Philadelphia Authors

Philadelphia has a rich history of fostering literary talent. Here are some of our favorite Philadelphia-area authors.
Franklin Court


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
The quintessential Philadelphian, this author, publisher, inventor and statesman called Philadelphia home for most of his life.

David Goodis (1917-1961)
This author of numerous crime and noir novels was a native-born Philadelphian. The seedy underbelly of the city's skid row neighborhoods often served as the setting of his novels.

Sara Josepha Hale (1788-1879)
The author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and editor of Godey's Lady's Book spent the later part of her career in Philadelphia.

John T. McIntyre (1871-1951)
This Northern Liberties native is a little known master of the noir genre. "I am an incurable Philadelphian," he told the curious. "I know it. I know the people. I've lived with them and they are part of me."

James Michener (1907-1997)
A Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Michener attended Swarthmore College and was a long-time Bucks County resident.

Marianne Moore (1887-1972)
Moore was an award-winning Modernist poet who attended Bryn Mawr College.

Edgar Allen Poe (1807-1849)
This Romantic author and poet spent five of his most productive and prolific years in Philadelphia, writing such works as "The Tell-Tale Hear" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue."
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site / Photo by National Park Service

Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
A celebrated Modernist poet and essayist, Pound attended the University of Pennsylvania.

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
Williams was a Modernist poet as well as physician who earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he was close friends with Ezra Pound.

Lorene Cary: fiction and non-fiction with African American themes

Solomon Jones: mysteries

Donna Jo Napoli: books for children and young adults

Zachariah Ohora: children's author and illustrator

Karen E. Quinones Miller: fiction with African American themes

Lisa Scottoline: mysteries

Judith Byron Schachner: children's author and illustrator. Books include the Skippy John Jones series.

Wesley Stace: essays and novels

Omar Tyree: fiction with African American themes

Jennifer Weiner: popular fiction

David Wiesner: children's picture books.

See a list of more Philadelphia authors who have written Philadelphia literature at the Philly Fiction website.

Page by Megan Sheffer, Deborah Bishov, and Karen Sague.
Last updated: 11/27/12