Detroit as a Narrative Space

The 2021 JNT Dialogue centered on the theme of Detroit, taking a look at how the city serves as a site that inspires narrative and gives rise to literary, artistic, and activist communities that shape its story. JNT was delighted to host a conversation with Detroit-based authors Desiree Cooper and kim d. hunter, discussing how their creative and activist work is shaped by their hometown.

Watch the 2021 JNT Dialogue here.

Check out the Creative Flash Nonfiction entries in JNT‘s “Detroit 20/20” competition exploring Detroit as a narrative space in the year 2020.

Desiree Cooper is a 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, poet, fiction writer, a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and community activist. She is invested in the themes of racial and gender equality, reproductive freedom, family-positive public policy and the welfare of women and girls. Her award-winning collection of flash fiction, Know the Mother (WSU Press, 2016), which dives into the intersections of racism and sexism, was published by Wayne State University Press in 2016. She has also contributed an essay to the recently published collection Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies (2017).

kim d. hunter is a 2012 Kresge Artist Fellow, poet, and fiction writer, currently employed as a Social Justice Coordinator at Engage Michigan, which supports progressive movements. He has served as Poet-in-Residence in several Detroit public schools through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project, and he co-directs the Woodward Line Poetry Series. He has published poetry, music reviews, cultural articles, and the award-winning work of fiction, The Official Report on Human Activity (WSU Press, 2018). This is a collection of surreal stories that are linked by themes of racial, gender, and class discrimination in a society “in which media technology and capitalism have run amok.

Detroit MCACA 2.61

Past Dialogues

2020: “Neglected Histories, New Odysseys, and the Cultural Work of Fantasy” – Saladin Ahmed and Ausma Zehanat Khan

2019- “Stand Whose Ground?” Indigeneity, Migrancy, and Sovereignty with Jodi A. Byrd and Shailja Patel.

2018 – “Environmental Futures” with speakers Ursula Heise and Rob Nixon

2017 – “Temporalities of Crisis and Condition” with speakers Lisa Lowe and Mimi Thi Nguyen

2016 – Homi K. Bhabha and Claudia Rankine

2015 – “After Post-Structuralism?” with speakers Nancy Armstrong and Jonathon Elmer

2014 – “Thinking Bodies” with speakers Laura Otis and Jay Clayton.

2013 –“The Queer Commons” with speakers José Esteban Muñoz and Samuel Ray Delany, Jr.

2012 -“Nonhumans: Ecology, Ethics, Objects” with speakers Jeffrey J. Cohen and Timothy Morton

2011 – “Failing to be Subjects: On Queerness and Negativity” with speakers Lauren Berlant and Jack Judith Halberstam

2010 – “Globalization Now: Flows and Limits” with speakers Crystal Bartolovich and Paul Smith