Peace Corps Writers — July 2001

    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 42 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 panels will take place in two different rooms. At the moment, no two panels will be held at the same time.
         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.

    The panels are:

      The Peace Corps Novel as Literature
      Poetry from the Peace Corps Experience
      Publishing Translations
      Travel Now, Write Later
      Write! Edit! Publish!
      Writing about the Environment
      Writing Children's Books
      Writing On-Line
      Writing Your Peace Corps Story
      Working with Words

    The panelists are:

      Hayward Allen (Ethiopia 1962–64)
      David Arnold (Ethiopia 1964–66)
      Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962–64)
      Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991–93)
      Craig J. Carrozzi (Colombia 1978–80)
      Peter Chilson (Niger 1985–87)
      Chris Conlon (Botswana 1988–90)
      Kathleen Coskran (Ethiopia 1965–67)
      John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962–64)
      Karen DeWitt (Ethiopia 1966–68)
      Patricia Edmisten (Peru 1962–64)
      David Espey (Morocco 1962–64)
      Robert E. Gribbin (Kenya 1968–70)
      Kathy Karlson (Togo 1969–71)
      Geraldine Kennedy (Liberia 1962–64)
      Chuck Kleymeyer (Peru 1966–68)
      Margy Burns Knight (Benin 1976–77)
      Charles Larson (Nigeria 1962–64)
      Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962–64)
      Joyce Lombardi (Chad 1993–95)
      William McNally (Peru 1964–66)
      Sandra Meek (Botswana 1989–91)
      Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963–65)
      Ann Neelon (Senegal 1978–79)
      Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964–66)
      Meredith Pike-Baky (Togo 1971–-73)
      Carolyn Hamilton Proctor (Suriname 1999–2001)
      Pat Reilly (Liberia 1972–75)
      Susan Rich (Niger 1984–86)
      Nancy Scheper-Hughes (Brazil 1964–66)
      P. David Searles (PC/D Philippines 1971–74, PC/W 1975–76)
      Mishelle Shepard (Czech Republic 1994–96)
      Kitty Thuermer (Mali 1977–79)
      Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965–67)
      Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen (Tanzania 1989–90)
      Margaret Szumowski (Zaire and Ethiopia 1973–75)
      David A. Taylor (Mauritania, 1983–85)
      Mike Tidwell (Zaire 1985–87)
      Jim Toner (Sri Lanka 1988–90)
      Richard Wiley (Korea 1967–69)
      John Woods (Ethiopia 1965–68)
      Simone Zelitch (Hungary 1991–93)

    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