The Center for the Humanities

Vincent Ferrini: Before Gloucester

Editors: Ammiel Alcalay & Kate Tarlow Morgan
66 pages, softcover, saddle-stitch binding

Immigrant radicalism bumps head-on into the Cold War in these evocative materials out of the life of poet and union organizer Vincent Ferrini. Like Charles Olson, Ferrini came to symbolize a poet’s relationship to the local politics of Gloucester, MA—a working city. A selection of poems, some never published and others exceedingly rare, correspondence from Ferrini’s close friend Myer “Mike” Hecht, and accompanying essays provide historical context to this key moment in US history.

Author Biographies:

VINCENT FERRINI (1913-2007) was raised in Lynn, MA, by parents who emigrated from Southern Italy to work in the shoe factories. Ferrini’s rebellion began early as he struggled against the constraints of poverty and circumstance. Self-educated, Ferrini worked for the WPA in 1935-36, finishing his first manuscript and also rebelling against the Administration itself by organizing the workers. Active in the radical United Electrical Union, Ferrini also taught at the Samuel Adams School in Boston, both targets of HUAC hearings.

Selected Archives:

  • The Vincent Ferrini Letters and Papers, The Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA
  • Vincent Ferrini Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Thomas J. Dodd Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
  • The Gloucester Writers Center, Gloucester, MA

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