Archive - April 30, 2009

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All Those Sad Goodbyes
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The Pleasure Of Small Presses
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Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1962-64) New Collection of Poems
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Talking About 'Honor Killing' With RPCV Ellen R. Sheeley

All Those Sad Goodbyes

The 25th Anniversary Conference mostly took place on the Washington D.C. Mall where 5,000 + gathered under the largest tent ever raised at the foot of the Capitol Dome and adjacent to the Air and Space Museum. The Mall was the brainchild of Bill Carey (India 1968-69) the executive director of the conference. The late talented writer David Schickele (Nigeria 1961-63) wrote, “The tent was like the Peace Corps I was part of. Its muggy windless flaps said something about heat and hard work and improvisation, its massive nonchalance the perfect protection for the ideas being hatched beneath it.” Over 70% of those at the conference had served in the first 10 years of the Peace Corps. Almost 45% had served in just 10 of the 82 countries represented at the conference. Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Liberia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, Thailand and Turkey. People had come from all 50 states and 12 other countries. Doug . . .

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The Pleasure Of Small Presses

Sometimes (many times) it pays to be published by a small press. Take Lauri Anderson (Nigeria 1965-67) His novel, Hunting Hemingway’s Trout was first published by the well known New York publisher,  Athenaeum. But since that edition came and went, he has been published by the small Minnesota press, North Star. They are a legitimate small press who do not give advances but do pay royalties. They also keep all of his books in print and have gone back to print with his most popular books.  Several of his books are used in literature classes at various universities and two, those set in Misery Bay, were woven into a film that was shown on prime-time TV in Finland.  Many of his characters are Finnish because Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is full of Finns and the town where he grew up in northern Maine also had a lot of Finns,  including his father.  As Laurie writes, “My writing career has been disappointing monetarily but gratifying in that . . .

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Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1962-64) New Collection of Poems

In his review  in the San Antonio Express, Roberto Bonazzi writes of Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1962–64) new collection of poems, The Mind Dancing: “These poems about China make it clear that he [Zurio] is neither Western-centric nor egocentric, and that he has remained open to the ancient wisdom of the East.” Tony’s first  poem is  “Dao: The Elusive One” who “consumes scholars / in missions of the mind, / convinced they can analyze / and split it like an atom, / attracts philosophers / like gravity, confident / they will tame it with syllogisms and logic, / lures pilgrims to mountain tops, / guided by monks who promise / paradise to all who yield / to the scripture of bliss.” Not all of the poems are brief Zen-like lyrics; there are also longer discursive poems with witty turns and several love poems for his Chinese wife, artist Vivian Lu, who provides a . . .

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Talking About 'Honor Killing' With RPCV Ellen R. Sheeley

Ellen R. Sheeley was an early business PCV in Western Samoa from 1983 to 1985. Finishing her tour, she traveled home very slowly, circling the globe. Years later as a successful businesswoman, she happened to watch a television newscast that impassioned her. Ellen was kind enough to grant an electronic interview about her book Reclaiming Honor in Jordan: A National Public Opinion Survey On “Honor” Killings. She was interviewed by Lawrence F. Lihosit (Honduras 1975-77) a  city planner who publishes books (travel & poetry)  as a hobby. [Larry:] What is an honor killing? [Ellen:] “Honor” killing is the murder of family for actual or perceived immoral sexual behavior. It is a misguided attempt to restore family honor. Immoral behavior could be rape (in which case the rape victim is murdered), extramarital or premarital intercourse, or even flirtation. “Honor” killing is believed to have its origins in misinterpretations of pre-Islamic Arab . . .

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