Archive - July 2010

1
The Man Who Knows Publishing: Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02)
2
More About The New Peace Corps Report
3
Review of Torn in the South Pacific by Jeff Bronow (Fiji 1988-90)
4
July Books by Peace Corps Writers
5
2010 Award for Best Poetry Book won by Tony Zurlo
6
Colombia I RPCVs Return To 1961 Training Site
7
The Peace Corps Looks Endlessly At Its Navel!
8
2010 Award for Best Children's Book won by Terri McIntyre
9
The End Of Mad Man Bob Gale # 13
10
Photographer Damian Wampler at Brooklyn Museum

The Man Who Knows Publishing: Jason Boog (Guatemala 2000-02)

Forget about Paul Theroux, Peter Hessler, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, Tony D’Souza and all the other noted Peace Corps writers! If you want to know where publishing is headed, read what Jason Boog has to say. Jason is an RPCV who is ahead of the “publishing game” in New York City. I have been aware of Boog for a few years and watched him from a distance as he has successfully circumnavigated the deep, shark-infested waters of traditional Manhattan literary life. But who is this smart guy with the weird name, anyway? After spending two years on top of a mountain in Peace Corps Guatemala, Jason writes that he “chased the dream of every skinny Midwestern writer boy with glasses: to starve to death in New York City.” Today in New York, he is an editor of Mediabistro Publishing, where he “curates publishing events and helps with the digital publishing curriculum at mediabistro.com. He also edits Mediabistro blogs . . .

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More About The New Peace Corps Report

It should be noted that when Shriver and the others were developing the “Peace Corps” in the Mayflower Hotel it was Sarge who held the position that Peace–not Development–that was the overriding purpose, and the process of promoting it was necessarily complex. So the Peace Corps should learn to live with complexity that could not be summed up in a single proposition. Finally, the Task Force agreed on three. Goal One:  It can contribute to the development of critical countries and regions. Goal Two: It can promote international cooperation and goodwill toward this country. Goal Three: It can also contribute to the education of America and to more intelligent American participation in the world. On the morning of Friday, February 24, 1961, Shriver delivered the report-the Peace Corps Magna Carta-to Kennedy and told him: “If you decide to go ahead, we can be in business Monday morning.” It had taken Shriver, Wofford, Wiggins, Josephson and . . .

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Review of Torn in the South Pacific by Jeff Bronow (Fiji 1988-90)

Reilly Ridgell is the author of the textbook Pacific Nations and Territories that has been in print continuously since 1983, and its elementary level version, Pacific Neighbors.  He has also written Bending to the Trade Winds: Stories of the Peace Corps Experience in Micronesia, and has just released his first novel, Green Pearl Odyssey.  He is currently a dean at Guam Community College. Here Reilly reviews Jeff Bronow’s Torn in the South Pacific. Torn in the South Pacific by Jeff Bronow (Fiji 1988–90) Publish America $24.95 246 pages January 2010 Reviewed by Reilly Ridgell (Micronesia 1971-73) I’M A SUCKER for books set in the tropical Pacific. I’ve read most from Melville to Stevenson, to London, to Maugham, to Burdick, to Frisbie, to Nordhoff, to Hall, to Michener, to Becke, to Stoddard, to Osbourne, to Russell, to Grimble — all making their best effort to explain, through their European or American . . .

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July Books by Peace Corps Writers

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996–97) Random House/Pantheon $22.95 201 pages June 2010 • Iracema’s Footprint (Peace Corps novel) by Bernard F. Blanche (Brazil 1965–67) Eloquest Books $21.95 460 pages April 2010 • Mosquito Operas: New and Selected Short Poems by Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1964–66) Rain Mountain Press $10.00 (from PublishersGraphicsBookstore.com) 73 pages July 2010

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2010 Award for Best Poetry Book won by Tony Zurlo

PEACE CORPS WRITERS is pleased to announce that The Mind Dancing by Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1964–66) has won the 2010 Award  for the Outstanding Poetry Book published by a Peace Corps writer during 2009. Zurlo will receive a framed certificate and a prize of $200. After many years of teaching history and writing in public schools in Long Island, and in colleges (Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Ohio, Oklahoma), Tony taught literature and writing at a teachers’ university in the Peoples Republic of China. The year in China was the second life-changing experience for Tony. Studying, discovering, and appreciating Chinese culture and the people is the subject of The Mind Dancing. Not just a collection of poems, The Mind Dancing traces his journey of self-discovery from his experiences in China. Part One, “Roots,” establishes the foundations of Chinese culture indispensable for personal growth.  Part Two, “Discovery,” reveals spiritual development from experiencing the environment . . .

