The finalists have been announced for the inaugural Write a House residency, a new program through which a formerly vacant home in Detroit is renovated and given permanently to a creative writer.
The ten finalists are Lydia Conklin of East Sandwich, Massachusetts; Matthew Fogarty of Columbia, South Carolina; Adam Morris of San Francisco; Anne Elizabeth Moore of Chicago; Jason Reynolds and Casey Rocheteau, both of Brooklyn, New York; Aisha Sabatani Sloan of Los Angeles; Valerie Vande Panne of Detroit; Darryl Lorenzo Wellington of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Monika Zobel of Bremen, Germany. Finalists' bios can be found on the Write a House website.
The winner will be announced on September 19, and will be invited to move into his or her new house soon thereafter.
Write a House received roughly 350 applications in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from throughout the United States and abroad. “Many of our best applicants came from right here in Detroit,” the organizers wrote in an announcement on the Write a House blog. “There were many excellent and inspiring submissions, and if we could give a home to every talented writer who applied, we would.”
The organization plans to open applications for its next house in early 2015.
The judges were Write a House cofounder Toby Barlow, along with poets and writers Billy Collins, dream hampton, Major Jackson, Sean MacDonald, Michael Stone Richards, and Tamara Warren. Finalists were selected based on the quality of their work and for their potential to contribute to the neighborhood and the literary culture of Detroit.
For more information on Write a House, read an article on the program currently featured in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.
Photo: The first Write a House property, located in Detroit’s Banglatown neighborhood. Credit: Andy Kopietz.