Peace Corps Writers
Where Returned
Peace Corps Volunteers
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May 2005

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In This Issue has links to the new articles in this issue of Peace Corps Writers.

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

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And then Sarge said to me . . .
We begin our recounting of “Shriver Stories” with one from Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (Cameroon 1965–67), the first Peace Corps Volunteer to publish a novel about her experiences in the Peace Corps, that is entitled Lament For A Silver-Eyed Woman:

In 1971, my husband and I were walking along Park Avenue toward Grand Central Station late at night after enjoying a Manhattan Transfer concert. We passed a couple standing in the shadows of a building and my husband stopped short. He grabbed me and hissed into my ear, “That’s Sargent Shriver and Eunice!” He couldn’t help himself — he called out, “Hi Sarge, I used to work for you.”
     Shriver came right over and we told him we were former Volunteers (my husband, Uruguay, me, Cameroon). He turned to his wife and then Sarge said, “Eunice. Come meet some Volunteers.” She was shy at first until I thanked her for the work she was doing for mentally disabled children.
     Then we all chatted, Shriver very excited to tell us that Teddy had won the Michigan primary that day. Then their car pulled up and we told them to please not let us disrupt their plans but they would have none of it. We talked for another twenty minutes before parting company — Sarge was truly reluctant to leave us. His Volunteers were very important to him, as much as he was to us.

Send an account of an encounter you had with Sarge to:

Think Xerox, Think Fiction
Xerox is working with to promote their DocuTech POD machines to the creators of what they estimate as 450,000 manuscripts annually. Their Xerox Aspiring Authors fiction contest is pitched as “designed to stop the cycle of rejection letters that keep so many from seeing their work in print.”
     The winner will get 100 copies of their book and $5,000, but entrants are enticed with the promise that every entrant will get a single copy of their work for free. (Fine print indicates that they may only consider the first 1,000 submissions as “qualifying entries” though. Go to the Xerox site and look it over.

In this issue —
Being young, scared, and gay is how Ralph Cherry (Ghana 1969–71) was in 1969 when the draft and the Peace Corps conspired to give him a career and a life. He tells us his story in our series about the Peace Corps and the Vietnam War.
     We have two wonderful essays in our “A Writer Writes” column. Finn Honore’ (Colombia 1967–69) lyrically recalls his first days in Cartagena, Colombia when he suddenly realizes he had been assigned to the tropics. And Terry Campbell (Tanzania 1985–87) gives us a touching remembrance of his trip back to his country of service where he found the boy who once rode on the back of his bike.
     Award winning poet Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1963–65) writes about a P.0.D. publisher in “Poets Take Note” that is looking for truly good poets who might be rewarded with contacts and publication.
     There is more to this issue, of course. We have six book reviews, a list of 13 recently published books, lots of talk in Literary Type, and I interviewed Karen Larsen (Bulgaria 1996–98) about her life, the Peace Corps in Bulgaria, and her travel book, Breaking The Limit: One Woman’s Motorcycle Journey Through North America.
     Read on.

— John Coyne

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