Peace Corps Writers
July 2001

The 40th

We thank this new member of the
Writers & Readers

for his support

Dennis Grubb
Joanne Roll

In This Issue has links to the new articles in this issue of

Resources has the Bibliography of Peace Corps Writers and other resources for both readers and writers.

In the Archives you will find back issues of Peace Corps Writers +


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See statement from NPCA President Dane Smith

40th Anniversary Conference

Read, Sell, Sign

We have received a tremendous response from writers interested in reading at the NPCA’s Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Peace Corps September 20 to 23. The readings — 10 minutes long — will be on Friday and Saturday of the Conference at the Hotel Washington. The readings will be staged in the main lobby of the hotel. While it will be slightly noisy (the bar is nearby), we will have a podium and microphone and a special section with comfortable sofas for the audience. The number of available reading slots is now limited and once they are filled there is no guarantee that you will have the opportunity to read about your amazing overseas experience. If you would like to celebrate the Peace Corps’ 40th anniversary in Washington, DC from September 20–23 by reading something you wrote, please contact Joe Kovacs at: Joe
     Please send him the following information:

  • Your country and years of service.
  • A one- or two-sentence description of yourself that you would like to have read by way of introduction.
  • By post, send a copy of the material you will read to Joe at:
         The Woodner, 3636 16th Street, NW, Apt. A909
         Washington, DC 20010

Politics and Prose, the amazing D.C. bookstore, will have a booth at the Hotel Washington and will be selling the books of Peace Corps writers during the conference.
    If you would like to have your books sold at the booth, please send me at the title, publisher, year, and ISBN # of your books. I will forward this information onto Politics and Prose.
     If you are not coming to the conference, but would like to have your books sold, please send me the same information.
     If you are published by a small press, or self-published, please forward that information as well. I cannot, however, guarantee (sorry) that P&P will be able to order your books. If you wish to bring books with you to have P&P sell them for you, please let me know by email and I’ll check to see if they will do that favor for you.
     The bookstore told me that they would need four weeks
to insure that they have your book on hand, so don’t forget to let me know.

If you are a published writer who is reading, and you would like to sign copies of your books, we will arrange for you to so immediately after your reading. Write to me at if you would like to have a signing.

Writers panels & panelists at the NPCA Conference
The writing panels have been set for the Conference. Listed below are the panels and the 41 panel members who have been kind enough to participate during the conference. I am pleased to say that the panelists come from a range of countries-of-service and span the four decades of the Peace Corps. The panel workshops will be from Friday afternoon through most of Saturday.
     The Peace Corps Communications Office will be filming some of the panels. I don’t know which ones they wish to film, however. Also, World Wise Schools will interview a number of panelists about writing and teaching.
     With one exception, we have been able to schedule the panels so that they don’t overlap, so try to attend as many as possible — they have terrific panelists with great experience to address issues important to writers. Click on the panel names for the details about each:

The panelists are:

In This Issue

A Writer Writes
Barbara Carey went to India in 1966 with her first husband, came home and raised two children, went through a divorce, and ran her own adoption agency for 15 years. After remarrying in 1990, she moved with her new husband to Seattle and together they started a software company. Two years ago, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she retired from that company.
     Her illness has given her, she says, “a much sharper focus on life and helped me make good choices of how I spend my time.” Today, she is involved with paddling on a dragon boat team, hiking, walking, playing tennis and golf, and snow shoeing and skiing in the winter. She has also continued to follow her love of languages, earned a master’s degree in English as a Second Language along the way, and is learning French, Spanish, and some Chinese. But most of the time she has spent writing children’s books and songs, both prompted by her growing number of grandchildren.
     Barbara also spent time writing about a trip she took in November of 1998 — thirty years after leaving India — when she flew with her husband to Bombay, and then traveled by train to her Peace Corps site. In this issue, Barbara retells the account of her touching and dramatic “homecoming” to the village and the friends she had left behind. “I had no idea what to expect,” she writes, and as the train moved slowly through the afternoon heat, passing lush fields and towns crowded with noise, people, color, and life, she began to reflect on the people she had known, wondering how and if she would find them when they arrived. Read in A Writer Writes what this RPCV found when she reached her village.

Talking With Poets
I talked (via email) with six poets, all of who will be in Washington, D.C. for the NPCA Conference and participating in our Poetry from the Peace Corps Experience panel. This interview focuses on some basic questions of how and why a person writes poetry. The poets are Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991–93), Chris Conlon (Botswana 1988–90), Sandra Meek (Botswana 1989–91), Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978–1979). Susan Rich (Niger 1984–86), and Margaret Szumowski (Zaire and Ethiopia 1973–75),

Letter Home
Alice Flynn Fitzpartrick (Botswana 1987–89) joined the Peace Corps after her last daughter had gone off to college. Her letter was written for her class reunion at The College of New Rochelle and is a reflective piece about how the Peace Corps experience changed the way she looks at life, and how it also changed her life.

And more . . .
Besides all of that, we have Recently Published Books, and five book reviews. Read . . .

John Coyne

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