Buffalo has always been a place of refuge for great writers. Check out our list of writers from or associated with the Buffalo Niagara region.

by Max Fischer

Besides the most well-known Mark Twain, there have been many other internationally acclaimed writers from ’round these parts

A Litterateur Hub

Believe it or not, Buffalo has always been a place of refuge for great writers. The list of writers from Buffalo Niagara or associated with Buffalo Niagara is vast. The legendary satirist Mark Twain lived in the city from 1869-1871, the longest time he ever stayed in one place at that time since his childhood. 20th Century luminary F. Scott Fitzgerald spent a few years of his early life in The Queen City as well. Yet despite literary giants roaming our streets long ago, the region has born and raised more than its fair share of excellent writers that are literary titans in their own right.

James Bacon

James Bacon with some other guy. Photo Los Angeles Times.

This Buffalonian wore a lot of hats (figuratively speaking)! Primarily known as a columnist who published biographies of such Hollywood Elites as Jackie Gleason, Bacon was also a journalist for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner for 17 years, as well as an actor in such Hollywood classics as Planet of The Apes and its two subsequent sequels. Mr. Bacon died at the age of 94, but during his time on earth, he left behind a work resume of respected biographies and acting credits that would make any Buffalonian proud.

Lawrence Block

Holdin’ down the Block: Lawrence Block in a purple beanie

Known for his two long-running crime series, The Mathew Scudder Novels (about an alcoholic P.I. in New York) and the Bernie Rhodenbarr Novels (about a gentleman thief, also taking place in New York). Active since the late 1950s, Block was pounding the pavement for years, writing prolifically in whatever genre paid the bills ranging from erotica to crime. He eventually found his footing in 1976 with the publication of Sins of The Fathers (the first Mathew Scudder novel). He has since written more than 50 books garnering a bevy of awards ranging from the prestigious Edgar Award to many others, and was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994.

His work has also been adapted to film, with 2014’s grizzly A Walk Amongst the Tombstones being the latest. Block is a modern-day staple in the crime/detective genre, having now influenced many writers through his varied work. Truly one of the famous writers from Buffalo Niagara.

Malcolm Boyd

Malcolm Boyd

Known Primarily for a book of prayers, Are You Running with Me, Jesus? which became a bestseller, Malcolm Boyd has written several other books dealing with his faith. He was also well known as a prominent activist during the civil rights movement (being a member of the freedom riders), opposing The Vietnam war and being an openly gay rights spokesman. Boyd is one of the rare examples of those that take what they believe/write and apply it in the real world. As a result, Boyd’s work stands as an example of the man himself “practice what you preach.”

Lucille Clifton

Lucille Clifton

Known for her well-revered poetry, which led her to become a Poet laureate of Maryland as well as a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, but despite all her well-deserved stature as a great poet, Lucille Clifton also wrote more than 16 books for children, focusing on stories for African-American youth. With these books being published in the 1970s, this extensively makes Clifton a trailblazer on top of her other numerous achievements since children’s books focusing specifically on black children was a niche market at the time, and having such a well-respected luminary in the literary field lead credence to the genre, thus opening the door for others. Lucille Clifton, counted amongst the writers from Buffalo Niagara and a trailblazer.

Gregg Easterbrook

Gregg Easterbrook

Maestro of the political realm, Gregg Easterbrook is contributing editor of both the New Republic and the Atlantic Monthly, as well as an author of multiple books dealings with an assortment of topics from politics to football. Fiercely outspoken and ready to defend his beliefs at the drop of a hat, Mr. Easterbrook carries all the traits of these writers from Buffalo Niagara!

Allan W. Eckert

Allan W. Eckert

A historical novelist, a playwright, and a children’s book author, these are all the titles held by Buffalo’s very own Allan W. Eckert. Having been an avid fan of nature as a young man, Eckert eventually transplanted his love and experiences of nature in his 1971 children’s book Incident at Hawk’s Hill, which became a runner up for the Newbery Medal, and was later adapted in 1975 into a Disney TV movie called The Boy Who Talked to Badgers.

Eckert also wrote numerous books on natural history, which caught the attention of those behind the documentary series Mutual of Omaha’s the Wild Kingdom. He subsequently wrote 225 episodes and won an Emmy for his efforts. Millions also enjoyed his historical novels due to the way he seamlessly mixed fiction with fact, creating historical novels that had a real sense of momentum and entertainment—endearing himself and his works to generations of readers both young and old.

