Category Archives: InCity Feature

Worcester Poets: a sampler

Some of America’s greatest poets were born right here in Worcester! Meet them – see our city in their poems!

By Michael True

The literary history of Worcester over the past three centuries continues to be enriched by successive generations of poets, novelists, essayists, and children’s authors. The poems of Stanley Kunitz, 1905-2008, Elizabeth Bishop, 1911-79, David Williams, b. 1953, and Mary Fell, b. 1948, quoted and referred to below are representative of work informed by the people and geography of Central Massachusetts. In some instances, as W. H. Auden said of W. B. Yeats and Ireland,Worcester “hurt them into poetry.” At other times, their art is informed by the pleasures and quality of lives of its residents. In either case, these lyric poems of exceptional quality deserve an appreciative audience among readers locally and in the wider community. — Michael True, co-founder ofWorcester County Poetry Association, Inc., wrote Worcester Area Writers, 1680-1980, 1986.

Stanley Kunitz, Elizabeth Bishop, and Charles Olson, all born in Worcester, are internationally known, each of them claiming a place in American literary history.

In recent years, a younger generation of Worcester writers has made itself known, having received national awards for their writing: the late Chris Gilbert, the Walt Whitman Award; Mary Fell, the National Poetry Series; John Hodgen, the Donald Hall Award.

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Spring fashion at Abby’s House!

It’s May in New England and the heat is still on in my house! No wonder people move south. It’s kind of difficult to gear up for the hopefully upcoming warm weather when it’s been so grim lately, but I will attempt to write about spring fashion – with Abby’s House volunteers as models. (All outfits courtesy of the Abby House Thrift Store.)

So here goes!

I know people think that it’s a talent to be able to put outfits together and accessorize them in just the right way so that you look like you just stepped off the runway but that is not necessarily the truth of the matter.

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We don’t want the Circus in this town!

Take a stand for elephants and other wild animals! Boycott Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey Circus!

By Steven Baer

After five years of staving off the legal system, and countless years of denigrating the valid concerns of animal advocates, the big-top tent is about to blow over on the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus revealing the atrocious behavior and animal-abusive activities of their circus, and all circuses in general.

Circus in Court
In August 2007, Federal District Court Judge Sullivan issued a ruling rejecting a last-ditch evasive attempt by Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus to sleeze out of a pending trial over a lawsuit that charges the circus with harming and abusing Asian elephants – that’s a serious violation under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

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The Hunger issue

Help feed your neighbors

By William S. Coleman III

The words “Hunger in America” can attract the eye of any reader; could Worcester have a hunger crisis? There are many families in Worcester who do not have the basic food essentials in their house. Times are tough, and many folks are just getting by. If you can open your refrigerator and see the abundance of food, you are lucky.

Hunger in Worcester means more than just a few soup kitchens and food pantries providing bags of good quality food to single people and families in need. Hunger means that one has to hold back the pain, hurt or embarrassment of asking for food from a pantry or distant family member or friend.

Each night in Worcester someone goes to bed hungry. Be it the elderly living alone and depressed or a child who is hungry in a house with no food. There is a hunger crisis before our eyes in our community.

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Know your health insurance rights when switching jobs

By Steven R. Maher

Health insurance is a big issue when switching jobs. The story of Mike is instructive when dealing with insurance companies.

Mike (not his real name) started a new job in September 2007, moving from a large corporation to a larger corporation, both companies having the same health insurer. In his early fifties, Mike was in good health except for soreness in the arms brought on by aggressive weight lifting, which had been diagnosed prior to starting his new job. Mike started physical therapy for this condition shortly after his new employer’s health insurance kicked in. It was then that Mike received the letter.

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Going bananas in the new Worcester Courthouse!

By Jack Hoffman

Recently, I had to travel to Worcester to retrieve some probated documents. I thought it might be a great opportunity to see the new Courthouse, since it’s been awhile since I visited the old place down at Lincoln Square. And I could save a little on the legal bills.

I was told in advance I could park at the Centrum Parking lot – sorry, you know it’s been a long time. It’s now the DCU.

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Worcester’s foreclosure crisis: what it can do to you, your extended family, your colleagues, your neighborhood and your city

By Worcester District 4 City Councilor Barbara G. Haller

Hardly a day goes by without a media story on the foreclosure crisis and its trickle down and up effects. The crisis is real and growing and many analysts are saying that it will easily be two years, and perhaps several more, before our economy restabilizes.

There are many contributing factors – predatory lending, greed, denial, small margins for making ends meet, quickly escalating costs of living (property taxes, gasoline, heating fuel, insurance, health costs, and just about everything else we pay for). The other side of the coin is that there are some opportunities too as property values sink to more affordable prices – but buyer beware, as there are often liens, code violations, and financing traps associated with these properties.

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War! What is it good for? War! Carl Nelson’s volume of war poems may be one answer to the question

Carl Nelson’s volume of war poems may be one answer to the question

By Rosalie Tirella

One of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, Carl Nelson, works as a teller in a local credit union by day. By night, however, and especially during the weekends, Carl is out scouring bookstores throughout New England for old or outof- print books – specifically those containing poems about war. Any war – ancient battles in China to guerilla fights in the jungles of Vietnam. His goal? To find and preserve the perspectives of the average soldier in war. The grunt. Or the villager whose home has been ransacked by the enemy or the father of a slain soldier. Carl hopes to complile hundreds of the poems he has found in a volume big enough to serve as a kind of reference book for college, even high school, students. Or for any one who really loves poetry. Carl, who lives in East Brookfield with his wife Marie and their daughter Annie, recently sat down to talk with ICT editor Rosalie Tirella about his mammouth undertaking – his labor of love.

Rose: You work in banking but your true love is …

Carl: Literature. … I actually only went to college a year when I graduated from high school in 1968. I pursued other things … . I was laid off from (a floral business). I had a chance to go back to college and I decided to do so. I went to Worcester State [in 1992] to finish my degree in literature and minor in journalism. I graduated in 1995.

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