About The Knox Writers' House

"It started with a poem, lazy kids who would rather have someone read to them than read themselves, and a dream (cue Ride of the Valkyries). A dream that the poetry and stories around us could be available to anyone with a computer. That our friends’ voices could deliver their art directly into the ear of anyone who would listen. We began recording our friends, but we quickly grew hungrier.

In the summer of 2010, Emily Oliver, Sam Conrad, and Bryce Parsons-Twesten drove more than 2,000 miles, drank more than 15 gallons of orange juice, ate more than 2 bottles of ibuprofen and recorded over 75 hours of audio -the poems, stories, and interviews of more than 80 writers. From Chicago to Madison to the Twin Cities to Kalamazoo to St. Louis to Kansas City, they covered the Midwest and sought to discover where writing lives. On the campus of the college where they met, they would be shocked to find that someone they knew by sight, someone they had even met a few times, was a writer and they were out to show the world how close everyone is to art, out to show the world who in their city was composing poems, crafting stories and incubating novels. They sought to understand how place influences art, how what you create changes depending on where you are from and where you live and who you read and talk to. In the interviews, they asked writers to introduce themselves and say where they were from, then go backwards and trace the path they took to get there. They asked how their location affected them and what the community was like where they lived -how they interacted with art on a daily basis and what it meant for them to live in Chicago, to know poets in Kalamazoo, to have grown up in New York.

Then, this winter, they took the south. They travelled some 5,000 miles, from Galesburg to Alabama, to New Orleans across to Atlanta, stopping along the way to talk with people, to listen hard and ask what it means to be a writer there, to ask themselves the ridiculous question: can a place have a voice?

The culmination of these road trips is this website. Here, you will find everything they recorded and every interview written out. Click around to find who lives where, who’s writing what and who’s reading who. If you’re a writer and you’re interested in being recorded and adding to the map, please write us. If you know a writer interested in being recorded and adding to the map, please write us. If you like what we’re doing and want to support the life of this project with money and trail mix, please write us. The project owes great thanks to the McNair program and Richter Grant fund and everyone who volunteered their couches and floors along the way. Now, it is powered by sweat and great mix cds, and it’s not stopping here."

This is seriously cool project. When they came to Atlanta they recorded Blake Butler, Heather Christle, Chris DeWesse, Jamie Iredell and myself. The recordings of Heather and Chris are available to listen to now--the rest are forthcoming.

Check out Heather and Chris, here.

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