Spoon River has 244 accounts of the lives of people in the town that explain its goings on over a couple of centuries. Each free form verse is presented as an epitaph of one of the citizens delivered themselves, often criticizing the words said about them on their tombstone or the monument or stone left above them.
The stories build on one another as well as reference various family members and others mentioned in other stories. Sherwood Anderson does a similar thing in Winesburg, Ohio where major characters in their own right become bit players in other people's narratives. It reminds one of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead where Hamlet is only a bit player in their lives. The interplay between successful and unsuccessful, those who think they are high born, as one successful man thought, but was actually the illegitimate child of an old woman who never got to nurture her own successful child. These interplays move the story forward as well as our hearts in reading them.