Boston's "Literary Cultural District" Might Become a Thing In September
Most people's picture of the struggling writer is one of her huddled over a laptop trying to break through her writer's block while crouched in a Brooklyn coffee shop. Well, the crouching and the struggling thing will probably still hold — that $2 million advance is coming any day now — but perhaps the locale will now be Copley Square. Boston may get a devoted "Literary Cultural District," and, according to Streetwise, next week the Boston City Council will vote on a resolution to approve the area. A full go-ahead is expected.
The literature-centric district, which is an area of Downtown Boston, would be the first of its kind in the country. The push is being spearheaded by members of the Arts, Film, Humanities & Tourism Committee, as well as GrubStreet, a non-profit creative writing center with a reputation for building community across Boston and beyond. If it's approved, the area be ground-zero for all kinds of literary events, festivals, readings, workshops, and anything lit-centric — and it'll hopefully breed even more engagement by the public and make Boston a literary destination.
But hold up — it's not that the city isn't already. Boston has quite the literary tradition, being home to major educational institutions and MFA/publishing programs (Emerson, which has quite a strong one, is right in the thick of the district). Their book community is thriving — Harvard Square Coop and Brookline Booksmith represent! — and with authors like Sylvia Plath and Jayne Anne Phillips having called the city home points, it's not exactly like Boston has a lot to prove.
Do your job Boston City Council: Make this district so! Then let's get every other city to follow suit. It's time we writers got some turf.