20 Years On: Peace Corps & Writing

Today's the day 20 years ago that two score optimistic & good-willed Americans gathered at the 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, to begin the most excellent adventure I know, a blend of humanitarian endeavor, mutual group support, and self-reliance in the face of a great unknown. We were to spend the next 27 months as Peace Corps Volunteers in … Continue reading 20 Years On: Peace Corps & Writing

Peace Corps Writer Awards for 2016

A few notable works recognized with various Peace Corps Writer Awards for 2016. Next week the Peace Corps community will gather in Washington, DC for Peace Corps Connect to celebrate the agency's 55 years. Activities will include panels and workshops featuring Peace Corps Writers. More. The Maria Thomas Fiction Award for 2016 (named after novelist Maria … Continue reading Peace Corps Writer Awards for 2016

Peace Corps Writer’s Crime Debut

Congrats to fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Chris Orlet (Poland, 1992-94), who's debut novel In the Pines came out this month from New Pulp Press. New Pulp is home to many other fine noir and crime writers like Mark Richardson (see my review of Hunt for the Troll--2015). NPP released my neo-noir satire, Two Pumps for the Body Man, this … Continue reading Peace Corps Writer’s Crime Debut

The first readers

It's almost twenty years since I first shared my fiction beyond the confines of family or classroom. I found three trusted readers during the months of pre-service training as a Peace Corps Volunteer. What else to do on the dusty plains of Central Malawi beneath the boiling sun, the cloudless sky? I wrote my first novel. I wrote … Continue reading The first readers

Peace Corps Writers 2015

The Peace Corps and Returned Peace Corps writing community at Peacecorpsworldwide is seeking nominations for favorite books published in 2015 written by a PCV, RPCV or Peace Corps Staff. I've compiled a partial list of the books released last year here, and welcome feedback on additional titles, reviews, and links. Paul Cowan Non-Fiction Award  First given in … Continue reading Peace Corps Writers 2015

MFA Program for RPCVs and PCVs

Reposting this opportunity for the Peace Corps community to earn an MFA. Original content from Peace Corps Worldwide: Are you inspired by your Peace Corps service? Do you have an affinity for writing? Looking to write a memoir or book about your Peace Corps experience? John Coyne (RPCV Ethiopia 1962-64), editor of Peace Corps Worldwide, has … Continue reading MFA Program for RPCVs and PCVs

a diplomatic noir

At PeaceCorpsWorldwide author and reviewer John Rouse calls Two Pumps for the Body Man "Reminiscent of Joseph Heller’s famous and equally hilarious anti-war novel Catch-22." Ben East’s humorous yet deadly serious diplomatic noir  Two Pumps for the Body Man should be required reading for any youngster contemplating a foreign service career along the conflict-torn borders of the vast American empire. It’s … Continue reading a diplomatic noir

Short Fiction–Swimming

Peace Corps Worldwide carried the following review of Karl Luntta's Swimming from SUNY press. One thing is certain for foreigners at work in much of Africa: the proverbs can be as colorful as they are vague, utilitarian as they are vexing. The truth can emerge—or remain obscured—with a single phrase. Truth, in these proverbs, lies in the … Continue reading Short Fiction–Swimming

Peace Corps Week–Third Goal

Peace Corps Week celebrates President Kennedy’s establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. This year is the 55th anniversary of the Peace Corps, and service never ends. Peace Corps Volunteers go on to become Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), because there is always the third goal: bringing the experience home to promote a better understanding … Continue reading Peace Corps Week–Third Goal

“Blog Thing”

Two years ago I published my first book review. It was for a work of non-fiction by Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Bryant Wieneke. A returned volunteer myself, I did the review to satisfy a couple of urges. First, it was a service to a comrade, albeit one I'd never met. But we had the same fire … Continue reading “Blog Thing”