January 24, 2002 - Peace Corps Writers: John Coyne and Peace Corps Writers

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: The Third Goal : The Peace Corps and the Third Goal: January 24, 2002 - Peace Corps Writers: John Coyne and Peace Corps Writers

By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 8:25 am: Edit Post

John Coyne and Peace Corps Writers


Probably no other rpcv has done more to further the Third Goal of the Peace Corps than John Coyne and his Peace Corps Writers web site, shown in the photo above with web site designer Marian Haley Beil. Reading, after all, is the primary way that most Americans have learned about the world that rpcvs have served in and nobody has done more to promote Peace Corps Writers than John Coyne. Read more about this remarkable web site that started as a newsletter in 1989 at:

RPCV Writers & Readers and PeaceCorpsWriters.org*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

RPCV Writers & Readers and PeaceCorpsWriters.org

A little history

The goal of launching this web site, as well as that of publishing its precursor, the newsletter RPCV Writers & Readers, is at the heart of the Third Goal of the Peace Corps — to “bring the world back home.” The writings of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), all their novels, short stories, essays and poetry are a positive way of educating Americans about the world, an essential Third Goal activity. The newsletter, and now the site, provide the link between the cultures of the world and our culture. We also strive to present examples of successful — as well as struggling — writers that others can follow. We promote service by our own example as we serve the Peace Corps community, as well as through the promotion of the hundreds of publications by Peace Corps writers who reflect on their Peace Corps service in their writing.

Founded in 1989, the RPCV Writers & Readers was published six times a year. All work on the newsletter — as with this site — was done on a volunteer basis.

In the November, 1998 issue of RPCV Writers & Readers it was announced in an article entitled “Is this newsletter necessary? No,” that the newsletter would no longer be published. Its demise had been brought on by a diminishing subscription base. After receiving numerous communications of praise for the newsletter, it was decided to launch a web site — PeaceCorpsWriters.org.

Bibliography RPCV Writers & Readers published three editions of the BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PEACE CORPS WRITERS, most recently in 1994. That 40 page edition listed 223 Peace Corps writers, their books and publishers. The BIBLIOGRAPHY can now be found at this site and lists more than 1,100 books by more than 325 writers. Additionally there is a Bibliography of Peace Corps Books by Non-Peace Corps Writers and a listing of recommended books about the Peace Corps experience.

Talking With . . .

In July, 1993, RPCV Writers & Readers published TALKING WITH . . ., a compilation of the twenty-one interviews that had appeared in the newsletter to date. The interviewees included P.F. Kluge, Bob Shacochis, Mary-Ann Tirone Smith and Moritz Thomsen.


RPCV Writers & Readers annually presents four awards for best fiction book, best nonfiction book, best poetry book and best one-page writing that captures the essence of the Peace Corps experience by Peace Corps writers. These are presented at the National Peace Corps Association’s (NPCA) conference. Winners of those awards have included Joanne Omang, Norm Rush, Nancy Scheper-Hughes and Paul Theroux.

RPCV Conferences For each RPCV conference, RPCV Writers & Readers works closely with a local book store on a volunteer basis to assure that there is a wide variety of books by Peace Corps writers available for purchase at the Grand Bazaar.

Also at each RPCV conference, RPCV Writers & Readers presents a well-attended workshop for aspiring Peace Corps writers with a panel of established Peace Corps writers. For the 1999 conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, we will present five panels about Peace Corps writers and their books, featuring several outstanding writers. Additionally, there will be ongoing readings by Peace Corps writers. For more information on the conference, and how to register, visit the web site of the National Peace Corps Association.


Over the years, RPCV Writers & Readers has sponsored readings by Peace Corps writers at a variety of venues including at NPCA conferences (both national and regional), at bookstores and on radio programs including NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

Who is behind these efforts?

RPCV Writers & Readers was founded and edited by John Coyne who taught secondary school English in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 1962 to 1964. And every morning before leaving for school, he wrote for two hours.

Since then John has published numerous books including ones in the horror genre, on crafts, untraditional education, golf and, most recently, he has been the editor of five books of collected works by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. To see the complete list of John's books go to the bibliography.

John is currently the Director of the New York Regional Recruiting Office of the Peace Corps. He is the editor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org.

Site designer Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962–64) worked with editor John Coyne as publisher of RPCV Writers & Readers for its 10 years of existance handling design, production and distribution.

Marian has enjoyed a variety of incarnations. As a Volunteer she taught math in a secondary school in the town of Debre Berhan. Subsequently she worked at Peace Corps/Washington, married RPCV Donald Beil (Somlia 1964–66) and had two sons, earned an MFA in weaving and textile design and then worked as a fiber artist. For the past 12 years she has worked as a publication designer and technical illustrator.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.


By William Seraile on Wednesday, January 15, 2003 - 10:40 pm: Edit Post

William Seraile Ph.D (Mekelle Ethiopia,1963-1965)is the author of a new book, Bruce Grit:The Black Nationalist Writings of John Edward Bruce published by the University of Tennessee Press for
$34.00/ Professor Seraile is a Professor of African American History at Lehman College, City
University of New York

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