The Brattleboro Words Project

A community-created story-focused

multi-media deep-mapping

immersive experience

exploring place

Unlocking the Secrets of Our Storied Past

From Abenakis using writing to defend their homeland and Lucy Terry Prince, regarded as the first African American poet, to Nobel Prize winners and contemporary authors, Brattleboro and its environs has a rich and varied history of writing. 

Marlboro College, Brattleboro Literary Festival, Brattleboro Historical Society, Brooks Memorial Library and Write Action have joined forces to document how this history is embedded in particular places and make it accessible for all. People, Places & History of Words in Brattleboro, Vermont (The Brattleboro Words Project) was awarded a multi-year National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant to help connect today’s citizens to the stories behind the places we share—and each other, as we help shape the future of our places—together.  

“In harnessing its community’s creativity to tell the diverse and entertaining stories that make this town a nationally significant literary hub, the Brattleboro Words Trail is an exceptional resource and attraction for tourists and locals alike, offering multiple destinations around an intriguing central theme for those who seek a unique Vermont experience.”

Heather Pelham

Vermont Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing

The community spent nearly four years engaging in a new way of exploring the meaning of this place and developing the highly praised Brattleboro Words Trail and the book, Print Town: Brattleboro’s Legacy of Words.

None of it would have been possible without the contributions of over 200 people, dozens of leaders and organizations, many thousands of volunteered hours, and firm financial support from our sponsors.

We are eternally grateful to all. 

The Trail

The Brattleboro Words Trail is a fascinating series of over 100 audio stories. all centered on the region’s rich history (and ongoing legacy) of words and the storytelling.

Together community members explored some of the people and places important to this history, and what it means to be a part of this place.The Project’s Audio Production Team was invaluable in helping create individual segments and the overall Trail.

The Book

Print Town: Brattleboro’s Legacy of Words is a richly illustrated book with 32 authors, exploring the history of words, and the related printing and publishing industries, this area has long been know for.

The Project’s Book Committee was invaluable in creating the book.



Did You Know?
The first American edition of Harry Potter was printed in Brattleboro.

Our Storied Landscapes

Brief Overview

By bringing together partners from different backgrounds to share in a common mission, the Brattleboro Words Project helps unite the community at a time when there is too much division in the world.

Patrick Leahy

U.S. Senator

Building Community


Five local organizations and some of the areas finest writers, scholars, artists, artisans, educators, and storytellers are lending their skills and passion to this community-wide collaboration.


The more you know about a place, the more deeply connected you become. Students, teachers, artists of all kinds, and the public are engaged in learning about the people and places that have come before, while connecting with each other in new ways, to help form the community they desire. 


Together, we are creating the Brattleboro Words Trail. Along the way, we’re producing hands-on public exhibits, performances, and roundtable discussions, and podcasts that engage, inspire, and build a deepening awareness. 

The Brattleboro area has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to its history of book publishing, printing, literature and the like, but few people who live here, much less outsiders, appreciate this history. The Brattleboro Words Project brings these facts to the fore in an entertaining and creative way that aims to involve the whole community over time.

Jerry Carbone

Former Director, Brooks Memorial Library

Finding us...

If you’ve enjoyed the book and/or the Trail, be sure to let us know!




(And if you see them around, be sure to thank these generous people who’ve made it all possible).