Jane Yolen, editor This is a book about a place. A book of poems about a place. That place is the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, once a prehistoric lake later dubbed Lake Hitchcock. Where the Connecticut River now meanders. A place where dinosaurs once roamed in the shale. Where Native American tribal people once lived, and white incomers clashed with them. Where farmers and trappers, and then mills became the norm. Where escaped slaves found freedom. Where the first witchcraft accusation was hurled in the New World and the first book was banned. Where a university grew out of an agricultural school, and a number of colleges (several of them of them just for women) were established. Plus stores, museums, music halls. A place where artists and artisans discovered inspiration. Where writers made a living. And poets. A whole lot of poets. Hundreds of them over the years. So, in the tradition of those poets, who sang about this place, and the other poets who hang around this place, we offer a book of 62 contemporary Valley poets and over a hundred new poems. Use it as a map to take you to the compass points of our Valley. Enjoy the poetry and the scenery together. Explore the Valley’s lyrical history. Past and present.