The River Runs Through Us

A Writers Voice series exploring the literature, spirit and meaning of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts.

The River Runs Through Us is a special, six-part mini-series exploring the literature, spirit and meaning of the Connecticut River. Funded by a grant from Mass Humanities, Writer’s Voice will examine contemporary challenges through the creative, metaphorical and historical lens of the Connecticut River by engaging writers, artists and scholars in a long form public conversation.

The River fostered much of what we recognize as the modern world in New England. It stretches for over four hundred miles, from Northern New Hampshire to the Long Island Sound. Millions of people live within the River’s basin, an area of 11,000 square miles.

Thomas Cole – "The Oxbow" (1836)

Thomas Cole – “The Oxbow” (1836)

Without the Connecticut, New England may have never become the driving force in spreading the American revolution and democracy; without the river, New England wouldn’t have served as the incubator for American intellect and creativity; without the Connecticut River, America may have missed the Industrial Revolution.

In short, the Connecticut River is the heart, mind and soul of an entire region; it’s Valley is a birthplace of American art, spirituality and economic power.

So join us as we tell the River’s story. Along the way, we may well find that the story of the river runs through us too.

The River Runs Through Us Kickstarter Campaign

Here’s a great opportunity to support Writers Voice and the cultural heritage of the Connecticut River Valley. We need to raise some funds to fulfill the conditions of our grant for The River Runs Through Us and we’ve got a Kickstarter campaign to do it. So head on over to this link and check it out! Any contribution is greatly appreciated. But we are not just asking for handouts; we have some wonderful rewards for your support, including new book titles, autographed books from local authors Susan Stinson and Jacqueline Sheehan.

It’s easy to share your social media responses to The River Runs Through Us

Just add #wvriver when you use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or any other social media site. Send links of photos, stories, and cool information about the Connecticut River and its Valley. We’ll add the links to Storify to create a running journal for the series.

And tell us your stories

The River Runs Through Us, Episode Six: Russell Powell, A Sense of Place & Series Highlights

Russell Steven Powell talks about the intersection of the natural world and our place within it, as it relates to the Connecticut River, the metaphorical spine that flows through our region. And we also air highlights from previous episodes in our special series The River Runs Through Us.

Episode Five: Andrew Fisk, Connecticut River Watershed Council & Naila Moreira, “Alaska, Massachusetts”

Andrew Fisk of the Connecticut River Watershed Council talks about the environmental challenges facing the river, the environmental prognosis for the River in the next fifty years and how to get involved in protecting the river. And science and nature Writer Naila Moreira reads from Alaska Massachusetts, a story about a walk she took along the banks of the Connecticut River.

Episode Four of THE RIVER RUNS THROUGH US: The Palimpsest of Time

In this fourth episode of our Writers Voice special series, The River Runs Through Us, Brian Kitely talks about THE RIVER GODS, his novel-in-vignettes of Northampton, Massachusetts from its founding to today; Native American scholar Marge Bruchac tells us about the original inhabitants of the Valley, and Pioneer Valley Planning Commission director Tim Brennan discusses the history and future of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts.

Episode Three, Industry’s Rise & Fall – And Renewal?

In this third episode of Writers Voice Special Series The River Runs Through Us, we explore the economic influence of the Connecticut River on the early American Industrial Revolution with historian Dr. Kerry Buckley; peer into the life of William Skinner, one of the men shaped that revolution in a conversation with his great-granddaughter Sarah Skinner Kilbourne; and look ahead to what’s next for the economic stability of the Connecticut River Valley in this era of deindustrialization with sociologist and musician Professor Tom Juravich.

Episode Two: Sojourner Truth, Her Story & Meaning

In the second episode in The River Runs Through Us, WV examines the life of Sojourner Truth and what she means to us. We talk with Jacqueline Sheehan about her novel about Sojourner Truth, THE COMET’S TALE; with historian Nell Irvin Painter, author of SOJOURNER TRUTH, A Life, A Symbol; and with Rachel Kuhn and Priscilla Kane Hellweg of the Enchanted Circle Theater about their musical play, SOJOURNER’S TRUTH: I Will Shake Every Place I Go To.

Writers Voice Special Series: The River Runs Through Us – Episode One

In Episode One of the WV series, The River Runs Through Us, historian Kerry Buckley talks about the history and impact of the Connecticut River in New England. Also, author Susan Stinson talks about her forthcoming historical novel SPIDER IN A TREE. Based in Northampton, Massachusetts, it’s about the life of 18th century Calvinist theologian Jonathan Edwards.