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Friday, October 26, 2007

Worcester Area Writers Project

It has now been well over 20 years since Worcester author and activist Michael True, working under the auspices of Worcester Public Library, completed Worcester Area Writers 1680-1980 a compilation of biographical sketches of novelists, poets, essayists, and others who were born or lived in the Worcester area. Twenty of these individuals were the subjects of page-long treatments, among them Mary Rowlandson of Lancaster whose 17th century account of her captivity among local native Americans became a “best seller” in both England and America; historian George Bancroft, and chronicler of colonial life Alice Morse Earle, along with better-known central Massachusetts natives such as poet Stanley Kunitz and novelist Esther Forbes. Thumbnail sketches of over 100 other local writers are also included.

Now we are interested in producing a revised edition of Worcester Area Writers. Although this will no doubt entail expanding some of the existing entries, and adding pertinent detail to others, the primary focus of the work will be on providing information on local writers who have come to the fore since 1980. We would like to cast as wide a net as possible and the list we have begun to compile is long and growing. However, we want to make sure that we do not miss anyone and would like to enlist your help in identifying writers whom you feel should be included in the final product. The only criterion is that they have a strong connection to the Worcester area through either birth or (relatively) long term residence here.

We would also like to offer you the opportunity to become part of this work by serving with us on an ad hoc committee devoted to shaping this project and seeing it through to completion. Anyone with an interest in local history or literature is encouraged to provide input or to join us. Please contact Joy Hennig at or 508-799-1670.

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CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608