Michelle Goldberg

Michelle Goldberg

Known for being a columnist for such places as the Daily Beast, Slate, and the New York Times, Michelle Goldberg is known as a tough reporter, respected in the field for her truthful reporting. Her first book, 2006 Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, was a finalist for the 2007 New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. Her second book, 2009, Sex, Power, and the Future of the World dealt with women’s reproductive rights across multiple continents, the basis of which was based on her reporting. Never one to hold her tongue, she possesses the marks of a great journalist, which in turn translates to a captivating author.

Something in the Water

Despite all the varied differences amongst those on our list of writers from Buffalo Niagara, they have two things in common: they all have ties to our region, and they all worked incredibly hard for the success they now have. I suppose it’s just something in the air of The Queen City. That same indescribable something that brought luminaries of the literary world to our fair city all those years ago is that same something that propelled the authors on this list to write works that captured the hearts and minds of millions.

From poetry to dark detective thrillers, children’s books, to entertaining historical novels, the litany of talented writers and their works is varied and impactful, adding yet another feather in the queen’s cap for us all to be proud of!

Writers from Buffalo Niagara

choose any name to view their bio, writing history AND get more information.
George Abbott

Screenwriter

Marty Angelo

Religion

Anne Beatts

Comedy

Arnold Berleant

Philosophy

Bill Bird

Journalism

Cherie Bennett

Fiction

Dorothy Barresi

Poetry

Henry Augustin Beers

History

James Bacon

Journalism

Jane Abbott

Children’s Books

John Arcudi

Comic Books

Lauren Belfer

Historical Fiction

Michael Bennett

Theater

Nalbro Bartley

Romance

Rachel Tzvia Back

Poetry

Rosalie Bertell

Non-fiction

Simon T. Bailey

Self-Help

Wolf Blitzer

Journalism

Lawrence Block

Crime Fiction

Howard Bloom

Sociology

Al Boasberg

Comedy, Screenwriter

J.S. Borthwick

Mystery

Malcolm Boyd

Religion

Christopher Bram

Biographer

Arthur Brisbane

Journalism

Louise Brown

History

Richard J. Burke

Journalism

Tim Calkins

Non-fiction

Helen Stuart Campbell

Children’s Books

Tony Caridi

Children’s Books

Christopher Carosa

Journalism

Frank Case

Non-fiction

Roy Childs

Social Criticism

Lucille Clifton

Poetry

Elizabeth Coatsworth

Fiction

Angelo F. Coniglio

Historical Fiction

James Fenimore Cooper

Fiction

William Y. Cooper

Fiction

Burton Crane

Journalism

Clyde Brion Davis

Fiction

Marian de Forest

Journalism

Edward J. Drea

Non-fiction

Wilbur Howard Duncan

Non-fiction

Oliver Dyer

Journalism

Gregg Easterbrook

Non-fiction, Fiction, Journalism

Allan W. Eckert

Historical Fiction

John Ellement

Journalism

Diane English

Screenwriter

Mary Ann Esposito

Cookbooks

Leslie Feinberg

Non-fiction

Larry Felser

Journalism

Millard Fillmore

Non-fiction

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fiction

Lauren Fix

Non-fiction

Tom Fontana

Screenwriter

Scott E. Friedman

Non-fiction

Barbara Frum

Journalism

Tad Friend

Journalism

Clifford Furnas

Non-fiction

Eric Gansworth

Fiction, Poetry, Novelist

Alice Gerard

Journalism

Catherine Gildiner

Fiction, Non-Fiction

David Gitin

Poetry

Michelle Goldberg

Journalism

Chris Grabenstein

Fiction

Everett Greenbaum

Screenwriter

A.R. Gurney

Theater

Katherine Hannigan

Children’s Books

