Literary Type

News of writers who have served in the Peace Corps.

1
Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia) — our finest “Young Adult” writer
2
Peter Hessler (China) — “The Case for Embracing Linguistic Identities”
3
Poet & Prose Writer Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde Islands)
4
Steve Kaffen (Russia) publishes EUROPE BY BUS
5
“What Writers Write & Why” by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador)
6
Richard Lipez (Ethiopia) publishes 16th Donald Strachey Mystery
7
More about the September RPCV Writers Workshop
8
PCVs binge reading in the Peace Corps
9
Peace Corps Fund Sponsors Third Goal Writers’ Workshop this September in Maryland
10
Dick Irish’s Last Book (Philippines)

Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia) — our finest “Young Adult” writer

Over the years there have been a number of very good RPCV writers who served in Ethiopia. Most notables are Dick Lipez (1962-64), writing detective mysteries at Richard Stevenson; literary novelist & English professor Mark Dinenfass (1964-66); award winning short story writer Kathleen (Johnson) Coskran (1965-67); Dan Close (1968-71) who is still writing historical novels; and  Roberta Worrick (Ethiopia 1971–73) writing as Maria Thomas. Roberta died tragically in a plane crash in the mountains of western Ethiopia in 1989. She is remembered on our site, Peace Corps Writers, by having the fiction award given in her name. There is another former PCV writer from Ethiopia — Mildred D. Taylor — who over these years has been overlooked by our Peace Corps Community. This is my fault. I knew this sweet woman when I was her APCD in 1966 –67 in Ethiopia. She was just out of college and a Peace . . .

Read More

Peter Hessler (China) — “The Case for Embracing Linguistic Identities”

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) FYI, Barry was a foreign correspondent with TIME Magazine and their bureau chief in Latin America, Persian Gulf, Tokyo and London. And he still reads TIME Magazine! Hessler is the author of The Buried: An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution. He is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he served as Beijing correspondent from 2000-2007, and is also a contributing writer for National Geographic. He won the 2008 National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting.     The Case for Embracing Linguistic Identities BY PETER HESSLER  TIME Magazine JUNE 27, 2019 • This spring, the New York Times ran a headline: “Should a White Man be the Face of the Democratic Party in 2020?” My first reaction was: Along with the face, let’s think about voice. In particular, I’m interested in language. I grew up in mid-Missouri, but I’ve spent most of my adulthood . . .

Read More

Poet & Prose Writer Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde Islands)

    Eleanor Stanford (Cape Verde Islands 2014-19) will be one of the five published writers to lead panel discussions at the September RPCV Writing Workshop in Maryland. Read her short poem below.— John Coyne      Sombre Hummingbird  Capão Valley, Brazil The Batista waterfall is half- erased, disappears before it hits the ground. Dona Aúrea loves to talk about how the world is ending. At my ear, this drab throb, the canyon swallowing the sun. I hold a glass of cachaça up to the sinking light: a cloudy eye. Once when we were young and unyoked we watched oxen mill the sugar cane to terrifying proof. Dona Aúrea, it’s true, the world is ending: in the cataract’s obliterating mist. In the kiss of the hummingbird’s fringed tongue. •   Eleanor Stanford is the author of three books of poetry, The Imaginal Marriage, Bartram’s Garden, and The Book of Sleep, . . .

Read More

Steve Kaffen (Russia) publishes EUROPE BY BUS

    Buses are transforming European travel, cruising its highways, country roads, and coastlines, and connecting its cities and towns. They offer comfortable seating, wide windows, immediate boarding, value pricing, and modern technology along intercity routes spanning the European continent. Using descriptive text of 50 bus trips and destination city visits over a two-year period, author/explorer Steve Kaffen weaves together a fascinating travel story while providing experiential guidance on how to take advantage of this exciting way to explore Europe. Some 600 photos of all the bus trips, cities, sights and local color complement the story. An excerpt from the book’s Foreword: “‘Europe by Bus’ is informative, joyous, and lots of fun, with wonderful photographs and valuable tips. Its broad coverage, in text and photos, of some of Europe’s most interesting places makes the book a fascinating story and an excellent planning tool.” An excerpt from the Introduction: “Steve Kaffen . . .

