NPCA’s Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award given to John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil

Here is a short video of Marian Haley Beil talking about creating Peace Corps Writers website with John Coyne.The link to the video:


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  • This is really so well deserved. On their website both John and Marian keep all of us present and former PCV’s up-to-date on an almost daily basis as to PCV information. Congratulations!! I served in Liberia from 1962-1964 and always enjoy reading the information provided by both.

  • MORE than a lifetime!!

    John and Marian have been the pioneers for decades of communicating to the world and to other returned Peace Corps volunteers and staff what the Peace Corps experience is and was and can be. Their dedicated service has connected and inspired and publicized and appreciated all genres of Peace Corps writers – whether books or articles published in major and minor newspapers, magazines, newsletters or personal essays, etc…..

    They have been the voice of people with a voice connecting each other and creating a shared space of accomplishment and pride in Peace Corps service and bringing the world back home. Many who never thought they would write have been continually encouraged to to do so with books and articles published across the publishing spectrum – creating writers in all genres.

    When I arrived in Washington DC in 1989 (my second homecoming), Dick Irish mentioned I needed to contact John Coyne and Marion Beale since they had created something extraordinary. Warren Wiggins chimed in and agreed. (We were all at TransCentury including John in one of his many previous lives). I saved every paper edition of the Peace Corps “Writers & Readers” for decades. When I departed DC recently, I gave them to the Peace Corps AU Library (Pat Wand, RIP).

    “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

    Sending deep appreciation to John and Marian for keeping Peace Corps experiences alive and lasting.


  • Maian and John,

    I don’t think there could ever a more deserving pair to receive this first-of-kind award. In factI, I have a hunch that this award had to be created de novo for you, because there are no others that could adequately honor what you have accomplished in two lifetimes.

  • Congratulations John and Marian for your continued great work and dedication! This award is most appropriate and well earned.

  • Here’s the puzzle about John and Marian: do they run a web site for Peace Corps writers which is disguised as a Peace Corps news site — or do they run a web site filled with Peace Corps news disguised as a Peace Corps writers web site? Probably both, and that’s the joy of it. It is unquestionably the longest running service for returned volunteers, be they writers or not. For many of us keeping up with Peace Corps news is important. No one, not even the NPCA, provides more PC news than John and Marian slip into their output of stories from, well, PeaceCorps Worldwide. What is the surprise is all those writers out there among Returned Volunteers who just keep writing and publishing books and articles. John and Marian know them all. They give the writers a place to publish short pieces and to promote their books. Invaluable. They are coaches and cheerleaders and mentors. So let’s hope that they do not take their Lifetime Achievement Award too literally and retire. What would we all do without them? Congratulations to them both.

    Barry Hillenbrand
    Ethiopia II 1963-1965

  • John and Marian,

    Congratulations to you both! This award is well deserved indeed! Your posts have continued to keep me and so many others in the loop about PC happenings and I thoroughly enjoy the book reviews and all the other information such as updates on exPC staff that I knew so many years ago in headquarters. Your dedication to keeping PC alive on many fronts is greatly appreciated. I do hope you have been mentoring someone to pick up where you leave off when and if you decide to leave this important work behind. Thank you again for your commitment to keeping PC alive!

  • Super congratulations, John and Marian. Long overdue and well-deserved. You are both the torch bearers for all that is good and important about the Peace Corps. Thanks for your example.

    -Matt Losak (Lesotho, ’85-88, Staff, ’92-98)

  • So many have said it already — but CONGRATULATIONS all the more!
    We RPCVs appreciate your combined efforts to keep us informed and happy!

  • I agree with all the warm comments about how this award is so deserving of you both. Hugs and mountains of gratitude to you ,John and Marian, for mounds of both support and friendship over the years!

  • Very well deserved the two of you have made the journey of being a RPCV wordsmith both a please and a joy. May your words always inspire others as they have inspired those us who write.

  • Congratulations to both of you. John, I’m proud remember seeing you fight for the Peace Corps before there even was a Peace Corps.

  • Such well-deserved recognition … John scared the bejezus out of us not too long ago when he announced that he was going to ‘retire’ … caused us to worry that we had seen the end of this blog … lo and behold he really did not know what he was talking about… ‘retire?’ … not by a long shot. Thanks to the both of you for your service.

