1
Remembering Harris Wofford
2
Harris Wofford Memorial Service (Ethiopia)
3
Review–Tacoma Stories by Richard Wiley (Korea)
4
Kristen Roupenian (Kenya) at Mid-Manhattan Library
5
Review — BROOKLYN, NY TO BOCAIUVA, BRAZIL by Franklin Rothman (Brazil)
6
Review — HONORABLE EXIT by Thurston Clarke (Tunisia)
7
New York RPCVs create art
8
FRONTIER CABIN STORY published by Joseph Goss (Afghanistan)
9
Writers! Check out the 2019 AWP CONFERENCE & BOOKFAIR in Portland
10
Review — TACOMA STORIES by Richard Wiley (Korea)

Remembering Harris Wofford

    I was among the first Peace Corps Volunteers, a new concept of international cooperation crafted by Sargent Shriver and Harris Wofford together with Warren Wiggins, Bill Josephson and others in two rooms of the Mayflower Hotel just days after the election of John F. Kennedy in the winter of 1961. We were in our twenties for the most part, volunteering without any real idea of what we were doing but following Kennedy’s challenge “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Harris Wofford became our leader, our guide, our father confessor and our friend. Little did we know about him or his family when we first arrived in Africa. He was less than a decade older than most of us. I remember once, just days after arriving in-country, walking with a handful of other PCVs from the university dorms at . . .

Read More

Review–Tacoma Stories by Richard Wiley (Korea)

Tacoma Stories by Richard Wiley (Korea, 1967-69) Bellevue Literary Press, 2019 270 pages $16.99 (paperback)   Reviewed by Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) I can’t get through a day without it. Reading, that is. Sometimes, I have a hard time going pageless for a couple of hours. I’m so habituated to reading, I can forget why I do it. Tacoma Stories just reminded me why: one reads in the hope of delight. And that’s what Wiley’s new book provides. The linked stories that make up the collection are deeply pleasureful reads. How does he do it? One way is with the sentences. Wiley writes nothing like Kafka, but the unexpected leap from one sentence to the next in Tacoma Stories can evoke Kafka’s extraordinary, nerve-jangling transitions. Apposite sentences end paragraphs where they need to be ended. They describe a character. They figure in dialogue. Real readers, true recidivists who cannot resist . . .

Read More

Kristen Roupenian (Kenya) at Mid-Manhattan Library

      I went to the NYC Mid-Manhattan Library on Monday, February 25, 2019 and heard Kristen Roupenian (Kenya 2003-05) read from her new collection of short stories You Know You Want This, and be interviewed by Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker’s fiction editor. About eighty-five people crowded into the library room for the reading and discussion. The majority were women in their twenties. Kristen was entertaining and informative and appreciated by all as she told of her journey to ‘overnight’ success with the publication of “Cat Person” that appeared in the December 2017  issue of The New Yorker. A short story that quickly became an internet sensation. Ms. Treisman said that the story has the second highest ‘hits’ of New Yorker articles over the last five years on the magazine’s internet site. The short story centers on a young woman’s experience dating in a sleepy college town, but with decidedly skin-crawling . . .

Read More

Review — BROOKLYN, NY TO BOCAIUVA, BRAZIL by Franklin Rothman (Brazil)

    Brooklyn, NY to Bocaiúva, Brazil: A Peace Corps Love Story Franklin D. Rothman (Brazil 1967–69) (Peace Corps memoir) Peace Corps Writers May, 2016 248 pages $14.95 (paperback) Reviewed by Almaz Zewdie Sullivan (Ethiopia 1996–98) • Franklin D. Rothman’s book, Brooklyn, NY to Bocaiúva, Brazil: A Peace Corps Love Story, brings back a lot of memories.  From the start, any Peace Corps Volunteer will relate to aspects of his story. Frank’s chance encounter with Lena, who is Brazilian, at the theater brings back positive memories of how open we tend to be as PCVs and travelers in general. He and Lena meet, they click and immediately the couple begins the exciting challenge of finding commonalities and building a relationship. Despite the differences in their upbringing, it is inspiring to read a story of how a love can flourish.  It is refreshing to see the level of commitment and the positive energy on . . .

