“In the Valley of Poets” is an article by co-blogger Paul Marion in this month’s Merrimack Valley Magazine. Before surveying the nine famous poets and writers profiled in this article, Paul writes “There is a case to be made that our river valley is extraordinary, if not unique, among national locations with significant clusters of authors.”
My field is history, not literature or poetry, but you can’t really understand the history of a place without also considering the literature, religion and philosophy of the people who live in that place. That’s one of the reasons this website, dedicated to “history and politics in Lowell,” now also contains a number of profiles of local writers in a section called Literary Lowell Plus (with the “plus” being the rest of the Merrimack Valley).
Missing from our webpage is a high-level survey of the leading authors and poets from this region, both past and present. In this Merrimack Valley Magazine article, Paul provides that with the precision and ease of one who has a lifetime of familiarity with the work of these artists.
Here are the writers/poets covered in this issue:
- Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) of North Andover
- Robert Frost (1874-1963) from Lawrence High School
- John Greenleaf Whittier (1808-1892) of Amesbury
- Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) of Lowell
- Lucy Larcom (1824-1893) of Lowell
- Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) of Andover
- John P. Marquand (1893-1960) of Newburyport
- John Updike (1932-2009) of Georgetown
- Andre Dubus II (1936-1999) of Haverhill
Hopefully you already subscribe to Merrimack Valley Magazine and this issue – July/August 2019 – is sitting in your stack of incoming mail from this past week (because the article is not yet online). If you’re not a subscriber, you can find single issues of the magazine around the Merrimack Valley at Hannaford Supermarkets, Market Basket, Shaw’s, Stop & Shop, Tedeschi Food Shops, Rite Aid Pharmacy, 7 eleven, White Hen Pantry and other places. You can also purchase a single issue on the magazine’s website, but you should also purchase a full subscription because the September/October edition will bring Part II of Paul’s article which will look at contemporary writers from this region.