My Email List

Hi All,

I’m in the process of doing my annual push to add users to my email list. If you’ve already signed up, thank you. I really appreciate the support.

If you’d like to receive three to four short notes per year with updates on my work, please consider clicking the link below and signing up for the list. As a special thank you for joining, I’ll send you an ebook of my second novel, The Big Wide Calm. Just follow the instructions in the welcome note to get your copy.

For all of my Digital, HP, Compaq, Unisys and Fujitsu friends, feel free to forward this note to folks in your network.

For all of my Morris Knolls and Notre Dame friends, feel free to forward this note to folks in your network, too.

Thank you for all of your support these last years.


Rich Marcello, Author of four books, the long body that connects us all, the beauty of the fall, the big wide calm, and the color of home.

Article from the Harvard Press


Now or never: Local author Rich Marcello is doing what he loves

Seven years ago Harvard resident Rich Marcello made a bold decision to leave high tech and become a writer. “I’d been thinking about it since I was in my early 20s, and I decided I better do what I love now or never.”

In an interview with the Press, Marcello said he had dreamed of being a writer as a kid and did, in fact, write some songs and poems—which he has continued to do. At Notre Dame, Marcello had a humanities professor, a published author himself, who told him, “You write well. I think you’re going to be an author,” and he offered to help. But at that point Marcello had no money and knew he couldn’t make a living writing. So he went into high tech, hoping to earn enough to someday support his real passion.

Rich Marcello. (Courtesy photo)

After 30 years working in large companies such as Digital and Hewlett-Packard having “5,000 people working under him,” he retired. He admits it was a huge leap and he had some fear. He said his colleagues were shocked that he would walk away from what they saw as a highly successful life. For Marcello, though, being successful meant creating something of himself and sending it out into the world. “I asked myself what I really wanted to do with my life, and I went for it.” Marcello said he has no regrets, that it’s “the best thing that has happened to me—work-wise.”

His retirement coincided with the building of a house on Cove Road, with a row of windows facing the pond. What he at first had referred to as “the space I go to write” turned out to be “a separate writing studio with a view to the water.” Every morning, after rising at 5 a.m., having breakfast, and talking with his wife, Maribeth, Marcello walks the 10 yards to work. He writes for four to six hours every day, creating “works of joy.” He is committed to writing literary fiction—books that deal with the big ideas that face us.

An upward climb

Marcello said he had greatly underestimated how long it would take to learn to be a good writer. It was an upward climb through the first two books but after his third novel and the upcoming publication of his fourth, “I’m at a place where I feel comfortable with my writing,” he said.

Describing his process, Marcello said he makes his way through an entire draft before doing any editing. It took him about a year to write his third novel, and he spent another year constantly revising it. “Ideas come to me easily,” he said, adding, “Right now I have about 10 ideas for potential books.” To get started, he has in mind a character in a particular situation, or an event in a particular place. From there he moves forward, “taking things from life and tweaking them.” He realized, by trial early on, that it would not work to write directly about something he had actually experienced. “I didn’t want it to be about me. It had to be general.” He reiterated that the way to become a better writer is to write every day and learn from your own experiments with the craft.

To see examples of Marcello’s process, we talked about his third novel, “The Beauty of the Fall,” published in 2016. The impetus for the book was Marcello’s curiosity: What would happen to a man if he lost everything he loved? How would it be for him? A starting point for the novel came when Marcello had an image of a man being fired from a tech company that he had helped to create. Another early image was a man delivering a eulogy in a church. Dan, the main character in this novel, experiences both of these. Marcello said sometimes a writer has to go to an expert. In his case, one of the major characters, Willow, was based on a woman who worked at a women’s shelter in Nashua, New Hampshire where Marcello serves on the board and to which he donated a portion of his profits from the book. She gave him factual information as well as feedback on how authentic she thought the Willow character sounded.

