St. Louis Literary Scene | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Literary Scene

Lorin Cuoco passed away Aug. 8 at the age of 64.
John Fowler

St. Louis’ literary community lost one of its most influential members, Lorin Cuoco, 64, earlier this month. The longtime editor and poet passed away at her University City home Aug. 8 after a long illness, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Cuoco is perhaps best known for her work alongside the late novelist William Gass, a dear friend and collaborator. Together they founded and oversaw Washington University’s International Writers Center (now the Center for the Humanities), and she edited multiple books with Gass.

She was also a force for the St. Louis Poetry Center, the River Styx literary organization and other local efforts to raise the profile of St. Louis’ literary scene. On top of all that, she was an accomplished radio professional.

Earthbound Beer on Cherokee Street hosted a release party for "The St. Louis Anthology" last Friday. The volume's editor, Ryan Schuessler poses for a picture with Vivian Gibson (at right), whose story "Sun Up to Sundown" is one of nearly 70 pieces in the
Belt Publishing & Ryan Schuessler

Poems about St. Louis’ vibrant Bosnian community. A story of racial segregation in 1907 St. Louis that still resonates. An ode to Imo’s. These are just a few of the nearly 70 locally focused writings that fill “The St. Louis Anthology,” a newly released 240-page book spearheaded by St. Louis native Ryan Schuessler.

“My two biggest goals when putting this together were to have the volume be as diverse and representative as possible,” Schuessler, the editor, has said, “and to have as many first-person narratives [and] takes as possible – as in, having people write about their own experiences, even if they're not writers.”

Described on its back cover as “a love letter to those moments and people … that are so St. Louis,” the anthology “dares to confront the city’s nostalgia and its trauma,” all while celebrating the people who live there.