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Author Drew Philp: A $500 House in Detroit

Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City

In 2009, journalist and screenwriter Drew Philp bought a ruined house in Detroit for $500. In the years that followed, as he gutted the interior and removed the heaps of garbage crowding the rooms, he didn’t just learn how to repair a house—he learned how to build a community. In a tribute to the city he loves, Philp’s book A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City tells us about “radical neighborliness” and makes the case that we have “the power to create the world anew together and to do it ourselves when our governments refuse.” Presented at Kalamazoo Public Library, 13 November 2018

Recorded 11/13/2018

Drew Philp

Drew Philp’s work has been published both nationally and internationally and has appeared in publications including BuzzFeedThe Guardian, The Detroit Free PressDe Correspondent, The Metrotimes, and The Michigan Daily. In 2017 Scribner published his first book of nonfiction, A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned House and an American City for which he won the 2017 Stuard D. and Vernice M. Gross Award for Literature. His essays and profiles have appeared in books and collections in the United States and Europe; he is a 2016 11th Hour Food and Justice fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, under the direction of Michael Pollan; and a 2017 Kresge Artist Fellow. He is also a writer in the film industry, having written two feature length dramas on contract, and his advertising copy has been used for national and regional campaigns, including overseeing 40,000 plus word website messaging.

In addition to writing, Drew built his house in Detroit with his own hands; hitchhiked across the United States; taught writing, literature and theater extensively in prisons and juvenile institutions across Michigan; taught a class about racism at the University of Michigan; and is a graduate of the New England Literature Program. Drew graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and is 31 years old. He lives in Detroit with his dog, Gratiot.

Categories: Authors @ KPL

Tags: architecture; author; culture; michigan; urban renewal

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