Beacon Street Diary blog

Boston Literary District: An Innovative Coalition

Boston is well known for having a literary past — Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and earlier writers like African American poet Phillis Wheatley. But Boston present is in the midst of a literary renaissance.

We have a vibrant community of writers and readers, and that vibrancy is expressed in organizations across the city, from the Boston Public Library to the Boston Athenaeum to the preeminent writers group GrubStreet. Now, with all things literary under the one Literary District roof, the writing community has a stronger platform to showcase its art, and the reading community has a one-stop clearinghouse to find out what’s going on — what writers are speaking where, what literary panels are being presented, what literary works are being performed, on and so on.

The Congregational Library & Archives is a proud partner in Boston's new Literary District. Stretching from the corner of Charles and Boylston, the site of the Poe Returning to Boston sculpture to Gloucester Street on the Commonwealth Mall where sculpted figures of Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley comprise the Boston Woman's Memorial, the District is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth

"The best part may be that the Boston Literary District will tap readers who don't yet know they are readers." says the District's coordinator Larry Lindner, and he adds, "For many people, reading is sort of like math — something they feel phobic about. But if you go see an author speak, if you can see a literary work performed, reading becomes less of an abstract thing — it's now more something you can reach out and touch, and it will make people more comfortable about engaging with the written word. So not only writers benefit — everyone will."