||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 by editor John Coyne and publisher Marian Haley Beil (both Ethiopia 196264), 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 and their books.
The online BIBLIOGRAPHY can now be found at this site and lists thousands of books by 971 RPCV and 52 by Peace Corps staff. Additionally there is a Bibliography of Peace Corps Books by Non-Peace Corps Writers and a listing of books about the Peace Corps experience with “editor's choices” indicated.
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.
Peace Corps Writers annually presents six awards for best fiction book, best nonfiction book, best poetry book and best short piece that captures the essence of the Peace Corps experience all 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.
For each RPCV conference, Peace Corps Writers 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, Peace Corps Writers presents well-attended workshops for aspiring Peace Corps writers with a panelists who are established Peace Corps writers.
Over the years, Peace Corps Writers 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 co-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 the Manager of Communications for The College of New Rochelle. He is the editor of PeaceCorpsWriters.org.Co-founder, site designer and publisher Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 196264) joined 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 (Somalia 196466) and had two sons, earned an MFA in weaving and textile design and then worked as a fiber artist. Since 1987 she has worked as a publication designer and technical illustrator and now website designer.