Peace Corps writers

1
Martin Ganzglass’s (Somalia) new short stories GOATS
2
Talking to Ted Wells (Ethiopia) author of POWER, CHAOS & CONSENSUS
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RISK AND THE STATE by Phil LeBel (Ethiopia)
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Eric Torgersen (Ethiopia) — Honorary Chancellor of the Poetry Society of Michigan
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A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength, and Determination by Grover Jackson (Kenya)
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Manufacturing Diplomacy by Peter Hessler (China) in The New Yorker
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New List of Peace Corps writers who have published 2 or more books — March 2021
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FOR THE LOVE OF THE STRUGGLE by Andres [Drew] McKinley (El Salvador)
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“Ernesto” in Pamplona by Ron Arias (Peru)
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FAST FOOD FOR THOUGHT — poetry by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)

Martin Ganzglass’s (Somalia) new short stories GOATS

  A tenured professor writes the definitive history of Philip of Macedon with help from a most unusual source. A visit to the Metropolitan Opera trips up an embezzler who has planned the perfect escape. The day before Thanksgiving from a dog’s eye view. An aging Italian man with a secret past in East Africa. Two families grapple with the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. Friendships and rivalries boil over in a veterans’ retirement home. In ten imaginative short stories, Martin Ganzglass weaves together the mundane and the supernatural to reveal relationships that are at once humorous and humane. • Goats: And Other Stories Martin Ganzglass (Somalia 1966–68) Peace Corps Writers March, 2021 305 pages $10.00 (paperback)

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Talking to Ted Wells (Ethiopia) author of POWER, CHAOS & CONSENSUS

  Ted, where are you from in the States? I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in a small town called Sharon 20 miles south of the city. I started a 5 year degree in Architecture at the University of Oregon in Eugene, but finished it at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where I met my wife-to-be, Helen, who was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, but had moved to Colorado just before I arrived. Why the Peace Corps? I was strongly opposed to the Vietnam War and would have emigrated to Canada with my wife of ten months had we not both been accepted into the Peace Corps immediately after I graduated from university. Thankfully, my Draft Board accepted this as an alternative to Vietnam. Why Ethiopia? We would have accepted any assignment anywhere in the Peace Corps, but Community Development work in Ethiopia was the only choice . . .

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RISK AND THE STATE by Phil LeBel (Ethiopia)

  Economics demonstrates how markets can serve as remarkably efficient institutions in allocating scarce resources. • At the same time, incomplete information generates prices that can lead to a misallocation, producing in some cases too little while in others too much of a good. Matters become more complicated when striking a balance is influenced by our perceptions of risk. Here, neuroscience provides insights into which, and what kind of public sector interventions one should consider. While there are many types of risk – political, economic, financial, and environmental as individuals confront any crisis, our perceptions of risk can alter significantly the extent to which we look to public sector intervention as a response. In the short run, crises may be managed through greater public intervention while in the long run, economic fundamentals still drive key decisions, and thus the extent to which a given mix meets a test of political . . .

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Eric Torgersen (Ethiopia) — Honorary Chancellor of the Poetry Society of Michigan

  With IN WHICH WE SEE OUR SELVES, Eric Torgersen begins with the formal structure of the ghazal as popularized by Agha Shahid Ali and unapologetically makes a more American thing of it, arguing in his Afterword that this transformation is as inevitable as what happens when the children of immigrant parents pass through an American junior high school: not everyone is pleased with the result.“I’ve tried to avoid faux- Eastern themes and tones,” he writes. Fluently metrical and effortlessly rhymed, at times in short, hard-hitting lines with refrains as brief as a single word, these poems leap off the page with speech as American as this: My gang all quit when I didn’t split the take right. We crashed and burned when I didn’t hit the brake right. Following the common practice of “signing” the poems in the final couplet, Torgersen allows a chorus of voices — selves? — . . .

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A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength, and Determination by Grover Jackson (Kenya)

  Grover Jackson, co-author of a generation-spanning memoir which details the life of a Black Southern sharecropper family in America, announces a multimedia event — “Back to Kenya”  • A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength, and Determination by Grover Jackson (Kenya 1967-69, Mary Fullard and E. Christine Jackson Newman Springs Press 422 pages September 2020 $8.99 (Kindle); $24.95 (Paperback); $36.95 (Hardback) STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga., March 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Grover Jackson, Mary Fullard, and E. Christine Jackson announced the upcoming release of a multimedia presentation and lecture to pair with their recently published co-authored memoir, A Journey of Love, Faith, Strength, and Determination. As part of the epic family journey detailed in the book, Grover’s powerful and transformative two-year Peace Corps deployment to Kenya in 1967 is reexamined as a legacy journey of personal understanding. Grover returned to Kenya in January of 2020 to revisit the places and people that touched and changed him as a young man . . .

