William Trent Pancoast
"Blue collar writer" is how the Wall Street Journal referred to William Trent Pancoast in a 1986 front page article. By that time, his working-class-flavored short stories and essays had appeared in many Midwestern and international magazines and newspapers. Pancoast's novel Crashing had been published in 1983. In 1986, his United Auto Worker's union history was published. Pancoast would spend the next twenty years as the editor of a monthly union newspaper-the Union Forum-while continuing to publish his fiction, essays, and editorials not only in the Union Forum but also in Solidarity magazine, the 1.2 million circulation United Auto Workers International publication.
The term "blue collar writer" suits Pancoast just fine. As he said in the WSJ interview, "The reason I write about work is that that's just about damn near all I've ever done." The dust jacket of Crashing notes, "He has worked as a construction laborer, gas station attendant, railroad section hand and brakeman, factory laborer, commercial laundry foreman, and machinist. He has been an English teacher and is a journeyman die maker." Pancoast supplements his blue collar writing credentials with a B.A. in English from the Ohio State University.
William Trent Pancoast is now retired from the auto industry after 30 years as a die maker and union newspaper editor. Born in Galion, Ohio, in 1949, Pancoast now lives in Ontario, Ohio.