In its history, Salem State University has experienced such a remarkable evolution that it's hard to believe that its story began here, in 1854, when it was founded as the Salem Normal School. A school designed and guided by Horace Mann, a politician and public education reformer, the Normal School was intended to train professional teachers. Salem Normal School would remain here until 1896, when it moved to its present location, on Loring Avenue.
Over the past few decades, Salem State has hosted a litany of some of literature's greatest, including Allen Ginsberg and the Beats, Tom Wolfe, and Maya Angelou, as part of symposiums, or featured speaker series. The English Department also regularly produces the Writers Series events, aimed at introducing audiences of students, and faculty, to contemporary writers.
Since 2000, Salem State has hosted the Salem Poetry Seminar, a week-long, intensive, poetry writing workshop. There, students are given the opportunity to work with teachers J.D. Scrimgeour and Charlotte Gordon (of Endicott College), and a number of guest poets. Previous guests include Massachusetts Book Award honorees Martha Collins (for Night unto Night, 2017) and Salem State professor January Gill O'Neil (Mass Book Award winner for Misery Islands, 2015; honoree for Rewilding, 2018).
Salem State is also responsible for producing Soundings East magazine. Published annually, this literary journal features poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, from writers all around the world. It is distributed nationally.
To visit our next site, continue on Broad St., before taking a right onto Cambridge St. Follow Cambridge St. down to Essex St., and turn left and proceed. The next stop is on your left -- the Salem Athenæum.