Program about State or Regional Federal Writers’ Project Work

“Soul of a People: Voices from the Writers’ Project” Online Site Support Notebook

Some points for discussion:

  • Does this work accurately portray our state/region/community now?
  • Did this work accurately portray the state/region/community then?
  • What was the reaction to this work when it was published?
  • How would we re-write parts of this guide or provide new illustrations to reflect how things have changed?
  • Did this guide have a particular social, political or cultural orientation or bias—negative or positive?
  • What is the value of this guide to the people who live here now?
  • If this is a regional guide, does the region cover the same territory now?
  • What would you put on the cover of this work if it were being published today?

African-American themes:

  • Bontemps, Arna.
    Drums at Dusk. Macmillan, 1939.
  • Federal Writers’ Project of Virginia.
    The Negro in Virginia. Hastings House, 1940.
  • Georgia Writers’ Project.
    Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies among the Georgia Coastal Negroes. University of Georgia, 1940.
  • Illinois Writers’ Project.
    Cavalcade of the American Negro. Chicago: Diamond Jubilee Exposition Authority, 1940.
  • Louisiana Writers’ Project.
    Gumbo Ya-Ya. Houghton Mifflin, 1945.
  • McKay, Claude.
    Harlem: Negro Metropolis. Dutton, 1940.
  • Writers’ Programs of North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.
    These Are Our Lives. University of North Carolina Press, 1939.

Selected regional books and articles

  • Blakey, George.
    Creating a Hoosier Self-Portrait: The Federal Writers’ Project in Indiana, 1935–1942. Indiana University Press, 2005.
  • Bold, Christine.
    Writers, Plumbers, and Anarchists: The WPA Writers’ Project in Massachusetts. University of Massachusetts Press, 2006
  • Cohen, David Steven.
    America, the Dream of My Life: Selections from the Federal Writers’ Project’s New Jersey Ethnic Survey. Rutgers University Press, 1990.
  • Findlay, James A. and Margaret Bing. “Touring Florida Through the Federal Writers’ Project. Broward County Public Library web site:
  • Hill, Gerald, ed.
    Oneida Lives: Long Lost Voices of the Wisconsin Oneidas. Bison Books, 2005.

    Hurston, Zora Neale.
    Go Gator and Muddy the Water: Writings by Zora Neale Hurston from the Federal Writers’ Project, edited by Pamela Bordelon. Norton, 1999.
  • Kennedy, Stetson. “Florida Folklife and the WPA: An Introduction.” Florida Memory Project, Florida State Archives.
  • Louisiana Writers’ Project.
    Gumbo Ya-Ya: A Collection of Louisiana Folk Tales. Pelican Publishing, 1987.
  • Nebraska Writers’ Project.
    Mister, You’ve Got Yourself a Horse: Tales of Old Time Horse Trading. University of Nebraska Press, 1987.
  • “Places Captured in Time, But Not Frozen There.” Article about the Federal Writers’ Project Washington state guide and what the state is like seven decades later.
  • Montana Writers’ Project.
    An Ornery Bunch: Tales and Anecdotes Collected by the WPA Montana Writers Project. Falcon, 1999.
  • Women’s Tales from the New Mexico WPA: La Diabla a Pie, edited by Tey Diana Rebolledo and Maria Teresa Marquez. Arte Publico Press, 2000.


Some Online Information about State and Regional Federal Writers’ Project Archives