Read More

Review — HONORABLE EXIT by Thurston Clarke (Tunisia)

    Honorable Exit: How A Few Brave Americans Risked All To Save Our Vietnamese Allies at the End of the War e by Thurston Clarke (Tunisia 1968) Doubleday Publisher April 30, 2019 448 pages $30.00 (hardback), $14.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Tony Zurlo (Nigeria 1965-66) • In wars we expect to read about heroes in combat. In Honorable Exit Thurston Clarke’s mines the depth of emotion that drove dozens of Americans in Vietnam to acts of heroism by risking life and careers to find ways to evacuate South Vietnamese who had connections with Americans and who would have been imprisoned or killed by the North Vietnamese. Clarke tells the story of A Few Brave Americans who during the last weeks of April 1975 smuggled 130,000 Vietnamese co-workers, secretaries, orphans, families — anyone who might become victims of North Vietnamese revenge through the perilous streets of Saigon and other cities. Don’t let the subtitle fool . . .

Read More

New York RPCVs create art

    NY RPCVs Art Show The 5th “Peace Corps Creates . . . Art by Returned Volunteers” Art Show, will have it opening reception on March 7th. The reception (and show) is free and open to the public. Venue: 14th St Y, in Manhattan Venue address: 344 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003 (between 1st and 2nd ave) Nearest subway: L train at 14th Street and 1st Ave. Reception date and time: March 7th, 7pm–9pm Free and open to the public Telephone number: (212) 780-0800 Website: https://www.facebook.com/events/246447406231683/ Contact: info@peacecorpsnyc.org The art show will run for five weeks, March 7–April 11. People visiting New York during that time are encouraged to come and see the show. Peace Corps is based on community and connecting. As Peace Corps Volunteers, we serve abroad in very different places than where we grew up, but end up embedded in the fabric of our surroundings. These experiences have shaped us . . .

Read More

FRONTIER CABIN STORY published by Joseph Goss (Afghanistan)

  About FRONTIER CABIN STORY  The Rediscovered History of a West Virginia Log Farmhouse • Frontier Cabin Story is a rare architectural biography of a long-forgotten 18th-century log farmhouse in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. In the book, Joseph Goss (Afghanistan 1967–69) relates how he dug into the origins of his ancient home to discover its age and first owner. After months of painstaking detective work, he found the holy grail of his search. Along the way, the author creates an enthralling story about an unknown frontier house and gives it context by weaving it into the sweep of the region’s history from colonial times to the present. Colorful characters from the families of the house’s earliest owners populate the story and act on the stages of the French and Indian, Revolutionary, and the Civil Wars. They even take us out to the Osage Nation in Missouri and later to Mexico. The women, . . .

Read More

Writers! Check out the 2019 AWP CONFERENCE & BOOKFAIR in Portland

    If you are interested in writing about your Peace Corps experience (or anything else!) try to attend the 2019 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference on March 27-30, 2019 in Portland, Oregan. There will be more than 550 literary events, 2,200 exhibitors and the opportunity to meet writers, learn about writing programs across the country at colleges and universities (and on line), and find out where to submit your stories and novels and get them published. Also, this year, for the first time, the conference will be holding a special exploratory meeting about how AWP can be more helpful in supporting both writers and writing that is “international”. This meeting will be held on Saturday March 30th from 8am to 9am at the conference center, and will be co-hosted by Chris Merrill of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, by Jill Goldberg of the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing . . .

Read More

Review — TACOMA STORIES by Richard Wiley (Korea)

    Tacoma Stories by Richard Wiley (Korea, 1967-69) Bellevue Literary Press, 2019 270 pages $16.99 (paperback)   Reviewed by Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978-79) • In town to cash in on the NBA buzz generated by Murray State University’s versatile point guard Ja Morant, a writer from Sports Illustrated recently characterized Murray, Kentucky as “a city of 17,741 tucked into the state’s southwest corner, where on any given day you might find a horse pulling a passenger cart down 12th Street.” As someone who was incensed by the manufactured hokeyness of this comment — in 27 years in Murray, I have yet to spot a horse and cart on our main drag — I may constitute the ideal audience for Richard Wiley’s Tacoma Stories, a linked collection that gives poignant testimony to Tacoma’s gravitas as a place despite or perhaps even because of its general failure to achieve billing over . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2019. Peace Corps Worldwide.