Newsletter: September 2019

I’ve just learned that my essay, “Hugs Not Walls: Returning the Children,” is a finalist in the Arizona Authors Association literary competition where my book, “Different Latitudes” was recognized two years ago and is now ranked 22nd for “Guatemala Travel Guide”! The essay is one piece of a multi-part series on the challenges of migration into the U.S. and will be published in the 2020 Arizona Literary Magazine. I’ll learn the results at the awards ceremony in early November. In the meantime, I continue to wait with infinite patience for my articles to drop in “The Scarlet Leaf Review” and […]

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Newsletter: August 2019

Upon returning from vacation, I was confronted with an offer to become the CEO of “Better Soils Better Lives,” which has developed techniques around soil restoration as a solution to global hunger and includes some interesting carbon dioxide extraction technologies so important in dealing with climate change. I’d worked with Roland at World Neighbors, and knew him from his classic book on agricultural extension, “Two Ears of Corn.” He’s worked on agricultural development for as long as I have worked in fundraising and covered 50 countries. He’s been nominated for the Global 500 Award, the End the Hunger Prize of […]

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Newsletter: July 2019

This has been an eventful month with two new articles, a presentation at the Phoenix Writers Club and participation in the Peace Corps Connect Conference at the University of Texas in Austin. My trip to Austin was complicated by my driver’s license having expired, (we get it for five years in Arizona and they don’t let you know when it expires…) so I spent over an hour at Sky Harbor International Airport getting patted down and everything in my luggage getting checked for drugs – and it was worse on the way back! On Sunday morning in Austin, the lines […]

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Newsletter: May 2019

As the pressure and chaos at our southern border continues to grow, I’m taking a look at a few of the reasons why so many are streaming down from Central America. Watch for my soon to be published article in WorldView Magazine, where I’ll join with two other Returned Peace Corps authors to explore this issue in more depth. This month’s special review is The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop? by the Guatemalan, American-award winning author, Francisco Goldman. Click on the Million Mile Walker poster to get your copy of the review of this fascinating tale on […]

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Newsletter: April 2019

My recent research trip to the University of Arizona Special Collection for correspondence of revered travel author, Moritz Thomsen, has surfaced a most amazing find—his last manuscript has just been published – 28 years after his death! I consider it equal to his other four masterpieces, as I found several literary gems. “Bad News on the Black Coast,” which includes 30 vignettes reflecting on poverty, life, death, why the proliferation of thievery amongst the people he loved and lived with for thirty years, and a story about what connects authors around the creative process. Click on my poster for your […]

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Newsletter: March 2019

Earlier this month, the “Godfather of contemporary travel writing,” and author of over 45 fiction and nonfiction works plus 134 essays written over 53 years, Paul Theroux, commented on my article in WorldView, “Living Poor,” and threw out an idea for a future project: Mark Thanks very much. Your piece about “Living Poor” in WorldView is worthy of the man. A British publisher, Eland Press in London, is reissuing Moritz’s books – they just asked me if they could use my intro for nothing, and in the spirit of Moritz, I said yes. Actually, I think Moritz would have had […]

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Newsletter: February 2019

I’m pleased to announce that my Guatemalan filmmaker friend, Luis Argueta, was selected to receive the Harris Wofford Global Citizens award! Luis was the focus of my recently published article in Revue Magazine, http://www.revuemag.com/…/luis-argueta-telling-the-stories…/ and together with fellow RPCV, Ken Lehman, we submitted letters in support of Luis’s nomination. I plan to attend the Peace Corps Connect Conference at the University of Texas in Austin this June 22nd-23d, where the prestigious award will be presented! https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/articles/announcing-the-2019-harris-wofford-global-citizen-award-winner-luis-argueta-of-guatemala?fbclid=IwAR3GZiCdIgihLpEX5zh-uK783H_8Ae27s8NhEBmg2YqJi4JpHBBzTy-z7PU. Read the newsletter . . .  

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Newsletter: January 2019

I’d like to start the New Year with some thoughts on the continued flow of immigrants to our southern border. I introduced Guatemalan filmmaker and immigrant storyteller, Luis, to you in my last message, “Luis Argueta: Telling the Stories of Guatemalan Immigrants, published in Revue Magazine. For more than ten years, Luis’s films have depicted the challenges facing immigrants, especially from Guatemala. I was pleased to orchestrate an effort to send letters of support for Luis’s nomination for the Harris Wofford Award for Global Citizenship as someone who was influenced by, and embodied, many values of the Peace Corps. Harris […]

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Newsletter: November 2018

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and God knows many of us in the U.S. have a lot to be thankful for. We always gather our entire clan together to give thanks and to remember the growing number of people who don’t have the basics here in the U.S. and abroad. My personal favorite group to help the homeless here in Phoenix is the Andre House, so I participated in the “Give a Book Get a Smile” program by taking my latest article, which is part of the “Crossing Class: Invisible Wall” anthology down there, as well as 200 other books […]

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Newsletter: October 2018

The growing income inequality and decreasing social mobility in the U.S. and abroad is a growing concern and, as a fundraiser, I’ve been in touch with some of the wealthiest people in the world and some of the most isolated and at-risk groups. The two books I reviewed reflect this reality, starting with a New York Times best seller on charity and philanthropy, and the “Crossing Class” anthology. But first, I’d like to share my recent visit with award-winning, Guatemalan film Director, Luis Argueta, who hosted screenings of his three films in Tucson and Phoenix. He also visited some of […]

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