History of Amherst Writers & Artists

NOTE: This series of essays was begun recently, and so far covers only the deepest roots of our history. Over the coming months, Pat and others will write additional segments, using archival material in the Special Collections of the Jones Library, Amherst, Massachusetts, which holds a large collection of AWA documents and AWA Press publications.

By Pat Schneider

Recently, in a workshop I was leading in the southern United States, an affiliated workshop leader asked me to tell her how AWA began. We had time, good glasses of iced tea, and I began with the earliest stories. When I finished, she said, “Thank you, Pat. We have a right to know, because we are so committed to the AWA method.” I have thought about the truth of that, and about having such a story-telling history among our archives, housed in the Jones Library, Amherst. At the invitation of AWA’s Executive Director, Maureen Buchanana Jones, I offer here Part One of a story-based history of Amherst Writers & Artists.