Read More

“What Writers Write & Why” by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador)

    Approximately ten years ago, Marnie Mueller was invited as visiting faculty to Bennington College where she gave the following talk to the MFA students in the college’s prestigious graduate school writing program. — John Coyne • What Writers Write & Why by Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)   When I returned in the mid-1960s to the United States from a two year stint in the Peace Corps in Guayaquil, Ecuador, I was in a sorry way, deeply traumatized, subject to dark silent rages, nightmares, and a terror of being in crowds. At first I drank alone to calm the turmoil, then I found a shrink, and eventually I sought solace in reading novels. I found refuge in the books by young men of my generation who had fought in Vietnam, particularly in a work by Tim O’Brien. In Going after Cacciato I identified with his character being in such . . .

Read More

Richard Lipez (Ethiopia) publishes 16th Donald Strachey Mystery

    It’s a family reunion in the era of American tribal politics, and what could go wrong? Plenty, including murder, when the Callahan clan convenes at a New England country inn and one of the most politically outspoken relatives is the victim of a bizarre poisoning. Timothy Callahan and his long-time spouse, Albany PI Don Strachey, contend not just with dampened spirits, but with injustice when a misguided local cop zeroes in on an innocent Callahan. PI Strachey has to unearth a complicated family’s hidden history, nail the real killer, and expose an act of long-contained violent rage in this disturbing tale of the way we live now. • Richard Stevenson (Richard Lipez) will meet and greet anybody willing to consider buying KILLER REUNION, the 16th Donald Strachey mystery, at The Bookstore, 11 Housatonic St., Lenox, Mass on Friday, June 7 at 5:30 p.m. • Killer Reunion A Donald Strachey . . .

Read More

More about the September RPCV Writers Workshop

  Our Peace Corps tours have been great experiences. Many RPCVs have felt an urge to capture in prose and poetry that experience. Over the years I have been amazed by the wonderful stories and insights that have come out of our two years as Volunteers in the developing world. We have all benefited in our lives from those years. I am also amazed by the insightful and heartfelt slices of history of these nations written by RPCVs. Everyone’s story is uniquely different and there are many tales to tell by RPCVs. But telling one’s story is not easy. It takes time, dedication, and many drafts. All of the published writers we have gathered for our September Workshop have not had the same experience in writing their stories. They have told their Peace Corps experiences in poems, short stories, essays, memoirs, and in novels. One writer I know took twenty-five . . .

Read More

PCVs binge reading in the Peace Corps

  The New York Times on Sunday, May 5, 2018 had an interesting article by writer Ben Dolnick entitled, “Why You Should Binge Read” how when he lost power and he was unable to watch Netflix or “engage in my customary internet fugue” he started reading and the joy and satisfaction he got from binge reading. Well, he got a lot of comments. The ones from PCVs and RPCVs struck home with me, as they will with you. Here is what a few PCVs and RPCVs had to say as they remembered that time in their lives.   Jean Ethiopia There is nothing quite like the pleasure of living inside a well written novel for a few days. I am currently a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia with limited access to internet and no television. I read a lot of fiction, usually several books a week and it keeps me . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Fund Sponsors Third Goal Writers’ Workshop this September in Maryland

       Peace Corps Fund Sponsors Third Goal Writers’ Workshop this September in Maryland   Release Date: May 1, 2019                                                   Contact: Matt Losak (Lesotho 1985-88) 301-588-3987    Want to spend three days in September on the Eastern Shore of Maryland discussing your book with other RPCV writers and published authors? Peace Corps Writers, with support from the Peace Corps Fund, is arranging a small, inexpensiveworkshop for ten to fifteen RPCVs and formers Peace Corps staff working on their own Peace Corps memoir, poetry, or fiction. The workshop will be held from Wednesday, September 18th to Saturday, September 21rd at Shore Retreats on Broad Creek, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. Costs range from $100 for those on tight budgets, $250 for those of modest means, and $500 for those who can afford it. The retreat facility includes shared living quarters, meals and snacks. The writing program will . . .

Read More

Dick Irish’s Last Book (Philippines)

        The late Richard Irish (Philippines 1962-64) posthumous book Allies and Adversaries: Churchill and the Man Who Would Be France was published by his wife Pat Reilly and is about the theatrical collisions between two gargantuan egos: the inexorable force Churchill versus the immoveable body de Gaulle. As Dick wrote: Every melodrama has a villain and mine is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who tarnished his well-deserved halo by repeatedly attempting to scuttle the Free French movement and consign her founder to history’s trash bin. FDR’s reluctant enabler was Winston Churchill, who by degrees seemed to become Roosevelt’s accomplice but in fact played a crucial role as France’s White Knight. Each personage was driven by something far stronger than mere personal ambition: Churchill incarnated the British bulldog as much as de Gaulle la Furia Française. The quarrels between these leaders, marked mostly by good manners and levitated discourse, were usually due to dissimilar . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.