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Manufacturing Diplomacy by Peter Hessler (China) in The New Yorker

    In the March 15, 2021 issue of The New Yorker Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) has a long, long fascinating article about the ‘real’ world of commerce between China and the U.S. entitled ”The Rise of Made-in-China Diplomacy.” While political leaders trade threats, the pandemic has made Americans even more reliant on China’s manufacturers. • Peter Hessler has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2000. He is the magazine’s correspondent in China, a role he also held from 2000 until 2007. From 2011 to 2016, he was based in Cairo, where he covered the events of the Egyptian Arab Spring. His subjects have included archeology in both China and Egypt, a factory worker in Shenzhen, a garbage collector in Cairo, a small-town druggist in rural Colorado, and Chinese lingerie dealers in Upper Egypt. Before joining The New Yorker, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Fuling, a small Chinese . . .

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New List of Peace Corps writers who have published 2 or more books — March 2021

    Here is our new list — as of March 2021 — 333 RPCV & staff authors who have published two or more books (of any type). If you know of someone who has and their name is not on this list, then please email me at: jcoyneone@gmail.com. I know I don’t have all the writers who have been Volunteers or Staff in the Peace Corps over these last 59 years. Thank you. Jerome R. Adams (Colombia 1963–65) Tom Adams (Togo 1974-76) Thomas “Taj” Ainlay, Jr. (Malaysia 1973–75) Elizabeth (Letts) Alalou (Morocco 1983–86) Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) Robert Albritton (Ethiopia 1962-65) Usha Alexander (Vanuatu 1996–97) James G. Alinder (Somalia 1964-66) Richard Alleman (Morocco 1968-70) Hayward Allen (Ethiopia 1962-64) Diane Demuth Allensworth (Panama 1964–66) Paul E. Allaire (Ethiopia 1964–66) D. Allman (Nepal 1966-68) Nancy Amidei (Nigeria 1964–65) Gary Amo (Malawi 1962–64) David C. Anderson (Costa Rica 1964-66) Lauri Anderson (Nigeria . . .

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FOR THE LOVE OF THE STRUGGLE by Andres [Drew] McKinley (El Salvador)

  From his home in El Salvador, the author shares an intimate personal and political memoir that follows his remarkable journey from the comfort and security of a picturesque New England town to a stirring and heroic engagement in common cause with the struggle for peace and justice in El Salvador. After four years as a Peace Corp worker in northern Liberia beginning in the late 1960s, followed by a stretch back in the United States as a street worker in the ghettos of North Philadelphia, McKinley finds himself in Central America as an aid worker in 1978. He quickly becomes engulfed by the political violence of the region and engaged with the people and their struggles against five decades of military dictatorship, centuries of poverty and exploitation. The story is marked by terror, adventure and courage, by trials and tragedy redeemed by the beauty and transcendence of people in . . .

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“Ernesto” in Pamplona by Ron Arias (Peru)

  NOTE: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s HEMINGWAY will premiere April 5, 2021 on PBS. The three-part, six-hour film series explores the life and work of Ernest Hemingway. Voice actors include Jeff Daniels as Hemingway and  Meryl Streep, Keri Russell, Mary Louise Parker and Patricia Clarkson as Hemingway’s Four Wives. The Peace Corps has its own Hemingway Connection. Read artist and writer Ron Arias’s own story “Ernesto.”   Ernesto By Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64)   The English couple who picked me up outside Zaragoza said they were going to Pamplona to find Ernest Hemingway.“He brought us to Spain,” the woman said. “We’re here because of him.” “Bullfights she means,” the man said. “Hemingway’s the master on bullfights. We heard he was going to be in Pamplona for the fiesta, so we came on over.” “From Barcelona,”the woman explained. “We want to thank him for — ” “The corridas,” the man cut . . .

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FAST FOOD FOR THOUGHT — poetry by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia)

  FAST FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Poetry to Ponder by Eldon Katter (Ethiopia I, 1962-64)   About My Book First let me say that this soft cover book of poetry, Fast Food for Thought, has nothing to do with food. The title is meant to suggest that the poems are short, easy to read, and worth mulling over. The poems touch upon a wide range of subjects from identity, choice and change to aging and the environment. I have grouped seventy poems, some written during the Covid pandemic, into six thematic sections with “menu headings” to serve as guides for thinking about some very basic human behaviors: Adapting, Relating, Reflecting, Engaging, Caring, and Opining. Throughout the book, on every other page, I have included an “amuse bouche” —  a “small bite to delight” or “something to chew on,” before the titled poem on the opposite page. In all, this little book . . .

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