Video: Chicago Writer Awarded Free House In Detroit

By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on May 4, 2016 4:30PM

Chicago writer Anne Elizabeth Moore, a cultural critic and author of critically-acclaimed Unmarketable, is the third writer to be awarded a free, gut-rehabbed house in Detroit from non-profit Write A House. In the ABC7 video above, the city welcomes Moore to her new two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot home in Detroit's Banglatown neighborhood.

The non-profit bought Moore's house from the Detroit Land Trust for $5,000, according to ABC7. (a href="http://writeahouse.com/apply/">Write A House specifies that they don't purchase foreclosed homes, but rather "boarded-up structures that have been vacant for a very long time.") The organization's partners—a mix of construction pros and vocational education programs—then spent six months renovating it into the hardwood-floored home shown in the video.

This is all in keeping with Write A House's mission. Instead of offering writers short-term residencies, Write A House gives writers a house in Detroit forever. In exchange, writers are expected to be active in Detroit's literary community.

As Write A House Vice President Sarah Cox told ABC7, "It's not just a prize. It requires you to commit, and be here." In fact, Write A House stipulates that house recipients can't spend more than two months a year outside of Detroit.

Moore joins two other Write A House fellows in Detroit: poet and historian Casey Rocheteau and journalist Liana Aghajanian. Detroit resident and poet Nandi Comer has been named the fourth Write A House Fellow; she will move in to her Write A House home this fall.