount hotels. It also contains conversion tables, an index, Mayan words and phrases, interesting interviews with important Mayan scholars and even a suggested reading list. This ain’t no guide to overpriced hotels and do-dads, but a book written for us serious wayfarers. For those with only a whiff of Mayan history, this book will convince you that the place . . .

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The Rainy Season in Guatemala

by Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000–02) This essay was first published on PeaceCorpsWriters.org in the May 2005 issue, and received the Peace Corps Writers 2006 Moritz Thompsen Experience Award. • How to Make Recycled Paper I shredded paper snowflakes into a bucket of water: Guatemalan newspapers, Peace Corps newsletters, embassy safety bulletins and the Catholic magazines that my mother mailed me each month in care packages. Then I stuck a bean grinder into the word-soup, twisting the plastic knob until the bucket filled up with purplish pulp. I was all alone outside a church in Guatemala. It was May 2001, midway through my first year in Peace Corps. I had walked two hours to get to a wood-shack village called Buena Vista, planning to teach a youth group how to make recycled paper. The project looked so sensible in the “Youth Training Manual” they gave me, just memorize the script in . . .

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