Writer In Residence

Forbes Library has selected Naila Moreira as its new Writer in Residence. Ms. Moreira will begin a two year term in July succeeding Susan Stinson who has held the post for five years.

Susan Stinson

Susan Stinson Photograph by Jody Wheat

Susan Stinson, Writer-In-Residence since 2010
Photograph by Jody Wheat

Susan Stinson, our current Writer-In-Residence, is the award-winning author of four novels and a book of poetry and lyric essays. She has received grants and fellowships from the Barbara Deming/Money for Women Fund, the Wurlitzer Foundation, the Millay Colony, and the Blue Mountain Center, among others. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies and journals, including Kenyon Review, Seneca Review and The Women’s Review of Books. She has given more than a hundred readings, speeches and workshops across the country, and also offers cemetery tours and talks about local history. SPIDER IN A TREE, her novel about Northampton in the time of 18th century Calvinist preacher Jonathan Edwards, was published by Small Beer Press. Her website is http://susanstinson.net/.

You can view videos of Susan Stinson reading from Spider in a Tree at the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.

Writer in residence programs include the popular Local History/Local Novelists reading and lecture series, now in its fifth season, October through May, (mostly) at 7 pm on the first Wednesday of the month in the Coolidge Room. See link for details, including upcoming and past speakers. In addition, Susan facilitates the Writing Room, a space for writing together, 9:30 – 12:30 Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Watson Room. She also coordinates the Writing Life, a monthly summer discussion group for writers working on long term projects.

Susan thinks that Forbes Library is an outstanding community resource and is excited about making contributions to its work as Writer in Residence.



Spider in a Tree
Books and Culture: A Christian Review
The Concord Monitor (Concord, NH)
The Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA)
Historical Novel Society
Publisher’s Weekly
The Republican (Springfield, MA)

Program History

In 2003 Director Janet Moulding and writer Diana Martin Gordon put their heads together to further an engagement between the library and the literary community by extending the library’s usefulness beyond the lending of books. Diana volunteered her time and expertise for over four years. Through her creativity and hard work, a roster of literary programs, open to all, were born, including a weekly forum on contemporary poetry, writing workshops, and a poetry reading series. These programs provide the framework and impetus for the rich adult programming the library currently offers. Diana was our first Writer-in-Residence, a role that she created and developed, and still advises and contributes to in many ways. She offers programs, advises on collection development, and acts as a liaison for the writing community at large. In 2006 she mentored a second WIR, Sue Case.

The WIR is a professional writer who furthers the library’s fundamental mission by volunteering numerous hours each week, creating and offering library programming. Forbes is in a unique and fortunate position to have a WIR.

For more information about the WIR program, please contact Lisa Downing, Assistant Director.