Every character in Spoon River Anthology is dead. And the dead speak. In Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology the speakers lie together in a hillside graveyard in a small, rural community in central Illinois. As they moulder in their earthen tombs, they spill forth their secrets to the living. From its first appearance (in serial form) in the pages of William Marion Reedy’s Mirror in 1914, the American literary world had not seen anything quite like Spoon River Anthology, and the world has yet to see its true successor, despite its influence and imitators. The Spoon River dead speak for all of us, and their secrets are the hidden things that prick at the hearts of each of us.