Peace Corps Writers
September 2002

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First Peace Corps writers conference
Over the September 27th weekend, thirty plus RPCVs gathered in Enterprise, Oregon for the very first writers’ conference for Peace Corps writers. The conference was held at Fishtrap, a non-profit corporation devoted to writers in the west. Organized and directed by Rich Wandschneider (Turkey 1967–69), the weekend couldn’t have been more enjoyable or helpful for writers. Featured RPCVs were Peter Chilson (Niger 1985–87), creative writing professor at Washington State University and a Fishtrap writer-in-residence in 2001, and Richard Wiley (Korea 1967–69), director of the creative writing program at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.
     Thank you to attendees Tim Turner (Senegal 1977–80) and Donna Statler who have shared photos with us from the conference. In upcoming issues, we will publish essays read by RPCVs at Fishtrap. Plans are being made now to make this an annual event for Peace Corps writers.

In This Issue
Talking with . . .
Barbara Kerley Kelly (Nepal 1981–83) writes children books and lives in Northern California. Her latest, A Cool Drink of Water, was published by the National Geographic Society. We interviewed Barbara about her books and life, how she met her husband in the Peace Corps, and about her daughter, Anna, who — in Peace Corps fashion — was born in Guam. It’s a perfect Peace Corps writer’s story.

A letter (and drawings) from . . .
Barbara Knowles (Botswana 1981-83) was 70 years old when she joined the Peace Corps. During her time overseas she kept a journal , wrote letters home, and did felt tip pen drawings of her village, students, and the African landscape. She collected these into a privately published book, It’s Never Too Late, Botswana Journal and Letters. We are very pleased to publish portions of her book in “A letter from Botswana.”

Death of an RPCV writer
Tim McLaurin (Tunisia 1982–83), author of The Keeper of the Moon: A Memoir, among other books, died on July 11, 2002, of esophageal cancer. In this issue we remember Tim.

To Preserve and Learn
Edwin Jorge (Jamaica 1979–81) is the Regional Manager of the New York Peace Corps Office and was at work in Building # 6 of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. At the recent September 11 commemoration service held at Headquarters in Peace Corps/Washington, Edwin spoke about that terrible morning last September, and about what happened to the Peace Corps/NY office He has kindly given us permission to reprint his remarks in this issue as part of our continuing efforts to preserve the history of the Peace Corps.

A Volunteer’s Life: In Romania
In the July 2002 issue of Peace Corps Writers,
Andy Trincia wrote in “A letter from Romania” of his training to become a Peace Corps Volunteer. Sworn in on August 16, 2002, he is now working as a business consultant for the Chamber of Commerce in Timisoara, Romania. We have asked Andy to file reports for the next two years of what his life is like working and living in Romania.

And there is more in this issue — a reading from the 40 + 1 Conference, a third installment of a study of the writings of noted RPCV writer Moritz Thomsen, a list of recent books, literary talk, and as always, other gems from the Peace Corps world of writers.

— John Coyne
Editor

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