Peace Corps Writers – May 2002

    Announcing the 2002 writing awards
    We are pleased to announce this year’s awards from Peace Corps Writers & Readers. The awards will be given out at the NPCA Conference in Washington, D.C., at the Opening Ceremony on Friday, June 21. Congratulations to all the winners.

      Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award
      River Town Two Years on the Yangtze
      by Peter Hessler (China 1996–98)

      Maria Thomas Fiction Award
      Field Observations by Rob Davidson (Grenada 1990–92)

      Award for Best Poetry Book
      I Want This World by Margaret Szumonwki (Zaire 1973–74, Ethiopia 1974–75)

      Award for Best Travel Writing
      Lonely Planet Bangkok by Joe Cummings (Thailand 1977–78)

      Award for Best Children’s Writing
      by Cristina Kessler (Honduras 1973–75, Kenya 1975–76, Seychelles 1976–78)

      The Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award
      “Thirty Years Later” by Barbara Carey (India 1966–68) is presenting a variety of events and programs at NPCA Conference

      Eleven writing workshops featuring 39 writers
      Readings by 55 writers
      A booth where writers will sell and sign their books
      A lunch get-together

    In This Issue
    “A Writer Writes” presents poems by two newly discovered (by us) poets from our growing body of Peace Corps poets. Steve Horowitz was a PCV in Iran from 1968 to 1971, and Eugenia Hepworth Jenson was with the fifth group to Ukraine and served from 1995 to 1997.
         Our “Talking With . . .” subject is Jerome Pohlen who went from Notre Dame to West Africa to writing books about “odd ball information” on midwest states. We interviewed him recently about his guidebook series published by Chicago Review Press where he is an editor.
         The “Letter Home” comes from a new collection of letters, To Africa with Spatula, written by Jane Baker Lotter, the wife of Peace Corps/Malawi Director Will Lotter.
         Dan Close sent us a folk tale from Ethiopia, which was written for him in one of his English classes in 1967. Dan tells us, “While some of the folk stories were recognizable as having crossed many national and cultural borders, I have never seen any story anywhere else which parallels this one.”
         Also in this issue is another literary essay on Peace Corps writing linking them via a literary bridge to the expatriate writers in Europe during the 1920s. Our travel pieces is by Patricia Edmisten who recently visited Cuba and gives us her impressions. And also, as always, we have “Recently Published Books” and “Literary Talk.”
         See you at the NPCA Conference. In the mean time, we have some terrific reading for you.

— John Coyne