Author - John Coyne

1
In The Loop With Al Kamen On The New Peace Corps Director
2
The Peace Corps Picks Up On Peace Corps Writers
3
Talking with Matt Davis about His Peace Corps Book
4
Malawi RPCV John Shannon Talks About "Palos Verdes Blue"
5
Don't Let Larry Leamer Down!
6
Our RPCV In Cairo
7
What! More Peace Corps? Branding the Peace Corps
8
Tiny Tony Holquin
9
A Comment on President Obama's Cairo Address
10
Reading About Novelist James Jones

In The Loop With Al Kamen On The New Peace Corps Director

RPCV Al Kamen (Dominican Republic 1965-67) of the Washington Post  has been tracking the search for a new Peace Corps Director. Here’s what he had to say today in his In The Loop column. “There’s word the administration is looking to name a new Peace Corps director soon. Early chat had been that James Arena-DeRosa, formerly the agency’s New England regional director, was a leading contender for the job, but he seems to have faded. The front-runners now, we hear, are Frank Fountain, a senior executive at the Chrysler Group, and Aaron Williams, now a top executive with the Research Training Institute. Fountain was a volunteer in India, Williams in the Dominican Republic.”

Read More

The Peace Corps Picks Up On Peace Corps Writers

We are happy to see that the Peace Corps has finally followed the example of Peace Corps Writers (and now PeaceCorpsWorldWide.org) by interviewing Peace Corps writers. They have gotten around to interviewing Kris Holloway (Mali 1989-91) in their World Wise Schools section of www.peacecorps.gov. We interviewed Kris back in, I think, 2006. This interview by Amy Clark on the Peace Corps site is well done.  Take a look. By the way, trying to find World Wise Schools on their site is no easy task. Here’s the link to Kris’ intereview. http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/stories/stories.cfm?psid=681

Read More

Talking with Matt Davis about His Peace Corps Book

An interview by John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64) At 23, in 2000, Matt Davis as a PCV went to a remote western Mongolian mountain town to teach English at a local college. What he found when he arrived was a town — and a country — undergoing change from a traditional, countryside existence to a more urban, modern identity. The story of his Peace Corps years is told in When Things Get Dark which is scheduled for publication in 2010. Matt’s book is not only about the Mongolians he meets but his own downward spiral into alcohol abuse and violence — a scenario he saw played out by many of the Mongolian men around him who were having a difficult time adjusting to the rapid change in society. Matt’s own struggles eventually culminate in a drunken fight with three Mongolian men that forces him to a Mongolian hospital to have his kidneys . . .

Read More

Malawi RPCV John Shannon Talks About "Palos Verdes Blue"

[Reporter  Melissa Heckscher of the Daily Breeze newspaper  in California just published this article on RPCV mystery writer John Shannon that I thought you’d like to read.] John Shannon’s (Malawi 1965–67) latest mystery thriller, Palos Verdes Blue, is about a private detective who finds himself caught in a race-fueled turf war on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. John may specialize in fiction, but San Pedro-born novelist Shannon is as much a journalist as he is a mystery writer. To research each of his 11 Jack Liffey mystery novels, Shannon dove into the underbellies of Los Angeles, exploring topics ranging from the sex trade in Koreatown to the riots in South Central. So while his stories are fictional, their backdrops are often based on stark realities. “Almost all of my books have some underlying factual basis,” said Shannon, 65, whose most recent work turns the spotlight on the South Bay. “I thought, ‘If I’m going to keep . . .

Read More

Don't Let Larry Leamer Down!

Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1965-67) author of Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach has put out a call on today’s Huffington Post calling all RPCVs to rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. (14th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) on June 13th (Saturday) at 2 p.m., in support of “Obama’s Peace Corps Vision.” Joining Larry Leamer and hundreds of other RPCVs will be, Leamer writes, “former Senator Harris Wofford, a lifelong champion of volunteering, speaks from the depths of his great heart. You will be there listening as Tim Shriver, the CEO of Special Olympics International and the son of Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver, speaks with passion of a world of challenge and diversity. You will be there listening to the incredible list of speakers of all ages and backgrounds who will be presenting their own testimonies. You will be there listening to . . .

Read More

Our RPCV In Cairo

We had one of our website  reporters in Cairo yesterday to cover the President’s talk at the university and we received this report a few hours ago. • It is difficult to start to describe yesterday because so many descriptions come to mind. “Wow” seems to be a good starting place. Then comes “proud” quickly followed by “emotional.” So let’s start with “wow.” Even though there is some disappointment that Obama didn’t provide more concrete policy proposals on the peace process, almost universally Egyptians that I spoke with, saw on TV last night, or read on their blogs gave this speech a big thumbs up. Of course, there was pride of place–Egyptians were excited that Obama chose Cairo as the venue for this speech. After the speech pride gave way to the feeling of a personal connection with the American president. He used verses from the Koran, he spoke about things that mattered to . . .

Read More

What! More Peace Corps? Branding the Peace Corps

With all this talk about rallying the RPCVs to call congressmen and congresswomen, I dug up an interview I had done a year or so ago with John Bidwell (Mali 1989-91). John is married to Kris Holloway (Mali 1989-91). They met in the Peace Corps and later married, and a few years ago Kris wrote a wonderful book about her work with an African woman who was her mentor in Mali. The book is entitled Monique and the Mango Rains. When I interviewed Kris for PeaceCorpsWriters about her memoir, I came to know John, and the work he has done to market and promote the book. John has his own firm–Bidwell ID–that he started  in 1999 and he works with clients nationwise to improve their brand. Many of these firms are cause-driven organizations, much like what the Peace Corps is, besides being a government agency. Branding–for those new to the term– is the process of . . .

Read More

Tiny Tony Holquin

What I remember best about him were his small and delicate hands. They were like a woman’s hands really, soft and gentle. His handshake, even when I first met him as a teenager, was soft and gentle. He never tried to impress anyone with his strength, for he wasn’t big or imposing. Professional Golfer magazine referred to him as “little Tony” when he won the 1953 Texas Open. Once, back in the early ’50s when he broke the course record at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club in the first round of the Crosby Golf Championship, the Chicago Tribune headline read something like, “Tiny Tony Shots 63 at Crosby.’ His size didn’t matter when there was a golf club in his hands. When he was on the tee everyone took notice. Compact as he was, he could generate enormous power and drive a golf ball, as we used to say back . . .

Read More

A Comment on President Obama's Cairo Address

Doug Worthington ( Ethiopia 1963-65) writes: “As I listened to Obama’s sensitive and culture-bridging talk in  Cairo, I tried to imagine myself as a returned PC volunteer giving a similar speak. I think each of us, having travelled and lived aboard, could have given a similar speech. Obama seemed like a PCV to me. In a sense, he has had the Peace Corps experience. He sees the world from a different perspective than does the average American.” Well said, Doug!

Read More

Reading About Novelist James Jones

I have been reading the galleys of a memoir that will come out in September. It is a book that has nothing to do with the Peace Corps, and was written by Kaylie Jones, the daughter of the novelist James Jones. You might have seen the movie made of her first book, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries which starred Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Hershey. This book is again about her famous father, and their early life together. Jones died when she was 16. However, what interests me is when he was writing his first and most famous novel, From Here to Eternity. This is a great war novel (you have seen the very good movie of it, I’m sure) and with The Naked And The Dead, the two best books (plus, of course, Catch 22) about WWII. Anyway, I read both of these novels when I was a teenager and while the prose is not perfect (unlike . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.