Archive - December 28, 2009

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Talking To, With, And About The Peace Corps
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RPCV David Taylor’ The WPA Writers’ Project Makes Best Book Of 2009 List
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RPCV Bissell in Sun Magazine

Talking To, With, And About The Peace Corps

Karen Chaput, Video Production Manager in the Office of Communications for the Peace Corps, caught up with me when I was in D.C. recently and asked if I would sit down and be interviewed for her digital project. She recently sent me the unedited transcript of my 40 minutes with her talking about the history of the agency and the work we have been doing with Peace Corps writers. Here is a brief except from those 40 minutes. (With some additional editing by the author.) Q. John, you’ve devoted a lot of your personal time to Peace Corps writers over the years.  You obviously have a passion for helping people recreate their Volunteer stories.  Can you explain a little bit about that? John:  Well, oddly enough, I’ve only written one story myself about the Peace Corps, and I have published 25 novels and books of non-fiction. Two of my collections, one fiction and . . .

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RPCV David Taylor’ The WPA Writers’ Project Makes Best Book Of 2009 List

Bob Hoover, book editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has just picked the Best Books of  2009. On the short (10 books only) non-fiction list is Soul of A People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America” by David A. Taylor (Mauritania 1983–85).  Quoting Hoover in his selection, “This 1930s version of a stimulus package reinvigorated a starving artist class in America with jobs for out-of-work writers. The results, while uneven, were remarkable. Taylor provides a basic history of this project.”   Nicely done, David! Read our review of the book at: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/rpcv-taylors/  

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RPCV Bissell in Sun Magazine

The Sun–a very fine small magazine published by Sy Safransky in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, that you should read (and could write for) just published (January 2010) a short piece by Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996-97)  in their Sunbeams column, which is the back page of the publication. Sunbeams are short items that shed light on a particular topic. Bissell has a comment on the Environment. Tom writes: Environmentalism suddenly struck me as the most obvious philosophy imaginable: Let us not ruin forever where we live and work and breathe and eat. Earth’s future inhabitants will no doubt look upon our current environmental practices–maintained despite all manner of evidence that doing so will result in  planetary ruin–roughly the way we look upon eighteenth-century surgery. And that is if we, and they, are very lucky.” Tom is now teaching creative writing at Portland State (if you are looking for a writing class to take) and you . . .

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