|Literary Type May 2007
The 2006 Lantern Book Essay Competiton, worth $1000, was won by Katherine Jamieson (Guyana 199698) for her essay “Too Much of One Thing Ain’t Good for Nothing: Lessons from a Non-Throw Away Society.” The aim of the essay competition is to allow new thinking to emerge on the key subjects of Lantern’s publishing program and to encourage new voices to step forward to shape the debate of the future. Lantern Books publishes books for all “wanting to live with greater spiritual depth and commitment to the preservation of the natural world.”
Steve Reed (Morocco 199294) is an editor for the New York Times Regional Media Group, a chain of small and mid-size newspapers in the South and California owned by the New York Times Company, and lives in New York City. In addition to writing, Steve explores his practice of Zen Buddhism through photography, focusing on transience and subjects such as shadows and graffiti. You can view his blog at
Sandra Meek (1989-91), an Associate Professor of English at Berry College, has just completed editing an anthology of poems. The anthology is coming out this month from Nineback Press, a new literary press that Meek along with three other editors founded. The book is entitled Deep Travel: Contemporary American Poets Abroad.
Usha Alexander’s (Vanuatu 199697) essay about her Peace Corps experience appears in Best Travel Writing 2007, released in February by Travelers’ Tales publishers. Her first novel, Only the Eyes Are Mine, published in India in 2005, was selected as a semi-finalist for the Independent Publisher’s Book Awards 2006 Multicultural Fiction (Adult) category.
Patrick Chura (Lithuania 199294) guest-edited “American Perspectives on Cultural Transition,” a special issue of the quarterly journal Lituanus published in March 2007. The issue, which includes essays and poetry by Peace Corps/Lithuania returned Volunteers and staff, describes cultural change in the Republic of Lithuania as the country regained independence after the fall of the Soviet Union. The journal website is www.lituanus.org.
Roger Hirschland (Sierra Leone 1965-67) and World Wise Schools web guru Riley Graebner (China 2002-03 & Romania 2005) have been putting together podcasts for WWS. They post a new podcast every week that features an RPCV reading his or her story or being interviewed, or an interview conducted by a class of U.S. students of a currently serving Volunteer.
John Coyne's (Ethiopia 196264) novel The Caddie Who Knew Ben Hogan published last May won the Westchester Library Association 2006 Washington Irving Book Award for a book written by a Westchester author. The criteria for selection include a combination of “literary quality, readability, and wide general appeal.”
Cliff Garstang (Korea 197678) recently won the Georgia State University Review fiction contest for his short story “Nanking Mansion.” The story will be published in the in the Summer 2007 issue.
The June issue of National Geographic Magazine has a long piece by Peter Hessler (China 199698) on the development in a factory town in southeastern China over a period of fifteen months. Peter tracked one factory that was attempting to make the tiny nylon-covered rings used to adjust bra straps. As Peter writes, “There’s an epic story behind every piece of clothing.” The article is on line at: www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0706/feature4/ but it will be easier to read it in print.
Alissa Everett (Senegal 199597) has a travel article and stunning photographs in the spring 2007 issue of a new publication, Traveler Overseas. Alissa opens her article with these lines, “A bead of sweat drips down my back; the heat is stifling. I have not felt these temperature since I was in the Peace Corps over 10 years ago, when the hot season had reached over 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and much, much higher in the sun.” You can read about and subscribe to this high-end publication at: www.traveleroverseas.com/magazine/
Mo Tejani’s (Thailand 197980) travel book A Chameleon’s Tale has been selected as one of nine finalists for the 2007 PEN/ Beyond Margins Book Award. This award confers five $1,000 prizes upon authors of color who have not received wide media coverage.
In the May 28th issue of The New Yorker Paul Theroux (Malawi 196365) has a Letter from Turkmenistan entitled “The Golden Man: Saparmurat Niyazov’s Reign of Insanity.”