Nominate Your Favorite RPCV Book Published in 2021

To further fulfill its goals to encourage, recognize and promote Peace Corps writers, RPCV Writers & Readers, the newsletter that was the precursor of and, presented its first annual awards for outstanding writing in 1990.

The awards are:

Send the name of the author of your favorite 2021 book to:

John Coyne (Ethiopia 1962-64)
at: :



Leave a comment
  • John,
    I nominate the author Mary Lou Skefsky as my favorite author in 2021. She wrote Love and Latrines In The Land of SpiderWeb Lace. It was published in July 2021. It is a story of her experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay 1974-1976. I loved reading the book because it was so vivid and full of wonderful images. It also described her love story with her future husband and with the Paraguayan people, especially in her town of Ybycui.

  • So much good is done with these stories accounting for Peace Corps Volunteers’ service. Who I’ve wondered “who” can I leave my love to who or that will go forward after us to tell our hopes, truths, and accomplishments. This project of PEACE CORPS WORLDWIDE begun I recall in the late 1980’s helmed and carried along with Marian Hailey Beil toiling on the book publishing part and John Coyne the every piddling day journalism posting on this blessed site is a great “telling” and avoids the usually charged polemics and is both poetry in the broad sense and ideas because most attempts at these tellings without Marian and Johy would be what would weakly pass in pale blond efforts as “poetry and ideas” with mostly no ideas and no poetry finally. But Coyne and Beil have been a team yoked to the great tellings of the Peace Corps Story. In the normal sense, they won’t live forever and what they have labored for will possibly be passed-on, but what they have begun crowns every blinken, winken, and nod they will have touched and likely also enlightened.

    Here is a poem for them and their strong associates and helpers over these 35 years (including Marian’s son and Joanne Roll):

    Your life will become
    this large sheet of paper
    worked into collages
    that go sailing away,
    I thought-think, then
    Keep fighting, keep
    Struggling with choice.
    Joy’s choice, ideas,
    A love of life weaving
    The change, portaging
    And paddling through
    All that is beautiful –
    Rocks, trees, lakes.
    All that and we also.

    (C) Copyright Edward Mycue June 11, 2022 12:46 noon pm

  • Peace Corps History is the House John and Marian built. It is filled with books, special reviews articles and poems, such as yours, Edward, which they gathered, helped and promoted. Noah, Marian’s son, provided his technical skill and talent. i am so fortunate to join thousands of other RPCVs to know our history is being perserved and shared.

  • Peace Corps Writers have created over the years a very special category of literature. It will be recognized by those who appreciate adventure, philosophy, emotional dynamics, international cultures, and good writing. We’re in the Library of Congress, and other library collections.

    Indeed this is all thanks to John and Marian. Their encouragement, editing and publishing built this house, as Joanne says.
    They can be so proud of this remarkable achievement.

    Leita Kaldi Davis
    Senegal 1993-96)
    Recipient Lillian Carter Award 2017
    Author, Roller Skating in the Desert

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