Minor characters have their place

I asked about one scene in the book where the character seemed to me a bit forced. Marcello said while the major characters have to be complex, sometimes you need a minor character to serve as a vehicle for a larger point the story is making. And, again, it was Marcello’s curiosity, this time about what it means to be young and jobless in this society, that inspired his character of Jack. After a lengthy monologue denouncing the greed and materialism of society and espousing the rewards of living a simple life, Jack completely turns the tables, showing violent cynicism and an instinct to survive. It is this dichotomy that Dan wrestles with, too. He wants to put family first, not be a workaholic, and build a company on ethical capitalism, but he’s part of a society that says, “Go for the money.”

At the end of the book, Dan has lost many things, some things twice—a career and a wife—and yet he is still resilient. While the ending is intentionally “gray,” Marcello said there are moments when the reader knows that Dan has grown emotionally through how he has handled the losses he has suffered and how he can finally let go of them. I didn’t ask about the title, but from our conversation, I think “The Beauty of the Fall” captures the idea that it is possible for a person to become a better human being when things in his or her world fall apart.

There are more female than male characters in the novel, and the love scenes show gentleness and vulnerability on the part of the man. I asked—kind of teasingly—how he got to be so sensitive. Marcello told me that when he was 13, he was sitting next to his dad watching a game on TV when his dad died of a massive heart attack. Lots of therapy, an extended Italian family, and being raised by women helped him to grow emotionally and to remain open and receptive.

Marcello said he is committed to writing women as well as men. He has had a woman editor and early on she would often comment, “A woman wouldn’t say that.” But there’s less of that now, he said. For “The Beauty of the Fall” he had five readers—three women and two men.

In addition to his own writing, Marcello teaches two classes in writing at Seven Bridges Collaborative in Lancaster. The title of his upcoming novel is “The Latecomers.”



The Essential Writer Review of The Long Body That Connects Us All

The Long Body That Connects Us All by Rich Marcello

Fathers and sons have always shared a powerful and sometimes difficult bond. When to speak, when to hold still, when to love, when to let go.

Rich Marcello, In a marvelous new collection of extraordinary verse, drinks deeply from this well as he channels the thoughts and feelings of every father for his son.

“His face, sunlit, reminds me of a time when I was young / when I convinced myself all the world was dark / when the corner into which I was painted seemed drawn by others./ I want to tell him all of this. Tell him it will be okay. / Tell him he will find his way out of the corner one step at a time / even though some will be false. / But I’ve lived long enough to know he can’t hear me now. / So, instead, I pray forgiveness washes over him instead of sunlight.”

And, of time shared with a beloved grandfather:

“Shiny quarters given your workday suits and ties even on the weekends / the fights on the old radio in the basement / the cherry trees in full bloom / the Jersey shore strawberries / our long talks over football / I was the long-awaited grandson, endeared by order and substitution / the son never to come. / A circle in a square / Hair always a little too long / Values a little too left, I often yielded back then, / I thought out of respect but now I know out of descent. / You taught me first that love amidst difference / like hydrogen on the sun fusing into helium / lights generations.”

And, now and then through the years, when in deepest self-doubt, the son parents the father:

“Sometimes, when I’m dark like now, you visit / hands pocketed and smile worn calm / Without a word, you remind me of how you believed in me before I did / of how father is a name that can apply to anyone / of how a brief blush of peace, of forgiveness, can come when least expected.”

This lyrical collection transcends description, doing what all good poetry does, shining a soft light on often-unexpressed feelings. Marcello’s superb writing flows effortlessly (though all poets know that’s not so), and captures as well the long love of a married couple with years of friendship between them.

“Today persistent snow creates a white ceiling / and swirling walls around us as we walk through the morning. / Mostly we walk in silence, aware we’re connected to some larger radiant web / to some ageless dance, ubiquitous on days like today…/ At home, clothes fall off. / Face to face, we tremble as we kiss / in a way that can only happen after years of walking.”

Five-plus stars doesn’t seem like enough for this glimpse into a good man’s soul. But it’s all we have to bestow on The Long Body That Connects Us AllOrder a trade paperback version of this thought-provoking work. You’ll want to read and re-read it again and again.

