Literature captures the rich tradition of the writers who have fallen under the spell of the majestic Hudson River and its people. Early writers, including the Knickerbockers, told the story of the Colonial and Revolutionary eras. In a time of crisis, uprisings, revolution, and war many turned to satire and to humor to convey their feelings about the changing times. In the Hudson River Valley during the Revolution, authors wrote about the conflict occurring in New York. Individual writers became "fathers" of their respective categories of American literature.
In his national novel, Pioneers, James Fenimore Cooper introduced Natty Bumppo a character who personified the pioneer spirit. He depicted the struggle of Americans trying to find their identity at this time. Natty would lead readers through the Leatherstocking Tales.
Washington Irving became "The Father of the American Short Story." He portrayed the spirit and the society of the Dutch settlers in his comedy, A History of New York, written by the imaginary author "Diedrich Knickerbocker." This name later became the basis for the Knickerbocker Group or Knickerbockers, prominent writers in the Hudson River Valley, including James Kirke Paulding known for The Dutchman’s Fireside, most of whom published articles in The Knickerbocker Magazine.
The author regarded as the "Father of American Literature" and "The Poet of the Revolution," Philip Freneau began his career writing humorous poems and became the major American poet of the eighteenth century.
In Literature’s Bibliography find stories by these authors and others who wrote about life in early America.
Read some of the Marist College Summer Writing Institute participants' writing in response to our Scenic Salon visits to Locust Grove and the Marist Waterfront here.
To read an online journal of Marist College student writings visit the E-Scriptor webpage.
Author: Tara Krompinger, Marist '02
Select from the following:
The Desmond Fish Library has compiled a list of many Hudson River Valley Authors with biographical information.
On-line library and portal listing resources on American literature from Colonial periods to contemporary writings.
"The Hudson Valley Writers' Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1988 with a mission to promote the appreciation of literary excellence and to stimulate and nurture the creation of literary works in all sectors of the population."
"The Hudson Valley Writers Guild: Our mission is to foster an active community of writers and readers by encouraging the development of local authors and providing opportunities for them to share their talents with local audiences."
"The Writers Institute is one of America's premiere sites for celebrating the art of the written word. ... providing the broadest possible educational base for students of writing, access to some of our greatest living authors for serious readers of literature, enthusiastic audiences in excellent venues for visiting writers and important cultural initiatives for the general public."
A journal of student writing, it is a collection of essays written for College Writing II classes at Marist College each academic year. Each teacher of College Writing II is asked to submit an outstanding essay from his/her class. Two editors then reviewed the essays, and works are chosen from each semester to be included. The essays themselves cover a wide range of topics and views.
Provides information about current and upcoming events in the Woodstock area.
"The Chronogram is a Mid-Hudson magazine of events and ideas, publishing material that nourishes the creative life of our region and in the world, and to demonstrate a paradigm of that creativity in action" and keeps a calendar of literary and other events.
This calendar contains links to various poetry readings and events occurring throughout the Hudson River Valley.
"The Museum of American Poetics is a unique amalgamate of poets, students, teachers, scholars, editors, publishers, literary centers, and web designers."
"Black Dome Press specializes in high quality books on the history, art, culture, folklore and folk art of upstate New York -- the Hudson River Valley, Catskill Mountains, Shawangunks, Albany Capital Region and Saratoga -- the lands of Rip Van Winkle, John Burroughs, Thomas Cole & the Hudson River School of landscape painting."
Hope Farm Press claims to be "simply the largest selection of New York State current and colonial history, Genealogy, Transportation, Native American, Railroads, Canals, Steamboats, Folklore, Nature and regional interest books - Adirondacks, Catskills, Hudson River Valley, Mohawk River Valley, Finger Lakes, Central and Western New York - for sale anywhere."
"McPherson & Company is an independent literary and arts publishing company operated out of Kingston, New York, and specializes in four areas: contemporary fiction, great "lost" literary works from earlier in the century, non-fiction books dealing with contemporary art, film, aesthetics, and related cultural issues, and, finally, translations of a few distinguished authors of 20th century Italian fiction."
"Purple Mountain Press and Harbor Hill specialize in books about Westchester County, the Adirondacks, and the Mohawk and Champlain Valleys as well as the Catskills and the Hudson River Valley. Together the presses have issued more than 150 titles about New York State in the fields of history, natural history, folklore, travel, outdoor sports, and the arts."
