More on Ann Neelon and New Madrid

I mentioned Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978-79) last week and her publication, New Madrid, when I wrote about the AWP Conference in Washington, D.C. I want to go back to Ann and her literary magazine as there are two more connections to the Peace Corps.

(By the way, New Madrid(pronounced New Mad-drid) takes it name from the New Madrid seismic zone, which falls within the central Mississippi Valley and extends through western Kentucky. Between 1811 and 1812, four earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 7.0 struck this region, changing the course of the Mississippi River, creating Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee and ringing church bells as far away as Boston.)  

That all said, Ann invites submissions of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction for her literary journal. Your work should be sent directly (and only online) to the Submission Manager. Go to their website: for details.

In the issue of New Madrid (Winter 2010) the theme is: The Dynamics of Poverty and Wealthand Ann publishes a piece by John Teschner (Kenya 2003-05) who is currently a Peace Corps Fellow in the MFA program at Georgia College & State Univeristy. This essay, entitled “Sustainable Aid,” is part of his Peace Corps memoir, Kajiado

The photo on the jacket of this winter issue, as well as the back cover photo, are done by Richard R. Sitler (Jamaica 2000-02). Richard is a wonderful photojournalist and has devoted himself for the last several years to traveling the world taking photos of PCVs at work. His plan is to create a documentary  photo/essay book to mark the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. If you want to help out Richard with $$$ for this project, email him at:

It’s a wise and worthy contribution!


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  • Hard to believe but true. The New Madrid seismic zone has produced the most powerful earthquakes in what is today America (the quakes date back eons.)

  • One of the first things we were told when we moved to western Kentucky is that we were right in the Madrid Fault quake zone. When it last did its thing in a big way (1811) we were told that the shock waves rang church bells as far away as Boston! During the run up to Y2K we were urged to get ready for another big one. Fortunately, that, and other dire predictions, didn’t happen. But still we have an emegency supply of water, a battery-poered radio, a first aid kit, and canned food piled up in the basement, just in case.

  • David

    Given the normal size of Madrid fault earthquakes you had best have a good boat in the basement as well. The earthquakes that have occured there have literally moved, mountains, lakes, rivers and the seas, well the Gulf of Mexico.

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