Boston’s Literary District

Cultural districts are essential to building communities for people who share similar passions. According to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a cultural district is “a compact, walkable area of a community with a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets.” Literature is just one of such cultures. For example, The Boston Literary District states that Boston is the first city in the country to dedicate an entire district to literature. The website further explains that the location of the Boston Literary District is from Copley Square to Downtown Boston. Suffolk University is proud to be part of this district with the Rosalie Stahl Center at the Mildred F. Sawyer Library. It would behoove any Suffolk student to familiarize themselves with the Rosalie Stahl Center, because getting to know University/Local libraries is one aspect of being a literary citizen. In addition to the Salamander literary journal, the Rosalie Stahl Center is home to the Clark Collection of African American Literature, according to the Boston Literary District.

The Boston Literary District hosts a number of wonderful events. One event that Suffolk is particularly excited about is the “Where I am From” Story Slam happening on Friday, April 22nd. Suffolk will be alongside GrubStreet writers sharing their origins. Admission is free for The Grub Street and Suffolk community. For readers who aren’t associated those two organizations, tickets are $10 for regular admissions and $5 for students. This event is highly recommended. These stories are from true and personal experiences, and for anyone to do so in front of an audience is nothing short of valiant and amazing.


Even though that event is over a week and a half away, there are other events to attend in the meantime for those eager to be a literary citizen. There will be two events as early as tomorrow, April 13th. From 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. the Records Manager for the Boston Police Department, Margaret R. Sullivan, will “draw on documents available online to review specific cases and discuss her efforts to use city employment records to flesh out the later lives of the 1,170 Boston police officers who went out on strike in 1919,” says the Boston Literary District.

The other event is a Tribute to C.D. Wright, which will take place from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. During this time attendees will listen to live readings of Wright’s work. An award winning poet, Wright received the National Book Critics Circle Award for One With Others, says the Poetry Foundation. The Boston Literary District also adds that Wright was chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and received the MacArthur Fellowship Award.   

Besides immersing yourself in literary events, the best part of the two aforementioned activities is that they are free. You read that right, folks. Becoming a literary citizen in your community is a rewarding experience that is completely affordable. Aside from the story slam, the Boston Literary District has a number of other events that are completely free.

In addition to attending these events there are a number of other’s way to get involved in Boston’s Literary District. Aspiring authors, or anyone who is passionate about literature, are all potential candidates . Remember that reading and writing are both important parts of being a literary citizen, but becoming actively involved in literary events is also extremely important. Finding other people who are passionate about literature will expose literary citizens to new authors, presses, and literary journals. Reading from a variety of genres and cultures will also help literary citizens broaden their horizons, but most importantly, it will build friendships and communities.


Jackie Strom

Class of 2018


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