GLOUCESTER WRITERS CENTER

Contact: henry.ferrini@verizon.net or 978-281-2355
(Peter Anastas, Charles Olson and Vincent Ferrini, left to right,
at 126 East Main Street c.1965. Mark Power photograph)

Gloucester may soon be home to a new cultural and literary center.

When Gloucester’s Poet Laureate Vincent Ferrini died on Christmas Eve 2007, many of
his friends in Gloucester and around the world hoped his house could be purchased and
turned into a center where artistic activities could be shared with the community. Today
this idea is very close to becoming a reality.

Plans are progressing to establish The Gloucester Writers Center at the Ferrini house in
Gloucester, Massachusetts. This former home of Vincent Ferrini (1913-2007) lies across
the harbor from Charles Olson’s (1910-1970) 28 Fort Square home. These two poets,
known as the consciences of our city for over half a century, wrote about Gloucester with
enlightened passion and energy. Organizers of this project believe it is only fitting that a
place that honors their work and keeps their vision alive be established.

Since Ferrini’s death Paul Sawyer, an old friend of Vincent’s who lives in California, has
been advocating for the purchase of the house. This spring, Sawyer, a Unitarian-
Universalist Minister, called Vincent’s nephew filmmaker Henry Ferrini to report that he
has Pancreatic Cancer and has been given a year to live. With that time he wanted to put
his energy toward helping to create a Vincent Ferrini/ Charles Olson Writers Center at
Vincent’s East Main Street studio. The poet’s nephew was moved by Reverend Sawyer’s
decision.

“His decision has motivated many people close to Vincent, Charles and Paul to
work toward creating an innovative educational and cultural organization that will be a
lasting asset to Gloucester.” Ferrini said.

To date the group has raised $84,900 toward the purchase price of $100,000.
According to Ferrini, the timing and situation for this project couldn’t be better.”

“ Raising the $100,000 means we’ll be mortgage free and tax-exempt, an enviable
position for any organization. The Center can live on in perpetuity with out much
overhead. Plus 2010 is Charles Olson’s Centenary,” he says, “and attention is focused on
Olson and Gloucester.”

The group hopes that by the time Gloucester celebrates Olson’s centenary in
October the house will be open to tour. Tax-deductible contributions for the
establishing of the Ferrini Olson Writers Center can be made to the Charles Olson
Society and sent to Henry Ferrini, 5 Wall Street, Gloucester, MA 01930

About Splabman

Poet/interviewer Paul Nelson: Founded: SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival Wrote: American Sentences (2015), A Time Before Slaughter (2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme Editions, Brazil, 2013). His 2015 interview with José Kozer was published in 2016 (Ranchos Press) as Tiovivo Tres Amigos. Interviewed: Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Anne Waldman, Ed Sanders, Diane di Prima, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Brenda Hillman, among others and is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, including the festival, a MOOC (Innovative Cascadia Poetry), interviews with Cascadia poets indigenous elders and activists, and the anthology Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia. Paul is co-editor of that anthology as well as 56 Days of August the poetry postcard anthology and writes an American Sentence daily. *MOOC = Massive Open Online Course
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