Archive - June 20, 2013

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Review: GIMME FIVE by Philip Dacey (Nigeria)
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Peace Corps Awards for the Best Books of 2012
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Review of George Packer's (Togo 1982-83) The Unwinding

Review: GIMME FIVE by Philip Dacey (Nigeria)

Gimme Five by Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1963–65) Blue Light Press: First World Publishing 2013 74 pages $15.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Barry Kitterman (Belize 1976-78) • On the surface, Philip Dacey’s poems have less to do with his time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria in the early ’60s, than with the rich life he has lived since. This collection of poems, with one or two notable exceptions, is not about Africa or the great world out there. Philip Dacey’s concerns are those things held dear to any American poet living in our time, in our country, anyone who has devoted his life to letters and teaching and family. Like any poet worth his salt, Dacey loves individual words and phrases, the bricks and mortar of poetry. His ear for a good turn of phrase is evident throughout. When his name is misspelled on a mailing label, he riffs on . . .

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Peace Corps Awards for the Best Books of 2012

[It is time to nominate your favorite Peace Corps book published in 2012. Make your nomination(s) in the comment section following this announcement so people can see what books have been recognized. You may nominate your own book; books written by friends; books written by total strangers. The books can be about the Peace Corps or on any topic. The books must have been published in 2012. The awards will be announced in August. Thank you for nominating your favorite book written by a PCV, RPCV or Peace Corps Staff. A framed certificate and money are given to the winners.] Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award First given in 1990, the Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award was named to honor Paul Cowan, a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Ecuador. Cowan wrote The Making of An Un-American about his experiences as a Volunteer in Latin America in the sixties. A longtime activist and . . .

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Review of George Packer's (Togo 1982-83) The Unwinding

The Unwinding by George Packer (Togo 1982-83) Farrar, Straus and Giroux $27.00 432 pages 2013 Reviewed by Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991-93) It seems unfair to criticize something for not being what it never intended to be. Imagine Hemingway being criticized for not including an analysis of 1940s fishing yields in the Caribbean in The Old Man and the Sea. Or the Rolling Stones being rebuked for not slipping a violin concerto into Exile on Main Street. Or Georgia O’Keefe being taken to task for not depicting an occasional tractor or bulldozer or tomato soup can in her orchid series. In his June 9 review of George Packer’s The Unwinding, David Brooks, in the New York Times Book Review, faults the author for failing to provide a “theoretical framework and worldview” that would explain the lives and situations Packer examines. Brooks, a Times op-ed columnist, compares The Unwinding to John Dos . . .

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