"The SUNY Press publishes scholarly and trade books in support of the State University of New York's commitments to teaching, research, and public service. With an editorial board made up of SUNY faculty from throughout the state, SUNY Press has a large catalog, featuring authors from around the world."
Station Hill Press is an "independent book publisher of innovative works offering human alternatives in a broad range of areas, with special interest in literature (contemporary poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and thought), non-Western disciplines, alternative health (including Oriental Medicine), mind/body therapies, spiritual possibilities (Tibetan Buddhism, Dzogchen, etc.), cooking (e.g., organic, lactose-free), etc."
T. Coraghessan Boyle may be best known as the author of The Road to Wellsville, but another work, World's End, " explores the history of the region in which I was born and raised, the area near Peekskill, New York, in Northern Westchester County on the east shore of the Hudson River."
John Burroughs was the east-coast naturalist of the Catskills on par with the legendary John Muir of California. This is a site maintained by the John Burroughs Association that includes a short biography, a bird index, and information on the John Boroughs Sanctuary in West Park, NY. http://www.johnburroughs.org/ The Catskill Archive's page on John Burroughs contains biographical information as well as articles and selected writings. http://www.catskillarchive.com/jb/jb.htm
"The James Fenimore Cooper Society is dedicated to promoting the study of the life and works of James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), encouraging the enjoyment of his 32 novels, and appreciation of his ideas, and providing useful information to students, scholars, and readers."
Biography and recommended readings of James Fenimore Cooper.
This site contains background information on Washington Irving, author of Deitrich Knickerbocker's History of New York, provided by Historic Hudson Valley from Sunnyside Cottage - Irving's Hudson River Valley Villa.
Herman Melville is another of the authors associated with the Hudson River Valley, although he lived just northeast of the Valley itself, in the Berkshire Mountains. "Arrowhead is now a house museum interpreting the life of the Melville family in the Berkshires. It is owned and operated by the Berkshire County Historical Society, a non-profit corporation."
History of the young writer's time at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
"In her long career, which stretched over forty years and included the publication of more than forty books, Edith Wharton (1862-1937) portrayed a fascinating segment of the American experience." This is the online version of the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition: Edith Wharton's World: Portraits of People and Places. http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/wharton/ "The Edith Wharton Society offers Wharton scholars and other interested persons an opportunity to share in the study and appreciation of the life and works of this author. Through annual meetings, sessions, special conferences, and its journal, The Edith Wharton Review, the Society provides a forum for Wharton studies." http://guweb2.gonzaga.edu/faculty/campbell/wharton/ "Edith Wharton Restoration, Inc. (EWR) was founded in 1980 to preserve and restore The Mount, the Berkshires estate of Edith Wharton, and to establish it as a cultural and educational center. EWR dedicates The Mount to the study and promotion of Edith Wharton's work in literature, gardening and the design arts and to the recognition and celebration of women of achievement." http://www.edithwharton.org/
Chronology, Life overview, List of Works, Picture Gallery, Biographical sources, Critical sources, and links.
John Ashbery is the author of twenty books of poetry, and is currently the Charles P. Stevenson, Jr., Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College.
Robert Kelly has authored over 60 books of verse and prose, including Scorpions (1967), Kill the Messenger (1985), and Cat Scratch Fever (1990).
"Tad Richards has written over twenty novels, screenplays and nonfiction books. His poetry has appeared in magazines and anthologies, and his songs have been recorded by a number of artists. He has been with the Marist English Department for well over a decade and is president and artistic director of Opus 40, in Saugerties, NY." http://www.marist.edu/humanities/english/tad.html
Ed Sanders, now living in Woodstock, achieved fame in the countercultural world of the 1960s as poet, magazine founder, and leading force of the Fugs. His poetry volumes include Investigative Poetry (1975), Chechov (1995), 1968: A History in Verse, and Thirsting for Peace in a Raging Century, Selected Poems 1961-1985. http://www.albany.edu/writers-inst/sanders.html
James Fenimore Cooper
Complete novels: "Autobiography of a Pocket-Handkerchief", "Imagination and Heart", "The Last of The Mohicans", "The Pioneers", "The Prairie". Available to read online.
Complete novels: "Age of Innocence", "Bunner Sisters", "Summer", "The Glimpse of the Moon", and "The Touchstone"...Available online from www.pagebypage.com.
(The complete novel, "The Age Of Innocence", available from bartleby.com.)