When it comes to musical legacies, Detroit’s is singular: talking about “Detroit sound” can refer to a jump into Motown’s soul vibes or a dive into the roots of techno’s hammering basses, two apparently distant and antipodal hearts that have more in common than we might think....more
Posts Tagged: detroit
Donald Ray Pollock has been steadily serving up plates of mild horror since his first book of short stories, Knockemstiff, appeared in 2008. Pollock followed the explosion of Knockemstiff with The Devil All the Time, in 2011, his first novel, which also bordered on the genre of mystery, again with generous servings of darkness....more
Rather than being shot at, my new fear would be of seeing the officers unleash violence upon a helpless body, having to watch within the confines of my approximated uniform, padded with a bullet proof vest, which would incontrovertibly claim me, identify my orientation toward the police and not the helpless body, drown me out even though I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t be screaming, I am the kind of person who screams.
At the Atlantic, Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House, discusses her struggle with writing about Detroit without having lived there, and how Zora Neale Hurston’s work helped her give herself permission to write outside her own experiences:
It’s not about having a background that lines up with the characters you’re writing about, I realized.
Detroit has been trying to remake itself as a city that welcomes creative people, particularly writers, such as with the Write A House program that grants writers a house in the city. Now, Detroit is getting twenty Little Free Libraries, the first of which have been installed in the city, reports the Detroit News....more
Detroit has a large inventory of vacant homes. Two years ago, Toby Barlow thought a great way to repopulate the city–and get new taxpayers–would be giving houses away to writers. Write a House plans on giving away its first house this year with Billy Collins and Major Jackson judging applicants’ writing....more
Philip Levine, at 83 years old, has been named the Poet Laureate for 2011-2012. As a former autoworker from Detroit, his poetry draws largely on his working-class Jewish background. Deemed “America’s most acclaimed working-class poet,” his work expresses the “simple truths” of everyday life in post-industrial America....more
“So much ruin photography and ruin film aestheticizes poverty without inquiring of its origins, dramatizes spaces but never seeks out the people that inhabit and transform them, and romanticizes isolated acts of resistance without acknowledging the massive political and social forces aligned against the real transformation, and not just stubborn survival, of the city.”...more
Here’s an underreported story: Dominicans are coming to the aid of Haitians, despite a less-than-idyllic history between the two countries.
A very cool looking architectural installation that covers an abandoned Detroit home in ice....more
The Hubble has detected an alien spacecraft (or just a comet or something, whatever).
“Don’t you ever link to anything nonscience related?” Here are some pictures of a frozen house in Detroit....more
About a week ago Vice published an amusing article by Thomas Morton about what happens when journalists from outside Detroit come into the city to do a story: they cover their preconceptions, shoot “ruin porn,” and miss actual stories right under their noses — and in the case of the Michigan Central Depot, right behind their backs....more
“Were I an aspiring farmer in search of fertile land to buy and plow, I would seriously consider moving to Detroit. There is open land, fertile soil, ample water, willing labor, and a desperate demand for decent food. And there is plenty of community will behind the idea of turning the capital of American industry into an agrarian paradise....more
While catching up on my long-neglected film reading, I found this fascinating article by Saul Austerlitz about Paul Schrader’s debut film, Blue Collar, which stars Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, and Yaphet Kotto as auto-plant assembly line workers driven to robbery by frustration and deprivation....more