Peace Corps Writers: front page

    Once Over Lightly

    NPCA Conference in Chicago
    Peace Corps Writers will hold a series of workshops at the National Peace Corps Association Conference hosted by the Chicago Area Peace Corps Association (CAPCA). The dates of the conference are August 5–8, 2004.
         Workshops titles are:

    • Publishing Your Peace Corps Story (fiction or non-fiction)
    • Careers in Publishing
    • Peace Corps Prose: Literature from the Peace Corps
    • Self-publishing with the new technology

    If you are attending the conference, and wish to be considered for participation in one of these workshop panels, please email me at:
    Peace Corps Writers will also have a table at the International Bazaar, and any writer who would like to sell and sign books at out table is welcome to do so. We will NOT do the selling for anyone. If you would like to avail yourself of this opportunity, please contact Marian Haley Beil at:
    In all probability, there will be a bookstore at the conference that will handle books by Peace Corps writers from the larger publishing houses. We have not, however, heard any specifics from the NPCA or the Chicago RPCVs.

    Writing course underway by Peace Corps Writers
    Nine RPCVs are now “on line” in the first writing course offered by The class has RPCVs living across the continental U.S., and as far away as southern France and Hawaii. Once a week we gather for a live “chat room” to discuss the current lesson, ask and answer questions, and review what we have written. The ten week course will finish in May. For information on how the class is conducted check out our course Q & A.

    Writers — donate your Peace Corps book to the NPCA
    Up until now there there has not existed a library of books written by RPCVs about their Peace Corps experience. Now the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) has announced that it will host such a collection in a special library in their Washington, D.C. office. Help build this library of Peace Corps experience books by RPCVs by sending a signed copy of your Peace Corps book to:

    RPCV Books
    1900 L. Street NW, Suite 205
    Washington, D.C. 20036

    In This Issue
    This issue is filled with some wonderful writing.

    • New to our site in this issue is the first of a series of essays by RPCVs who came of age during the Vietnam War. Some of these RPCVs served both in the Peace Corps and in the army, others were in the diplomatic corps and assigned to Vietnam, while more than a few avoided the war by joining the Peace Corps. The first essay in the series is “The Commander Wore Civies” by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia 1962–64).
    • Our “Letter from . . . ” was written just a few weeks ago by Melinda Porter (Gabon 1982–83.) Melinda lived in the town of Tchibnaga with Fisheries Volunteer Michael Pensak (Gabon 1982–83), a PCV friend who she has lost touch with after all these years.
    • We interviewed Laurence Leamer (Nepal 1964–66) about his new book on the Kennedy Kids and we reviewed Larry’s book.
    • In “A Writer Writes” this issue we have two essays. One is written by Jac Conaway (St. Lucia 1961–63) entitled, “I Returned” about going back to St. Lucia after of the death of his son’s mother. Jac writes, “My son’s mother died suddenly. I hadn’t seen her for 22 years. It was strange to think of her dead or even to think of her as 44 years old. We were kids in so many ways. Now we are ‘old’ and our son is ‘my’ age.”
           A similar piece, “Meditations on an Old Peace Corps Poem that Surfaces, in a Bar” is by Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962–64).
    • Our “Journals of Peace” continue.
    • We have four books reviews.
    • Maybe our longest list ever of new books by RPCVs.
    • A piece from our man in Romania, Andy Trincia (Romania 2002–04).
    • And, of course, in “Literary Type” we have all the news we could find on what Peace Corps writers are writing, winning, or just doing. 

    I hope you enjoy it all.

    — John Coyne