Archive - March 2, 2009

1
RPCV receives presidental appointment
2
RPCV Poet Ron Singer To Read in NYC
3
Great Peace Corps Writers!
4
Bait & Switch with the Peace Corps
5
Nominations are due for our Peace Corps Books Awards

RPCV receives presidental appointment

RPCV Jeffrey Crowley (Swaziland 1989-91) was appointed by President Obama on Thursday to head the White House Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP). Crowley, is a former officer of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) and a current research scholar at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. Crowley earned a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University. As deputy executive director for programs at NAPWA, he worked on both the National HIV Testing Day campaign and the Ryan White National Youth Conference. He is openly gay. As far as I know, this is the first appointment by President Obama of an RPCV to a political position.

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RPCV Poet Ron Singer To Read in NYC

Ron Singer (Nigeria 1964-67) will be part of a poetry reading at the Celebration of Small Press Month and the Release of Poetic Voices Without Borders 2 on Wednesday, March 18, 2009, at 6:30 PM. It is being held at The New York Center for Independent Publishing,  20 West 44th St. (between 5th & 5th Avenues). Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, is an international anthology featuring more than 150 poets, including Philip Levine, Rita Dove, Joy Harjo, Naomi Shihab Nye and Ron Singer.  Since his Peace Corps days, Ron has written poetry, fiction, satire, journalism about Africa , and librettos for two operas. His essay-review on The Caine Prize for African Writing appeared in the Summer 2007 Georgia Review, and a second printing of his chapbook, A Voice for My Grandmother (Ten Penny Players), was issued in Fall 2007. Check Ron out at: www.ronsinger.net.

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Great Peace Corps Writers!

I was struck the other day when I got an email from an RPCV who wanted to know if I was the “most famous” of all the Peace Corps writer. Hello? “Hardly,” I wrote back. I’m not even on that list of writers. So, just in case people don’t know the many, many fine, award-winning writers who served in the Peace Corps, here is a list of the talented and best known of the corps of writer — and one of their books — who once served as Volunteers. And last but not least — Besides RPCVs, a number of members of the staff of the Peace Corps have written major novels and works of non-fiction. Among them: The writers from the Peace Corps also have won almost every major prize of literature, including the National Book Award (Norm Rush & Bob Shacochis); PEN/Faulkner Award (Richard Wiley); American Book Award . . .

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Bait & Switch with the Peace Corps

For twenty plus years, Congress has been voting to double the size of the Peace Corps. They vote yes, then they don’t vote (on a separate bill) to fund the increase. Bait and switch. Whatever hope there is to increase the number of Peace Corps Volunteers serving overseas must come from the top, from the president. I hope (and expect) that  our new president will double its number. What is important is not that the Peace Corps is bigger, but that more Americans have the opportunity to serve others in other lands, and that host country nationals learn ‘up close and personal’ what Americans are really like. Peace Corps Volunteers are a different breed of Americans. They come into a village or community and live at the level of the people. They learn the language and they learn the host culture. They unpack their bags and they stay for two years. They become . . .

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Nominations are due for our Peace Corps Books Awards

Nominations are due for our Peace Corps Books of last year. Nominations are now being accepted by Peace Corps Writers for its awards for best books published during 2008 and written by PCVs, RPCVs, and Peace Corps staff. Do you have a favorite to nominate? Or did you write a book that you would like to have considered? Check out the categories: Please recommend your candidates for the following categories: Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award Maria Thomas Fiction Award Award for Best Poetry Book Award for Best Travel Writing Award for Best Children’s Book And for the best short piece that best describes the Peace Corps experience, the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award Send in your nominations to: peacecorpsworldwide [at] gmail [dot] org

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