Archive - June 17, 2010

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Writers From the Peace Corps: The Lost Generation, Part Nine
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Writers From the Peace Corps: The Lost Generation, Part Eight

Writers From the Peace Corps: The Lost Generation, Part Nine

As Others See Us On September 9, 2001, on the 40th anniversary of the agency, The Washington Post reported that the Peace Corps community is “churning out enough works – thousands of memoirs, novels, and books of poetry – to warrant a whole new genre: Peace Corps Literature.” Also in 2001, Book Magazine wrote in the March/April issue about the literary movement of Peace Corps writers, quoting Paul Theroux, Bob Shacochis and Kent Haruf. Then there is the review that appeared in the November 2001 issue of Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy about the collection of Peace Corps stories that were published in Living On The Edge. The reviewer was Patrick Shannon of Penn State University and he wrote. “None of the contributors are protagonists in their chapters, but each chapter is based on some event that the writer witnessed, experienced, or heard about. By telling the stories, the . . .

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Writers From the Peace Corps: The Lost Generation, Part Eight

Poetry in the Peace Corps The intense cross cultural experience of the Peace Corps has produced in many PCVs a deep well of sentiment that has found its way, perhaps too easily, into poetry. Fortunately, this intense experience has also been a rich source of material for many fine published poets including Charlie Smith, Mark Brazaitis, Susan Rich,  Philip Dacey, Sandra Meek, Ann Neelon, Paul Violi, Keith Carthwright, Florence Chard Dacey,Lisa Chavez, Chris Conlon, John Flynn, Margaret Szumowski, Virginia Gilbert, Tony Zurlo, and many others. Poets, I believe, have been best able to explain the values of the Peace Corps experience as it relates to writing. Margaret Szumowski, who served in Uganda and Ethiopia, puts it this way: “I think the poet gains a great deal. She absorbs the sounds of other languages, takes in imagery never seen before, observes the way families operate compared to her own experience, sees the struggle other . . .

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