United States of Writing

United States of Writing is an initiative to expand our core programs to better serve writers coast to coast. This year, we’re piloting United States of Writing in Detroit, Houston, and New Orleans with plans to expand in the coming years.

Follow our literary outreach coordinators—Justin Rogers in Detroit, Lupe Mendez in Houston, and Kelly Harris in New Orleans—as they report on the literary life in three storied American cities.

United States of Writing is supported with a generous grant from the Hearst Foundations and additional support from Amazon Literary Partnership.

Reports From Detroit

8.19.19

In just under two weeks I will be holding the first of what I hope to be an ongoing event series, the Detroit Writers Circle. On August 30, I am inviting Detroit writers, reading series hosts, and literary event planners to join me at the Tuxedo Project (7124 Tuxedo Street) from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM to write, share, and discuss the minigrants offered by the Readings & Workshops program. Our writing workshop will focus on poetry, and an open mic will follow. We will close the evening by offering a step-by-step tutorial of the application process for the minigrants. This will be a great time to ask questions and gain clarity about the guidelines.

We will also open the floor for suggestions on events in the Detroit area, including future workshop leaders, potential featured performers, and available venues. I am hoping to see a number of literary entities on August 30! Can’t wait to build community with you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at Detroit@pw.org.

Justin Rogers is the literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers in Detroit. Contact him at Detroit@pw.org or on Twitter, @Detroitpworg.
8.12.19

Exploring events in Detroit has been exciting this summer. There are a number of lesser-known venues in the city that have recently started hosting literary events. For those looking for a space to write or build community, the Room Project in the North End has been a go-to location for me. A membership includes use of the workspace, library, and podcast equipment. They also have an event space that hosts artist talks, readings, and writing workshops.

For a change of scenery and an interactive experience, Signal-Return in Eastern Market has hands-on workshops in their letterpress print shop as well as a range of public programming including exhibitions, book release parties, and the Motor Signal Reading Series cohosted by Literary Detroit. The series pairs a local writer with a traveling writer in a double-feature reading that includes an intermission activity with the audience.

Visiting these locations has been a pleasant learning opportunity on how to help build up the literary community across the city. Shout-out to other spots I’ve visited that I encourage all to check out: Artist Village Detroit, Book Suey, the Commons on Mack Avenue, and the Corner Ballpark.

Search the Literary Places and Reading Venues databases for spots to visit near you!

Justin Rogers is the literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers in Detroit. Contact him at Detroit@pw.org or on Twitter, @Detroitpworg.
8.5.19

Welcome to the United States of Writing Blog! I’m Justin Rogers, and I’ll be reporting from my hometown of Detroit, Michigan. I am a poet—check out my Poets & Writers Directory profile for more on that—and I work as a youth program coordinator at InsideOut Literary Arts organizing after-school creative writing programs and coaching youth teams for regional and national poetry slam competitions.

As a literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers, I’ve been tasked to further engage with the literary community in my city, let folks know about the tools and resources P&W has to offer (and there are so many), and report back about all that’s happening. Already so many faces have brightened up during my conversations with them about the Literary Events Calendar (where anyone can add events for free) and minigrants offered through the Readings & Workshops program (find out how to apply here).

I’m excited to continue sharing with Detroit the information and opportunities that P&W offers and, on a personal level, to learn more about my city and the literary world at large. Check the blog weekly for my reports from the field. Looking forward to being your guide out in Detroit!

Justin Rogers (Credit: Lebrun Jackson)
 
Justin Rogers is the literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers in Detroit. Contact him at Detroit@pw.org or on Twitter, @Detroitpworg.