  • Congratulations to you both. You work tirelessly for so many. This award is way beyond well-deserved. Thank you for all you both do!

  • PC Worldwide is a great idea, my go-to news every morning. Congratulations John and Marian, this is well-deserved.

  • I think John and Marian are deserving of a longer than lifetime achievement award!
    Thank you for all you do for the community and beyond.

    Peter Reid
    Tanzania 1964-66

  • To say that this is a deserved award is an enormous understatement. I think I speak for a multitude of Peace Corps writers, famous and not so famous, when I say that we would not be identified and included together in an important canon of writing, if it were not for John Coyne and Marian Haley Beil.

    As I’ve often said, every writer needs a person who champions one’s work, publishes it, honors one’s independence even when he or she does not agree with what one has to say. John and Marian have been that for me. And I’m certain almost every writer coming into their embrace will concur.

    And the same can be said for readers; what we would have missed (and not even known it) without their support of Peace Corps essayists, novelists, journalists, memoirists, and poets!

    Think of it, where would the American Literary Canon be without their contribution? Where would the country be without their commitment to bringing home our personal truths to the greater population?

    I bow down to them in gratitude as both a Peace Corps Writer and a reader of other Peace Corps authors.

  • So deserved! You are remarkable — keeping this good work going for so many years, and helping us all appreciate what that is being done and helping document the powerful effects of Peace Corps. Thank you and much love to you both!!

  • Lifetime Achievement Award par excellence for John & Marian who opened the door to literally hundreds of PCV stories from around the world that demonstrate all too clearly the power of the Peace Corps. John & Marian will be a tough act to follow. Thanks for being there. Heartiest of Congratulations!

  • Congratulations on the choice for this inaugural award. John and Marian have served as the connective tissue within the RPCV community for so long. Peace Corps Worldwide has truly given a voice to the PCV experience through the lifting up of so many RPCV writers and their work.

  • Congratulations Marian and John for all the reasons articulated in the above comments. A lot of lights would have been left under the bushel baskets without the two of you.

  • For decades you have tirelessly created and cultivated a unique community and have done so much to “keep hope alive” about the ideals and spirit of Peace Corps service. I hope these honors just keep on coming because we writers especially owe you such a debt of gratitude. Thank you both so much.

  • John and Marian,
    I believe this Lifetime Achievement Award is a good start because you deserve much more recognition than that for all you’ve done! As Maureen mentioned above, all of us really do owe you a debt of gratitude, and I for one am very grateful for your dedication and total commitment to the Peace Corps, the RPCVs and current PCVs. I’ve enjoyed working with both of you and can’t thank you enough for the assistance you’ve given me.
    All the best,
    Jim Skelton
    Ethiopia 1970-72

  • Sending heartfelt congratulations, John and Marian! It’s absolutely fitting that this inaugural award would go to you both. Thank you for your decades of service, keeping us RPCVs informed and being champions for us writers. You’ve helped put the Peace Corps literary genre on the map and assured it will live on through the web and Library of Congress, etc. What a legacy.

    Andy Trincia
    Romania 2002-2004

  • I, like so many others, am very appreciative of all your efforts to keep us RP’CVs in all parts of the US and world reading and writing. There aren’t enough awards and accolades to show you what your work has meant to us.

  • John and Marian,
    You are so deserving of this Lifetime Achievement Award. You created such a wonderful forum for discussion and championed hundreds of Peace Corps authors and writers of all kinds. You helped me as a newbie memoir author (In Search of Pink Flamingos) and as a newbie chief editor of (FOL) Friends of Liberia’s anthology (Never the Same Again: Life, Service and Friendship in Liberia) with your book reviews and postings. John even sent a reviewer (Steve Kaffen) to FOL’s book launch in Washington DC last summer who wrote a wonderful review on PCW. I believe that the two of you contributed to both of these books winning awards. Your service may have been underestimated by some, but NOT by the thousands of readers, writers and authors who have followed you over the years. I am forever grateful and congratulate you for this prestigious award.

  • Dear John and Marian,

    Please ignore my last request. I fixed the mistake I made. Thank you.

    Congratulations on the tremendous award!

    Tom Hazuka

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