(DETROIT)–This August, Detroiters will make history by bringing new life to a lost part of Michigan history. Detroit-based Aquarius Press and Broadside Press will be hosting the first Idlewild Writers and Poets Conference in northwestern Michigan. Idlewild, once known as the “Black Eden” from 1912 through the mid-1960s, was the premier entertainment and leisure resort for America’s top black performers, including Della Reese, Jackie Wilson, Louis Armstrong, Aretha Franklin and Bill Cosby.
“We know the great performing arts history of Idlewild, but most people do not know about its great literary tradition,” says Heather Buchanan, owner of Aquarius Press and conference co-sponsor. “They will be surprised to know that NAACP co-founder W.E.B. DuBois stayed there and wrote about its beauty, and famous Harlem Renaissance writer Charles W. Chesnutt had a home there that is now a tourist attraction.”
The writers conference is designed to bring together some of the top African American literary talents from across the country to provide workshops and mentoring for aspiring writers. Guests include Pushcart and American Book Award nominees Dr. Randall Horton and Tara Betts from New York and Quraysh Ali Lansana, Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center in Chicago. The conference also coincides with Idlewild Week, a week-long community celebration that draws visitors from across the country.
The Idlewild Writers & Poets Conference will take place Thursday, August 12-Saturday, August 14, 2010. Regular registration starts at $65 for the entire weekend, and one-day registration is $22 per day. The conference includes public readings and a book fair. For more information, visit www.idlewildconference.homestead.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-979-3639.