Peace Corps Writers
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Steal My Heart Mark Brazaitis (Guatemala 1991–93) author of the novel Steal My Heart and the award winning collection of stories, The River of Lost Voices, will be on the faculty of the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop — four days of workshops, panel discussions, readings and lectures from August 1–4 held in Morgantown, West Virginia. For information, go to the web site at: www.as.wvu.edu/wvww or email banders@wvu.edu.
The Land The Washington Post has announced that the feature book for July — “Children's Month” — for its book club will be Mildred Taylor's The Land. The book will be reviewed in early July by Elizabeth Ward and then the papers email opens up for questions, comments and a live chat with the author. Check in July at the Post's Book Club.
     Earlier this year, The Land won the 2002 Coretta Scott King Award.
  The Sunday, April 14, 2002, issue of the Los Angeles Times Book Review carried a glowing review of Marnie Mueller’s (Ecuador 1963–65) My Mother’s Island. Reviewer Adam Hill writes, “Marnie Mueller is a good writer, and with her semiautobiogrphical novel My Mother’s Island, she has written quite a good book about an adult daughter’s struggle to find some source of love for her dying mother.”
     Marnie was interviewed about My Mother’s Island by Jane Blanshard for her publisher’s (Curbstone Press) Spring ’02 newsletter Curbstone Ink. You can find that interview along with interviews done about her earlier books The Climate of the Country and Green Fires at the publisher’s website.
  Chris Conlon (Botswana 1988–90) has had his poetry accepted in Dan River Anthology, 2003. This anthology first appeared in 1984 and annually features the very best poetry and fiction, previously unpublished, that they can obtain. They can be reached by email at: cal@americanletters.org. Anthology website.
  Coming in July is Chicken Soup for the Volunteer’s Soul which carries a short essay by Susana Herrera (Cameroon 1992–94). In describing Susana’s story, the editor writes, “‘Keep Your Head Up’  . . . . .A Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, Susana Herrera of La Selva Beach, CA teaches a young girl in Cameroon how to ride a bike in the early morning darkness. The young girl requests the ususual time for fear of being beaten by the boys in her classroom if they knew she was acquiring a skill they didn’t have.” Out of 6,000 stories reviewed by the editors, Susana’s was one of the 87 that will appear. In celebrating the spirit of courage, caring and community, the publisher and co-authors of Chicken Soup for the Volunteer’s Soul will donate a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Points of Light Foundation.
Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul was featured on the first page of the Friday, April 5th “Destinations” section of the USAToday. Traveler’s Soul includes a piece by Leah Burgess (Philippines 1996–98) — “A Visit with My Parents” and two by Mike Tidwell (Zaire 1985-87) “Cutting Across Cultures” (about a haircut in Vietnam) and “Digging dirt, Digging Deep” (while in Zaire). The collection also includes a loving tribute by Cheryl Reece Myers to her PCV daughter Deidre (Cameroon 1994–96) in a poem entitled “A Peace Corps Mama.”
     Others in the anthology include Maya Angelou, James Michener and Charles Kuralt.
  In early May, Ed Koch (Philippines 1996–98) spoke at the Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association about sharing his Filipino experiences through his book of poetry First Silence. The presentation was entitled “The Philippines through Poetry and Painting.”
Cristina Kessler (Honduras 1973-75, Kenya 1975-76, Seychelles 1976-78) did readings from her children’s book My Great-Grandmother’s Gourd by discussion and a book signing at the Smithsonian Museum’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. in early April.
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