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On Community

MQR is a vital part of the Southeast Michigan literary community. MQR engages with the diversity and depth of the writing happening in our community through workshops and readings in partnerships with community-based organizations like 826michigan, InsideOut Detroit Literary Arts, Room Project, Arab American National Museum, and Freedom House. To celebrate our 60th year in print we reached out to writers from around Michigan as a part of our exploration of “Why We Write.”

  • Watching and Listening: An Interview with Bob Campbell
    Sometimes, the challenge for me as a fiction writer is not to get too hung up on delivering “just the facts.” There are chapters in Motown Man that really tested me and stretched my imagination.
  • The Necessity of Community: An Interview with Alise Alousi
    I have seen how the Detroit community of writers and activists looks out for and supports young artists. It is something I experienced as a young writer as well. I don’t know if that exists in other parts of the country quite like it does here. I hope it does.
  • People of MQR: A Q&A with Aaron J. Stone
    Write dreadful things. When I was younger—and even now, more often than I care to admit—I was very precious about my writing, afraid of how it would be judged by the audience I was imagining, even if that audience was just my future self. So I painstakingly labored over everything, refusing to share anything unfinished and often giving up entirely. Looking back on that writing, I still find it dreadful—a lot of good all that worrying did! What I wish I had done was write a lot more; you can see a lot farther standing on a mountain of garbage than a single, meticulously crafted step stool.
  • Politics as Central: An Interview with Keith Taylor
    But I admit that now, after doing this for so many decades and nearing 70 years old, I write because that is what I do. I can’t imagine not doing it or doing something different. It is my self-definition.
  • Unlocking Our Imaginations: An Interview with Petra Kuppers
    By thinking of these poems as invitations and scores, as open-ended instructions for how to see and feel one’s self in space, I hope to activate new perspectives.
  • Aesthetic enthusiasm: An Interview with Dunya Mikhail
    When a poem is sent to the world, like a letter inside that bottle in the sea, a community of readers associates it with some meaning, familiar or unfamiliar, and they add their own layers of meanings to it, and that's what makes it alive. The poem offers space, and readers immigrate to it. In poetry, I am the native citizen who welcomes others, the way I was welcomed by others who came before me.
  • Communicating with Spirit: An Interview with Cherise Morris
    For me, writing is one mode of communication with and around the spiritual; movement is another, and they both flow together really organically.
  • Conversation on “An abridged medical family history and multiverse of selves” and the inaugural Jane Kenyon Prize with Monica Kim, Carlina Duan, and Daniel Neff
    The Jane Kenyon Prize for UM undergraduates serves two primary purposes: to create a space for UM undergrads to publish their work to a larger audience and to facilitate dialogue between the different spheres of writers in Ann Arbor. This year’s prize is the inaugural
  • A Poem from Monica Kim, Innaugural Jane Kenyon Prize Winner
    A year after finishing ESL I scratch pencil against paper, writing in my mother tongue.
  • Formidable Adaptation
    Discovering a new sport, learning the language of this sport and its rules, is not easy in the beginning. I have played soccer for fourteen years. I still play, but one day all of that stopped.