This celebration of outstanding writing features work by forty-two writers: Beth Bauman, Sophie Cabot Black, Philip Cioffari, Michael Cunningham, Alan Dugan, Cornelius Eady, Barbara Elovic, Leslie Epstein, David Evanier, Carolyn Forché, Pete Fromm, Alice Fulton, James Galvin, Louise Glück, Jorie Graham, Allan Gurganus, Jessica Hagedorn, Linda Heller, Amy Hempel, Joyce Hinnefeld, William Melvin Kelley, Diane Lefer, David Low, Thomas Lux, William Matthews, Florence Cassen Mayers, Jane Miller, Carol Muske, Charlotte Nekola, Sanjay Kumar Nigam, Sondra Spatt Olsen, Sonia Pilcer, Sterling D. Plumpp, Nahid Rachlin, Robert Rice, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Ntozake Shange, Charles Simic, Stever Stern, Terese Svoboda, Sharon Thomson, and Meg Wolitzer.
Founded in 1977, The Writers Community, a program of the YMCA National Writers Voice from 1986 to 2008, was the embodied idea of a community of writers among themselves, and of writers in creative community with audience, readers, and humanity in general. Known as the oldest and one of the best community-based writing programs in the nation, The Writers Community is celebrated in this anthology of fiction and poetry representing some of the outstanding work of its workshop members and writers-in-residence over the first twenty years of its history. Many of the writers represented here, unknown or little known at the time of their association with The Writers Community, have gone on to become MacArthur Fellows, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, and distinguished literary figures.
"Writing is inevitably solitary, of course, but the idea of a community of writers is invigorating to think about when you're all alone with your thoughts and it's three in the morning and you just can't find a way to end the paragraph. Sometimes, when I'm up very late working, I'll look out my window and see other lights in other windows, and I'll imagine that there are writers in those rooms, doing essentially what I'm doing. In a strange way, this is always a comfort."
--- Meg Wolitzer, from the foreword
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