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Raising Our Voices

The Gloucester Writers Center is working to help the people of Gloucester find their voices and tell their stories. Through a series of classes, workshops and readings the GWC is working to encourage those members of our community who otherwise may not be heard.

We offer a free weekly writers group for women with limited resources and another for poets. Our Veterans Writers Group, co-sponsored by the Gloucester Office of Veterans Services, helps writers tell the important and sometimes difficult stories of their service. JoeAnn Hart coordinates volunteers to help GHS seniors with their college essays. This fall we are starting a writing group in collaboration with Maritime Gloucester to try to catch stories of our working waterfront.

Aside from offering classes and workshops, we encourage people to share their writing by hosting free public readings. Our monthly open mic draws a variety of writers from poets to novelists to memoirs of growing up in Gloucester. Fish Tales, the GWC version of the Moth, lets people tell stories in front of an audience. We also hold open mics and readings for kids.

What about the voices from the past? In our Diggers series local researchers present the slightly underground histories of Gloucester. So far we have heard about the disappearance of native people from our history, Gloucester’s role in slavery and the hiring and dismissal of a black teacher in 1956. This fall we will hear about Gloucester women accused of witchcraft in 1692 and have a discussion about the effort to stop the plague of gun violence in America.

Through all of these programs and events our mission has been to find the hidden voices of Gloucester. We are beginning to work with Pathways and the Cape Ann Museum to get even more people writing and telling their stories, as well as an oral history project with Maritime Gloucester. Funding from Awesome Gloucester would let us continue our project of helping the stories of Gloucester get written and heard.

Funded by Gloucester, MA (January 2015)