Archive - July 2016

1
Marlboro College’s Writing Intensive: Words Against War
2
Why the National University MFA in Creative Writing is ideal for PCVs or RPCVs
3
John Garamendi inspires Peter Yarrow to write The Children Are Listening (Ethiopia)
4
The Wetback and Other Stories by Ron Arias (Peru)
5
Kitty Thuermer Remembers Sydney Hillel Schanberg
6
Marlboro College reversing enrollment decline with Kevin Quigley (Thailand)
7
$750,000 Breast Cancer Study Grant, Utilizing RPCV Women Fails To Obtain Adequate Data
8
Review: DEATH IN VERACRUZ translated by Chandler Thompson (Colombia)
9
New books by Peace Corps writers — June 2016
10
Mark Wentling reviews THE GREAT SURGE by Steve Radeltt (Western Samoa)

Marlboro College’s Writing Intensive: Words Against War

The Brattleboro Reformer newspaper yesterday carried an article about the summer program at Marlboro College and quoted former PCV Thailand 1976-79 and CD Thailand 2013-15, as well as the recent past president of the NPCA, and now President of Marlboro College, Kevin Quigley: “The Summer Writing Intensive grows out of Marlboro’s fundamental commitment to writing. Our Clear Writing Requirement stems from the belief that clear writing leads to clear thinking, and clear writing in all its forms is a constant focus in the intellectual, political, and social life of the Marlboro community. ” I’d ask Kevin who never was in the military–as many PCVs were–but built his career on Peace Corps service, why doesn’t he honor the many fine Peace Corps ‘vets’  writers and offer them grants to attend this writing intensive?–JC The Brattleboro Reformer article This summer, in collaboration with Words After War, Marlboro College will once again honor . . .

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Why the National University MFA in Creative Writing is ideal for PCVs or RPCVs

About the University National University (NU) is a fully-accredited, not-for-profit university that offers undergraduate and graduate online classes in an accelerated format where courses last either four- or eight-weeks long, and students take only one course at a time. This format offers flexibility to students to take time off from the program for employment, travel, or other obligations. This asynchronous online format allows students to study from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection. Graduate students at National have completed their Masters Degrees from places as distant as Japan, Guam, Alaska, and Afghanistan. About the Creative Writing MFA Established in 2005, the National University’s Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing (MFA/CW) offered by the  School of Arts and Sciences offers four genres of study: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or screenwriting. Like Masters Degrees in all fine and applied arts,  the MFA in Creative Writing is considered a terminal degree. It thus qualifies a graduate to . . .

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John Garamendi inspires Peter Yarrow to write The Children Are Listening (Ethiopia)

  Inspired by a speech by Rep. John Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-68) Peter Yarrow wrote a song entitled, “The Children Are Listening” with his friend Kevin Salem producing. The graphic is entitled, “Campaign for Civility” and was designed by the legendary designer, Milton Glaser. Peter writes, “Operation Respect’s CEO and President, Molly McCloskey, has created a link on the Operation Respect website that includes a 6 minute version of Garamendi’s speech, and has sent out 60 emails to various educational allies who are leaders of various educational organizations.” Operation Respect is NOT connected to any political advocacy, party or political agenda. It is a 501(c)3. The link to John Garamendi’s 6 minute video speech to the House of Representatives is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6uFYikh31A&feature=youtu.be And listen to Peter’s song here:  

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The Wetback and Other Stories by Ron Arias (Peru)

The Wetback and Other Stories, by Ron Arias ISBN 978-1-55885-834-3 Publication date: September 30, 2016 Trade paperback, Arte Publico Press, University of Houston, $17.95 I felt reading these wonderful stories that I was admitted to an adjacent neighborhood, a rich culture that is another world—call it Amexica—both mysterious and magical, that is persuasive through its tenderness. My hope is that Ron Arias continues to write short stories that tell us who we are.                                                                              – Paul Theroux (Malawi 1963-65) This collection brings together the short fiction of an acclaimed journalist and Chicano literature pioneer.  In the title story, Mrs. Rentería shouts, “David is mine!” as she and her neighbors gather about the dead but . . .

