Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Back Story

AS three of the six founding members of the Underground Literary Alliance were from the beaten-down city of Detroit, David M. Sheridan's 1999 essay (link posted a few posts below) is crucial background information in conveying the kind of crazy environment we came from. Indeed, while Sheridan was researching and writing his essay in 1998, I was meeting ULA co-founder Steve Kostecke at Elmer's Bar at the very heart of Detroit's Cass Corridor, the southern part of the neighborhood then like the Wild West, full of rowdy and bawdy saloons, houses of ill-repute, stray youth gangs, and violence. It was a neighborhood into which the police themselves would seldom venture. In our discussions Steve and I put together the ideas that would lead to the creation of the wildest American writers group ever.

In the 90's I was cranking out not only terrific essays like the one Sheridan references in his piece, but also explosive zeens. I was one of the best underground writers in America-- which means one of the best writers in America, period. But so what? As with others of my kind, my writing was too dynamic, too real, for the literary mainstream. We were denied access to avenues of publicity. So we banded together to obtain some publicity. What followed was the ULA's tumultuous history.

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