Anastas and Buckles : Two Generations, Two Perspectives


‘Two generations, Two Perspectives’ 

Writers Center event features authors age 28, 77


Two writers representing two generations of Gloucester natives a half century apart will talk about their recent work at an event at the Gloucester Writers Center.

The program is titled “Two Generations, Two Perspectives, TwoGloucesterWriters” featuring Casey Buckles, 28, and Peter Anastas, 77, both of whom will read from their novels about Gloucester on Wednesday Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Buckles’ book is titled “Plain of Ghosts,” while Anastas will read from his novel-in-progress “Nostalgia.” 

Casey Buckles, 28, will read from his novel about Gloucester during a program titled “Two Generations, Two Perspectives, Two Gloucester Writers” on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Gloucester Writers Center. 

Peter Anastas, 77, will read from his novel about Gloucester during a program titled “Two Generations, Two Perspectives, Two Gloucester Writers” on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Gloucester Writers Center. 


For starters, Anastas grew up in the nation’s oldest seaport when it had a thriving fishing industry that employed thousands of residents working at sea and in the shore-related businesses. 

Downsizing industry 

Buckles, on the other hand, grew up at a time when fishing was greatly downsized with the onslaught of government regulations, and when local drug abuse made recurrent headlines as it continues to do so today. His generation is also the first to compete in a global marketplace that’s seen U.S. jobs vanish overseas where the labor market is cheaper. 

A lifelong writer and columnist, Anastas holds degrees in English from Bowdoin College and Tufts University. He also studied Medieval Literature at the University of Florence, Italy. 

Commenting on the value of the young writer’s work coming as it does from his experience growing up in the heart of Gloucester, Anastas noted: ”The city has been the subject of a great deal of poetry and prose, of history and fiction; yet until the recent publication of Casey Buckles’ novel, ‘Plain of Ghosts,’ we have not had an account of what it feels like to come of age at this very moment in a community in dramatic transition.” 

’Locally crafted’ 

Buckle’s novel, he further noted, should be experienced as a “locally crafted and produced work of art.” 

The novel tells the story about the struggles of its main character, Noah, and his friends, as they attempt to make lives for themselves after high school, and while they may dance and drink in local bars and clubs, they are searching for deeper connections of love, companionship and the meaning of community, explained Anastas. 

”For Casey, the bleakness comes from the fact that he is looking at the lives of his generation in Gloucester. What do they have for work? What is in store for them if they stay here? In many ways Casey is a poet,” said Anastas. 

Buckles said this book grew out of years of note taking when he was attending school at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. 

”It was a lot of reflection that turned into what the book is now,” said Buckles, who studied philosophy, anthropology and English. 

Seaport issues 

In addition to Buckles’ reading, Anastas will read from his own work in progress, which is described as a post mortem investigation of how the city came to be what it is today. Anastas has cherished his life in Gloucester, though he too has critical views about the issues that face the seaport today. 

Anastas asked Buckles about what he sees as the future in Gloucester for his generation. 

”The world didn’t end when the Bird’s Eye fell, so there is still a future. Will it include my generation or any type of working waterfront? That will be easier to answer in retrospect,” wrote Buckles in response. “…For those who are here, spread over its 41.5 square miles, for however we live to survive, there is a future in this city.” 

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2706, or via email at. 

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