Great Peace Corps Writers!

I was struck the other day when I got an email from an RPCV who wanted to know if I was the “most famous” of all the Peace Corps writer. Hello?

“Hardly,” I wrote back. I’m not even on that list of writers. So, just in case people don’t know the many, many fine, award-winning writers who served in the Peace Corps, here is a list of the talented and best known of the corps of writer — and one of their books — who once served as Volunteers.

packer-g-bio4

theroux-p-bio5

haruf-k-bio2

thomas-m-bio

dsouza-t-bio2

bissell-t-bio1

barich-b-bio1

drew-e-bio1

friedman-k-bio1

tidwell-m-bio1

neelon-a-bio1

kluge-pf-bio1

lefcourt-p-bio1

sumner-m-bio

merullo-r-bio1

shacochis-b-bio2

smith-m-a-bio1

muller-k-bio1

lipez-r-bio1

clarke-t-bio1

taylor-m-bio1

anderson-p-bio

hessler-p-bio

coskran-k-bio

tayler-j-bio

erdman-s-bio1

wiley-r-bio

leamer-l-bio1

mueller-m-bio

smith-c-bio

brazaitis-m-bio

meek-s-bio

chilson-p-bio

panning-a-bio

spanbauer-m-bio

And last but not least —

thomsen-m-bio1

Besides RPCVs, a number of members of the staff of the Peace Corps have written major novels and works of non-fiction. Among them:

rush-n-bio

meisler-s-bio

wofford-h-bio1

moyers-b-bio

hapgood-d-bio

The writers from the Peace Corps also have won almost every major prize of literature, including the National Book Award (Norm Rush & Bob Shacochis); PEN/Faulkner Award (Richard Wiley); American Book Award (Marnie Mueller); Iowa Short Fiction Award (Mark Brazaitis); Bread Loaf Writers’  Conference Bakeless Prize (Peter Chilson); Associated Writing Programs Award (Peter Chilson); Rome Fellowship in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Bob Shacochis & Tom Bissell); Anhinga Prize for Poetry (Ann Neelon); James Michener Award (Bob Shacochis); Kiriyama Prize (Peter Hessler); Minnesota Book Award (Kathleen Coskran); Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (Anne Panning); Dorset Prize for Poetry (Sandra Meek); Whiting Award (Kent Haruf & Melanie Sumner); Milkweed National Fiction Prize (Eileen Drew); Overseas Press Club Award (George Packer); New York Public Library Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism (George Packer). Peace Corps writers have also been awarded a half dozen Guggenheims Fellowships, and dozens of Fulbright Fellowships and NEA Grants.

Note: You can click on the books shown above to order them from Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.