Photos by Michelle and Chris Gerard
Write A House, the program started in 2012 to encourage writers to move to Detroit (or to stay here), gave away its first house in 2014 and announced its 2015 finalists today. The residency program renovates homes acquired at auction and awards them to one writer each year. After the initial two year residency, the program deeds the house to the writer to treat as any other piece of property.
The 2015 finalist group includes a wide array of highly accomplished artists including Pushcart Prize winners and nominees, decorated journalists and even a homegrown poet with a Breadloaf fellowship to her credit. Last year's winner, poet Casey Rocheteau, continues to live in the the Detroit home awarded to her by the residency program, and maintains a fascinating, and often truly moving blog about her life and work in the city. The program's co-founder and vice president, Sarah Cox, should be very familiar to Curbed Detroit readers as our former editor.
The 2014 home, awarded to Casey Rocheteau:
This year, the program received 220 applications from writers all over the country. Write A House judges Toby Barlow, Matt Bell, former US poet laureate Billy Collins, dream hampton, Major Jackson, Nancy Kaffer, Sean MacDonald, Michael Stone Richards, and Tamara Warren chose the finalists after reviewing samples of their work and assessing the applicants' ability to "contribute to the literary culture of Detroit." The winner will be announced at a public event on October 2.
The 2015 home enters the last stages of renovation:
Note: though Curbed posts are written in the royal "we," Curbed's editor wants to say that she applied for Write A House this year. In fact, her application materials can be found here and here. Going back to that "we"…Curbed wishes all the finalists the best of luck, and looks forward to touring the completed home and photographing it for our readers.
·Write A House Is Giving Writers Free Homes In Detroit [Huffington Post]
·Meet the 10 New Write A House Finalists [Write A House]
·Write A House Blog [Write A House]
·Curbed Detroit Editor Gets Promotion, Will Remain Based In Detroit [Deadline Detroit]