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Kitty Thuermer Remembers Sydney Hillel Schanberg

  Kitty Thuermer (Mali 1977-79) recalls Sydney Schanberg, who passed away recently, and his friendship with her father when she was a child growing up in New Delhi. Sydney Hillel Schanberg (January 17, 1934 – July 9, 2016) was an American journalist who was best known for his coverage of the war in Cambodia. He was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two George Polk awards, two Overseas Press Club awards, and the Sigma Delta Chi prize for distinguished journalism. Schanberg was played by Sam Waterston in the 1984 film The Killing Fields based on the experiences of Schanberg and the Cambodian journalist Dith Pran in Cambodia. — JC • Kitty’s story . . . In the New York Times‘ obit of Sydney Schanberg — whose Cambodia stories inspired “The Killing Fields” movie — there is little to smile about. It describes him as tough and fearless, ready to pursue any story at any cost. Sure enough, back in 1970 while bureau chief in . . .

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Marlboro College reversing enrollment decline with Kevin Quigley (Thailand)

MARLBORO — After years of declining enrollment, a renaissance may be underway at Marlboro College. The number of new students submitting deposits for the upcoming fall term has increased by nearly 50 percent compared to last year, in part due to the success of a new “Renaissance Scholars” free tuition program aimed at drawing students from outside New England. Also, the college just finished what President Kevin Quigley (Thailand 1976-79 & CD Thailand 2013-15)  is calling the most successful annual fundraiser in its history. Marlboro raised more than $2 million, a 25 percent jump from last year’s total. While much work remains, college administrators say they’re seeing signs of progress — especially in addressing enrollment numbers that recently had dipped below 200. “From today’s vantage point, I think the future looks very good,” said Montpelier attorney Dick Saudek, chairman of the college’s board of trustees. “With any small liberal arts college, there . . .

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$750,000 Breast Cancer Study Grant, Utilizing RPCV Women Fails To Obtain Adequate Data

A $750,000 study designed to examine if taking the malaria prevention drug, chloroquine (Arlen) would reduce the risk of breast cancer among RPCV women did not attract sufficient number of respondents.  It is not clear if any further study will be done.  The research team needed between 14,000 t0 18,000 participants, but less than 500 RPCV women had responded by May of 2014. The three year study ended in 2015. Background: The  Research Team at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas received the  $750,000 grant from the Department of Defense to study, “A Translational Approach to Validate In Vivo Anti-Tumor Effects of Chloroquine on Breast Cancer Risk”. Animal studies had suggested that female mammals who were given chloroquine had a lifetime reduced risk of breast cancer. The grant was awarded to Baylor to investigate if this effect could be found in human females.  The Baylor team chose to study RPCV . . .

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Review: DEATH IN VERACRUZ translated by Chandler Thompson (Colombia)

  Death in Veracruz (thriller) Hector Aguilar Camin (author), translated by Chandler Thompson (Colombia 1962–64) Schaffner Press 2015 304 pages $16.95 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Suzanne Adam (Colombia 1964–66) • Photos of eight semi-nude cadavers still fresh and bleeding lie displayed on the table before Negro. His onetime schoolmate and friend, Francisco Rojano, asks Negro, an investigative journalist, to help him find the assassin, whom he suspects is Lacho, the powerful leader of a northern oil workers union. Rojano claims that Lacho is after the oil-rich land owned by the assassinated farmers, but Negro is reluctant to get involved with Rojano, an ambitious politician. He learns that Rojano owns an extensive tract of land bordering Lacho’s farm. He guesses that there’s more to the story than Rojano is revealing. To complicate matters, Negro holds a torch for his friend’s wife, Anabela. The story is set in Mexico during the 1970s. . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — June 2016

  To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — Click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards.   See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? — Send a note to peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. •   The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan Laurence  Leamer (Nepal 1964–66) William Morrow June 2016 384 pages $27.99 (hardcover), $12.99 (Kindle) • Brevité: A Collection of Short Fiction Stephen Mustoe (Kenya 1983–84) Peace Corps Writers May 2016 132 pages $7.95 (paperback), $4.95 (Kindle) • Double Chai Quilt: Selected Poems 1980–2016 Steve Rapp (Benin 1986–88) Harvard Bookstore April 2016 146 pages $18.00 (order from publisher) • Judenstaat: . . .

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Mark Wentling reviews THE GREAT SURGE by Steve Radeltt (Western Samoa)

The current July-August edition of the Foreign Service Journal carries a review written by Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff/Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) of The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-83). • The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World  Reviewed by Mark Wentling  “Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Radelet’s ‘surge’ viewed from an African angle.” I applaud Radelet for this fascinating book. I’m enriched by all the information marshalled to support his argument that the number of poor people in the world today is less than at any previous time in history. He quotes all pertinent sources; almost every sentence cites a key statistic or reference. His book is so chock full of facts and citations it’s a relief to read a sentence that puts a human face on the poor. I agree that poverty has generally been reduced . . .

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