PSU Professor Joseph Monninger Invited to Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Writers Event

June 13th, 2011 by Adam

Plymouth State University English Professor Joseph Monninger has been invited to a prestigious event in Washington, D.C., celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.
Monninger, a former Peace Corps volunteer, will attend the Peace Corps Writers Luncheon Thursday, September 22, at the Library of Congress to celebrate the establishment of the Peace Corps Collection at the Library.

Monninger served in the Peace Corps in Burkina-Faso, West Africa as a well-digger from 1975-77, and began writing letters and short stories about his experiences with the local villagers and his encounters with African magic and superstition.

Joseph Monninger
PSU English Professor and author Joseph Monninger

Monninger later incorporated his knowledge of Africa in his 1991 novel, The Viper Tree, which will be featured in a special Peace Corps Writers collection displayed at the Library of Congress.

“My experience in the Peace Corps changed the direction of my life,” Monninger said. “It’s an honor to have my book represent many of the fine volunteers who served in Burkina Faso, and to record a tiny portion of life among the wonderful people of West Africa.”

California Congressman John Garamendi and his wife, Patti Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-68) will host the luncheon, which is limited to Peace Corps writers whose books are listed in the Bibliography of the Peace Corps Experience.

Monninger, a Warren, N.H., resident, has taught at Plymouth State since 1990; he has published 13 novels and three nonfiction books; his young adult novel, Hippie Chick, was a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book, and Baby, an ALA-Yalsa Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. Monninger’s awards include a New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Fellowship in 2007, a nomination for a Booksense Award, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and he was selected as an alternate for a Fulbright scholarship to West Africa.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or

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