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Colombia I RPCVs Return To 1961 Training Site

On November 4-5, 2010, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Colombia I Volunteers, the first Peace Corps group to assemble, and Rutgers University, the first Peace Corps training site, will celebrate the moment when the idea of a Peace Corps became a reality. Keeping the Peace Corps spirit alive, these Colombia I RPCVs, and the University,  will hold a Peace Corps forum on  November 4.  The next morning, Rutgers University’s President, Richard L. McCormick, will preside at a commemorative ceremony, culminating in the unveiling of a plaque on the spot where Colombia I began training for the Peace Corps on June 25,1961. Colombia I RPCVs will host a cumbia-laden celebratory banquet on the evening of November 5, where “elaborations and exaggerations of the truth,” particularly with respect to Peace Corps exploits, will not only be allowed, but  admired and encouraged.

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The Peace Corps Looks Endlessly At Its Navel!

A lot gets lost over time and 50 years of history is a long time for an agency. Reading this past weekend the long, and deadly prose written report: The Peace Corps A Comprehensive Agency Assessment, published by the agency in June 2010, I realized how much of the original spirit of the Peace Corps has evaporated in five decades of service. This report claims six people wrote it, with lots of advisory committees, but I’m told the key writers were Jean Lujan, an attorney, who recently retired from the Department of Justice. She was a PCV in Chile back in 1965-67, and a graduate of the U of Michigan. The other writer (to use the term loosely) was Carlos Torres. He is the founder and former president of I Corporation, a company specializing in international consulting. In other words, a Beltway Bandit. They, and their cohorts, attempts to evaluate the agency, and make recommendations . . .

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2010 Award for Best Children's Book won by Terri McIntyre

PEACE CORPS WRITERS is pleased to announce that Stronghold by Terri McIntyre (Pakistan 1963–65) has won the 2010 Award  for the Outstanding Children’s Book published by a Peace Corps writer during 2009. McIntyre will receive a framed certificate and a prize of $200. Stronghold, recommended for readers from 9 to 12 years of age, is a story that combines a boy’s grief, archaeology and the magic of imagination, was inspired by the author’s children when they built forts in the trees near their home, and by the discovery of Anasazi ruins under their home town. Stronghold’s hero, thirteen-year-old Joe Aberdeen finds himself in the middle of a dangerous adventure when he discovers looters in the act of pillaging. • Terri McIntyre’s Peace Corps assignment was to start an office skills program in a girls’ high school in Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. The only problem during her first month of service, however, . . .

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The End Of Mad Man Bob Gale # 13

Regardless of what else might be said about the “Gale Method” it established two important elements for the Peace Corps. HQ staff now understood how recruitment was done, and had acquired the skills that would make them effective recruiters. More importantly was that within the first years, the Peace Corps was established as part of campus life. Peace Corps Recruiters would be invited back every year, and would be welcomed, often with the same deference and cooperation shown in 1963. By now, and this was early in 1965, the Peace Corps was starting the “In, Up & Out” policy that Robert Textor had crafted in a memo for the agency, and Bob Gale was thinking of leaving. He didn’t want to be Director of Recruiting for Life, as Shriver had declared at the senior staff meeting in March 1963. Gale wanted to leave when the going was good. In the academic year 1963-64, his recruiting techniques . . .

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Photographer Damian Wampler at Brooklyn Museum

FINE ART DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER Damian Wampler (Kyrgyzstan 1999-2001) recently had two prints from his series Darfur in Brooklyn acquired by the Brooklyn Museum. One of the prints, Untitled 1 (Kitchen), will be on display in the American Identities galleries on the 5th floor from August-December 2010. Darfur in Brooklyn is a documentary photography project that shadows a day in the life of a Sudanese taxi driver named Omar. Damian met Omar at a protest in front of the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC. He soon learned that Omar lived in the neighborhood adjacent to his in Brooklyn that had a large Sudanese population. Damian began shooting portraits of many of the 300 Darfuri refugees that live in Kensington, a Brooklyn neighborhood just south of Prospect Park, but soon realized that Omar’s face reflected the struggle of the Darfuris as a whole. “The Darfuris accepted me and opened their houses to me. . . .

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