Peace Corps Writers

January 2000

Go to Current Issue to discover all the new articles in this issue of

In Resources you will find our Bibliography of Peace Corps writers and other resources including links that might be of interest.

In the Archives you will find back issues of Peace Corps Writers, and all of our award winners.

Writers & Readers Roundtable
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Letters Home
Before the Age of E-mail, you wrote some wonderful letters home from your Peace Corps country. You wrote letters home to your parents, friends, and old lovers. Where are those letters now? Up into the attic? Out in the garage? In some old file cabinet? In a special drawer tied in a bundle with a pink bow?
     Would you donate one or two (or three) of the best of your letters to Because we think that your letters home are as interesting and insightful as any published in collections today, we would like to publish them in a book entitled Letters Home.
     I am in the first stages of putting together a proposal for Letters Home, and am looking for letters that describe the life you led as a Volunteer. I am interested in all aspects of your Peace Corps experience, from missing home to making a home. From doing your job overseas to traveling in the third world.
     If we are successful in publishing a book, the royalties will go to continue and improve our on-line newsletter.
     Please send a copy (not the original) and please type them out so that they are easily read. Mail your letters to me at:
         John Coyne
         99 Reed Avenue
         Pelham Manor, New York 10803
     P.S. In upcoming issues of we’ll let you know how the book idea is developing.

Join the Writers & Readers Roundtable
One of our fans, Ralph Otte with Peacelink International, wrote: “I’m wondering if people might like to be listed by you in a Supporters’ Circle, or some such, by donating a given amount to keep you on the air, award prizes, et al.”
     We think it’s a terrific idea — and we’ve already received some gifts that we would like to acknowledge. We will be calling our salute to supporters the Writers & Readers Roundtable..
     If you would like to join the Roundtable to support this website and its efforts to fulfill the Third Goal of the Peace Corps — to bring the world back home — the “how-to” of sending gifts is at the To Contact Us page. Please note that gifts to are not tax deductable.

But no postcards!
Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) letter home was a postcard packed with 250 words written in 1961 in Nigeria by Marjorie Michelmore to her boyfriend in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In another article in our series on the early history of the Peace Corps, Murray Frank, the Western Regional Director of the Nigeria Peace Corps project at the time, recalls Michelmore, and all the hell that broke loose in Ibadan when the postcard was found by Nigerian students.

What else is new?
Also in this issue of, we feature a “Friendly Agent” who is eager to see material from RPCV writers, an interview with novelist Simone Zelitch (Hungary 1991–92), and a series of award winning poems by John Micheal Flynn (Moldova 1993–95) in “A Writer Writes.”
     Continuing our new column on traveling right it’s my turn to tell you about a small island in the Mediterranean that I first visited in 1968 when I was returning home from Ethiopia.
     And, of course, there’s “Literary Type,” news of what’s happening to Peace Corps writers.
     Keep reading, keep writing.
     And to see a complete list of everything that’s in the January 2000 issue of go to In this Issue.

— John Coyne, editor

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