Ruth Ann Harnisch

Journalism

Gerard A. Hauser

Non-fiction

William Headline

Journalism

Alice Tisdale Hobart

Fiction

Richard Hofstadter

Non-fiction

Edith Houghton Hooker

Non-fiction

Paul Horgan

Historical Fiction, Non-fiction

Elbert Hubbard

Fiction, Non-Fiction

Mike Hudson

Journalism

Brigid Hughes

Literary Editor

E. Howard Hunt

Fiction, Non-Fiction

Peter Johnson

Poetry

Jim Kelley

Journalism

John Kessel

Science Fiction

Francis Kowsky

Non-fiction

Nancy Kress

Science Fiction

Josephus Nelson Larned

Non-fiction

Adeline Leitzbach

Screenwriter

Cynthia Leonard

Non-fiction

Elizabeth Levy

Children’s Books

Ted Lewin

Children’s Books

Mabel Dodge Luhan

Journalism

Steele MacKaye

Theater

Edward Maisel

Non-fiction

Sherman J. Maisel

Non-fiction

Matthew D. Mann

Non-fiction

Christopher Manson

Children’s Books

Christopher Markus

Screenwriter

Othniel Charles Marsh

Non-fiction

John F. Marszalek

Non-fiction

David Marusek

Science Fiction

Dan Masterson

Poetry

Mark McEwan

Cookbooks, Journalist

Deborah Meadows

Theater, Poetry

Bess Meredyth

Screenwriter

George M. Merrick

Fiction

Luther James Metke

Poetry

William D. Metz

Non-fiction

James Michaels

Journalism

David Milch

Screenwriter

Steve Robert Miller

Journalism

Marion Juliet Mitchell

Poetry

Carrie Judd Montgomery

Non-fiction

Ian Murphy

Journalism

Shailagh Murray

Journalism

Mary Nourse

Non-fiction

Naomi Nover

Journalism

Mark Nowak

Poetry

Joyce Carol Oates

Fiction, Poetry, Theater

Jack O’Brian

Journalism

Ed Park

Journalism, Fiction

Mark Pawlak

Poetry

Molly Peacock

Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction

Catherine Pelonero

True Crime

Joe Pera

Screenwriter, Comedian

Thomas Perry

Fiction

Leslie James Pickering

Activism

Robert L. Pollack

Journalism

Alfred Portale

Cookbooks

Peter A. Porter

Poetry

John Logan Power

Publishing

Tim Powers

Science Fiction

Fletcher Pratt

Non-fiction, Fiction

Jane Bryant Quinn

Journalism

Ishmael Reed

Poetry, Fiction

Hobart Reimann

Non-fiction

Jason L. Riley

Journalism

John K. Rollinson

Non-fiction

Wells Root

Screenwriter

Tim Russert

Journalism

Richard M. Rickman

Non-fiction

Barry Sandler

Screenwriter

J. Nigro Sansonese

Non-fiction

Michael Scheuer

Journalism, Non-fiction

James Schuyler

Poetry

Elaine Sciolino

Journalism

Charles Scontas

Non-fiction

Cora L.V. Scott

Non-fiction

Drorah Setel

Religion

Grace Carew Sheldon

Journalism

Janette Sherman

Non-fiction

Louis Shores

Non-fiction

Mark Shulman

Children’s Books

Loren Singer

Fiction

Bob Smith

Non-fiction

James Thomas Stevens

Poetry

Daniel William Streeter

Non-fiction

Edward Streeter

Fiction

Margaret Sullivan

Journalism

Edward Summer

Screenwriter

Elizabeth Swados

Theater

Harvey Swados

Fiction

Ruth Tabrah

Non-fiction

Jonathan Tisdall

Journalism

Gail Tremblay

Poetry

Spencer C. Tucker

Non-fiction

Mark Twain

Fiction

Francis Jay Underhill

Non-fiction

Carl Vigeland

Non-fiction

David J. Weber

Non-fiction

Kim Wehle

Journalism

Jane Meade Welch

Journalism

Lilian Whiting

Journalism, Fiction

James Monroe Whitfield

Poetry

Carey Wilber

Journalism

Frank Wilkeson

Journalism, Non-fiction

Bob Wojnowski

Journalism

John Wray

Fiction

Brock Yates

Journalism

Elizabeth Yates

Fiction

Suzi Yoonessi

Screenwriter

Ella Flagg Young

Non-fiction

Harvey Young

Non-fiction

Julia Evelyn Ditto Young

Poetry, Fiction

What do you think of our list of writers from Buffalo Niagara? Have anyone else to add? Let us know.

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