Nine Authors in Haverhill for Release of ‘Snowbound with Zombies’

Nine authors will be present at Whittier Birthplace next month for the formal release of a new anthology of supernatural stories inspired by poet John Greenleaf Whittier.

“Snowbound with Zombies,” compiled and edited by David Goudsward, will be formally released during the event, offered in conjunction with Haverhill’s 375th Anniversary and Essex National Heritage Area’s Trails and Sails. Participating authors include Judi Calhoun, Roxanne Dent, Suzanne Dent, David Goudsward, Scott Goudsward, John McIlveen, Gregory L. Norris, Faye Ringel and Kristi Petersen Schoonover. Other contributors include best selling novelist Christopher Golden, former local writer Tracy L. Carbone and Vermont folklorist Joseph A. Citro. Books are available for sale and authors will be available to autograph copies and exhibit their other titles.

“Whittier, beloved icon of pastoral poesy, is occasionally remembered as a fiery abolitionist or a crusading journalist, as well he should, but his first book was not a collection of his poetry, but an 1831 collection of local superstitions,” Goudsward said, explaining the rationale behind the book. “Whittier’s ‘The Legends of New England’ includes retellings of tales such as a schoolmarm whose murdered child briefly appears just long enough to drive her to confess, a demon fiddler who forces a party to dance until their legs wear down to bloody stumps, and various references to the Robert Burns poem ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ with its witches sabbath in a haunted church. By the time ‘The Supernaturalism of New England,’ his second book of folklore, was released in 1847, he was an accomplished folklorist, even if the word ‘folklore’ had not come into common usage,” Goudsward said.

The authors’ day takes place from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, at Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road. Refreshments and free tours of the 327-year-old birthplace are available.