If you’ve been a close follower of Write A House since 2013, you may have noticed we did not give away a home in 2017. And if you’ve been an even closer follower, you may have noticed we did not even finish funding or giving away a home we promised to Detroit poet Nandi Comer in 2016. It’s been both our hardest and our most rewarding year, and I’d to talk about where we are now we reflect and look ahead to 2018.
After attracting three new writers to Detroit, why did we pivot to retaining one already here?
My computer desktop image is of an old stone foundation overtaken by greenery, a former homestead of Washington Irving, which I hiked to a number of summers ago during a residency in the Catskills. The spot wasn’t terribly well marked, and I had to dig for it a bit, so I spent most of the morning seeking out what would have been a former house, next to a stream, before chancing upon the rock Rip Van Winkle was said to have napped on. (Superstitiously, I did not indulge the urge to test it.) The discovery of the homestead felt somehow pivotal, and I knew when I snapped the image on my cameraphone that I would want to look at it every day: flat stone foundations are so sensical, aren’t they?
Anne Elizabeth Moore receives keys to third house; Detroit local Nandi Comer to receive fourth
Detroit – Write A House is accelerating the awarding of free Detroit homes to new writers-in-residence, handing over the keys today for their third house while simultaneously announcing that local poet Nandi Comer will move into the fourth house upon its completion in the fall. The 501(c)3 nonprofit launched a fundraising campaign for that home yesterday which will run until the end of the month.
On Oct. 3, I landed in Detroit for a three day out-of-body experience. I walked down the escalator, staring at a banner that welcomed me to “America’s great comeback city,” out through baggage claim and met the founders of Write A House, a unique non-profit aimed at giving writers permanent residencies through rehabbed houses in Detroit to keep forever. Three hours later, I welcomed close to 100 people to my new home - a phrase that still feels strange to write, or even say. The night began and ended in a blur, in beaming smiles and hellos, in a news crew ambush, in the smooth countertops I brushed my hands against, the new wooden floors I walked on carefully in heels, in handshakes and speeches, introductions, congratulations, in conversation and community.
August 17, 2015 Write A House is delighted to announce ten finalists for the second round our groundbreaking writing residency, in which we renovate a formerly vacant home in Detroit and give it to one talented writer—for keeps. We will celebrate the winner on October 2 at a showcase event featuring the celebrated author Matt Bell, whose new novel, Scrapper, is draws inspiration from Detroit. We will welcome the winning writer into their new house soon afterward.
This week I want to try to be of some use to all those of you considering applying to Write A House. Applications open today, and I have no real idea how that process works. Check out the WAH Facebook page, where they have been posting application tips every Monday for the past few weeks. Being as I won the first house and was given the task of writing for the blog because Toby didn’t want to, I thought I’d give some additional tips culled from my personal experiences. 2-6 also double as advice for anyone who wants to move to Detroit in general—also, dear strangers and acquaintances, please stop asking me if it’s a good idea for you to move here. From now on, anyone who asks me and doesn't already have my phone number is just getting a link to this post. All of this is to say: feel free to take these tips with a grain of salt because unless you know me, I’m just another person giving unsolicited advice on the internet.
Steve Hughes is one very interesting humanoid. He has been listening to stories with acuteness for years, producing small publications of 1,000 copies or fewer of self-published work using words and images called Zines. Stupor is his Zine, which is unique because each issue has a different subject matter.
Ever wonder what it’s like to have a 6000 pound, 10 foot tall version of yourself? Well, Pope John Paul II didn’t have to. In 1987, he visited Hamtramck to celebrate the Polish community. The result: a wonderful larger-than-life statue built in a small lot called Pope Park. The base of the statue is perhaps taller than the statue itself. The Pope, with arms wide open, has a pleasant smile as his regalia droops low defining the edges of his upper torso. It’s a must see for anyone visiting Detroit. It celebrates the better side of struggle; solidarity through adversary.