Soul Star Mist in the Azorian Sky


Back in April, my dearest friend, Donna Anctil, passed away after a long struggle with an illness. Since her death, I’d been struggling with a meaningful way to say goodbye, only recently settling on this series of six poems as a tribute and a ritual. Six because the number symbolizes seeing, and over twenty years, if nothing else, Donna and I learned to see each other clearly, knowing full well the impossibility of seeing another human being completely. Each day, I published one of the poems and also stacked six stones in my garden in memory of Donna. Next year, the last of these poems will be published in my collection of poetry, The Long Body That Connects Us All. The collection is dedicated to her.




Blurb for The Long Body That Connects Us All

The Long Body That Connects Us All


Rich Marcello

Provocative and profound, Rich Marcello’s poems are compact but expansive, filled with music as seductive as their ideas, and focused mostly on how to be a good man. This is a collection of deep passion and wisdom for fathers, husbands, and sons, but also for mothers, wives, and daughters, many who began with a longing for the things they were taught to desire by their forefathers, only to later discover a different path, one lit by loss and welcoming of the vulnerable, one made of the long body that connects us all.

RMarcello-TheLongBody_Cov1 (1).jpg

Fiction Essentials Class this Fall


Fiction Essentials

Ten-Week Course with Rich Marcello 

Wednesdays, September 13 – November 15, 2017

6:00 – 9:00 p.m., The Parlor, The First Church, Lancaster


This three-hour, introductory class will be divided into two sections. In the first half, we’ll explore different aspects of the craft of fiction, as detailed below. In the second half, we’ll focus on scenes written by the students and provide positive, constructive feedback on how each author might develop his or her work.


Week One: “The Anatomy of a Scene”

Week Two: “The Fictive Dream”

Week Three: Point of View, Voice, and Time

Week Four: Plot, Tension, and Raising the Stakes

Week Five: Characters

Week Six: The First and Last Chapter

Week Seven: Dialogue versus Narrative Summary

Week Eight: How to Build a World

Week Nine: Common Issues

Week Ten: Putting It All Together


Prerequisites: This class is designed for active, beginning writers who want to hone their craft. Each student must submit a sample of his or her writing, preferably a scene, no more than 10, double-spaced pages by September 1, 2017, and be prepared to write, share work and provide feedback for fellow participants. Ten-week course fee: $150.00. Register at or contact us with questions at 7bridgewriterscollaborative@gmailcom. Deadline to register: September 1, 2017.


Rich Marcello Rich Marcello is a poet, songwriter, musician, and writer.  He is author of three novels, The Color of HomeThe Big Wide Calm, and the recently released The Beauty of the Fall, all published by Langdon Street Press. Previously, he enjoyed a career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies. Faulkner Award winner Mark Spencer praised Rich’s latest novel, noting that “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”  Marcello has partnered with the Writers’ Collaborative since 2015.


The Writers’ Scrap Bin Review of TBOTF

Book Reviews: The Beauty of the Fall by Rich Marcello

Trigger Warning: This novel deals with abusive and controlling relationships, a grieving parent, and self-harm. If you or a loved one have suffered through an abusive/controlling relationship, the loss of a child, and/or self-harm, proceed with caution.

Grab some tissues for this one. Today I’m reviewing The Beauty of the Fall by Rich Marcello. Spiritual, inspirational, and modern, I haven’t been so emotionally affected by a book since Flowers for Algernon. In fact, Marcello’s book has affected me more, making me sad and hating certain people but also inspiring me and making me hopeful for the future.

Image retrieved from Amazon

The Beauty of the Fall follows Dan Underlight, an engineer and co-founder of RadioRadio, as he copes with being fired and the lingering guilt and sorrow from the loss of his son. As he comes to grips with losing his job, Dan undergoes multiple life-altering events: he finds new love in poet and advocate for women’s rights Willow, embarks on a pilgrimage to Fortune 500 companies across the U.S., and initiates a startup directed at changing the world, ConversationWorks. Yet every time Dan’s life appears to get better, something goes wrong. Sometimes his troubles stem from forces outside of his control, and other times they result from his own self-destructive behavior. In both cases, the universe seems bent on thwarting Dan’s efforts—or, perhaps, it’s trying to teach him a lesson about life. With the help of friends, colleagues, his therapist Nessa, and the guiding spirit of his dead son, will Dan finally get and keep his life on track? Will he ever discover what it takes to make him feel genuinely happy and fulfilled?

Read more at: