Photo: Thrillist 


One of the many reasons Sugar House in the Motor City continues to stay on our list year after year, might be the fact that the cocktail list is 21 pages long and includes a glossary. But you’re likely not going to make it past page two, as that has its amazing seasonal cocktail list. But if you want classics, may we suggest pages six through nine (!), which offer up a veritable who’s who of just about any popular cocktail from any era, all done perfectly by bartenders a lot classier than you.

Click HERE For The Full List!

Activities are scheduled at several locations around the island throughout the day. Descriptions and times are listed on


Guests can pick up a “BLISS list” near the floral clock at the park entrance or at the BLISS info station in front of the Belle Isle Aquarium and collect stickers at each activity site to enter a drawing for a $50 Meijer gift card.

BLISS activity maps will be available near the floral clock at the park entrance and at the BLISS info station in front of the Belle Isle Aquarium.

 A recreation passport is required for vehicle access to Belle Isle Park. No recreation passport is necessary for pedestrian and bike access. Please visit for details.


Yoga on the Island with Yoga Shelter                                                           10:30am - 11:30am

@ White House Lawn

Belle Isle Wildlife Hike                                                                                      10:30am - 11:30am

@ Belle Isle Nature Zoo, then Forested Route along Oakway Road

Aquarium, Conservatory + Olmsted History Stops

o    Conservatory History @ the Conservatory                                               10:30am - 12:30pm

o    Aquarium History @ the Aquarium                                                          11am - 1pm

o    A Look at Frederick Law Olmsted @ the Aquarium                                10:30am - 1pm

Guided Island Bicycle Tour                                                                               11am - 1pm

with Riverside Kayak Connection

@ Flynn Pavilion

Golf 101 SCRAMBLE                                                                                          1pm

@ Belle Isle Golf Center

Players must register at 313-926-6008

Music with MIX 92.3 + FM 98 WJLB                                                              11am - 1pm

@ Aquarium Lawn

Hustle Dance Session with MIX 92.3 + FM 98 WJLB                                 Noon - 12:30pm

@Music Shell

Nature Photo Walk                                                                                            12:30 - 1:30pm

@ Belle Isle Nature Zoo, then Various Stops around the Island

Chess Instruction + Competition                                                                   10am - 3pm

with the Detroit City Chess Club

@ Dossin Great Lakes Museum

Outdoor Games                                                                                                  10am - 3pm

@ Aquarium Lawn

Kayak Instruction + Water Exploration with                                               10am - 3pm

Riverside Kayak Connection

@ Flynn Pavilion

Bicycle Rentals                                                                                                    10am - 3pm

with Riverside Kayak Connection

@ Flynn Pavilion

Keys in the Cities Detroit Public Piano                                                            10am -3pm

@ Conservatory Lobby

Also throughout the day:

Food Concessions @ the Beach and Sunset Point                  

Giant Slide (opens at noon) - $1
Photo: Batch Brewing Company

26 of the Coolest, Tastiest Restaurant Trends We Spotted In 2015

Our search for the nation’s best restaurants revealed far more than theHot 10—like croissants gone wild and a tropical wallpaper boom. Here’s a look at the coolest, tastiest trends we uncovered in 2015.
You won’t find bar nuts and Bud at the country’s latest crop of breweries. We’re upgrading to pickled eggs with kimchi and offbeat brewing styles at spots like Small Brewpub in Dallas, Threes Brewing in NYC, and Batch Brewing Company in Detroit.
We’re All Ears
What do chefs have in common with your dog? They love a good pig’s ear. Thankfully chefs are churning out snacks far more delicious than Fido’s treat. You could say we’re up to our ears in them. (Sorry!)
Crispy Pig Ears at Gold Cash Gold in Detroit / Pig Ear Salad at Loyal Ninein Cambridge, MA / Shaved Romanesco and Pig Fries at The Progress in San Francisco / Pig Ear Tostada at Table No. 10 in San Diego
Cute Enough to Eat
With apologies to your kid’s pet bunny, rabbit is tasty, sustainable, easy to cook, and being prepared in more ways than ever. We’ve had it as mortadella (Ames Street Deli, Cambridge, MA), porchetta-fied (Redbird, L.A.), and in pot pie (Republic, Detroit). Good thing they breed like, well, you know.
Click HERE For The Full Article!
Detroit street art_credit Susan B. Barnes
Photo: USA Today Travel
"It takes heart to fight something that so many consider a lost cause.

A strong mind to breathe life into that cause and prove so many wrong.

Keep your heart true and your mind strong, Detroit." - FEL300FT

At first glance during a visit to downtown Detroit, signs of rebuilding and regrowth are evident and all around: Sleek, new condo buildings are sprouting up, a railway is being built through the center of the city, historic theaters are undergoing major renovations, and there's an exciting vibe that you can feel when visiting.

A terrific way to get a real sense of that vibe and excitement is with Detroit Experience Factory, which offers free weekly public tours, as well as customized tours. Co-founder Jeanette Pierce's enthusiasm about her hometown was infectious on a recent tour. As we rode through D-Town, Jeanette shared the city's history – the good and the recent not-so-good. We saw burned out, boarded up and abandoned houses, and on the next block, shiny new condo high-rises.

Jeanette also shared the facts: Detroit drew 1 million people from 1910-1930 with the boom of the auto industry, and today is the same size as Portland, Ore., and Atlanta with 700,000 residents; the city welcomes 16 million visitors annually; its theater scene is second only behind New York City with 13,000 seats; and 154 bars and restaurants can be found within a one-mile radius downtown, with another 150 just beyond and more opening seemingly every day.

In Mid-Town, the Willis Canfield Retail District (which I've dubbed WillCan) is a two-block area that's booming – 20 businesses have opened in the past two years. One of WillCan's anchors is Traffic Jam & Snug, a Detroit institution which has made its home in the same spot for decades and is the first brew-pub in all of Michigan. Not only that, but it houses its own bakery and houses the state's smallest licensed dairy, producing its own cheeses and ice cream.

Click HERE For The Full Article!

American Ballet Theatre (ABT) returns to the Detroit Opera House with a brand-new production of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s, The Sleeping Beauty.

Presented in collaboration with the University Musical Society and performed with the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, this classic ballet with more than 80 performers tells the enchanting tale of the beautiful princess cursed to sleep for 100 years by an evil sorceress, until awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince.

Misty Copeland, the VERY FIRST African-American principal dancer, will be part of the cast.


Michigan Opera Theatre's Opera Ball Gala 
October 3, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets: $750 per person

Young Patron Event at 8 p.m., on the box level
Tickets: $100 per person

Featuring the stars of La Bohème and American Ballet Theatre’s The Sleeping Beauty, complete with fine dining, cocktails, dancing, and plenty of surprises!

For reservations or more information, please contact Stephani Yates at or (313) 237-3268.

The Sleeping Beauty
Thursday, March 31, 2016, 7:30PM
Friday, April 1, 2016, 7:30PM
Saturday, April 2, 2016, 7:30PM
Sunday, April 3, 2016, 2:30PM

Buy Your Tickets HERE!
My Friends Lexi and Michael From LA Discovering Detroit For The First Time Last Week.  Photo Credit: Me 

Is Detroit really the creative paradise you’ve heard it is? Can you truly live in a mansion for less rent than a shoebox-sized Brooklyn studio? One ex-New Yorker makes her case for Motor City.

The new Brooklyn? The new Berlin? Hell no. "Detroit is the new Detroit," says Motor City resident Michael Dedenbach - the big dreamer behind Detroit Clothing Circle, a vintage shop in the city's Midtown/Cass Corridor district. As a longtime Detroit denizen and former New Yorker, the area now reminds me a bit of the once-upon-a-time up-and-coming Williamsburg, complete with the triple threat of brunch spots, breweries and boutiques.

Not long ago, I took a walk around Midtown. In just a few years, it has had a major facelift with the addition of shiny new shops like Shinola, Willys, Nora and Hugh. I mean, there is a dog park on Canfield and Cass! All this in a neighborhood that didn't have street lamps a few years ago.

I then headed downtown to the transformed Belt Alley and the pimped-out parking structure known as the Z-Lot. Each of its decks feature large-scale murals and is one of many demonstrations of the revival of Detroit's public art scene. Near this cutting-edge garage is the equally cutting-edge gallery Library Street Collective - a modern and contemporary art space shaking up the scene with exhibitions like Cleon Peterson's POISON and recent work by the street artist Shepard Fairey.

I can't help but feel an undeniable excitement for Detroit. For a city that has gone through so much - financially, politically and socially - it's nice to feel like a community again. Obviously, we have a long way to go, but we are moving forward and you can feel it. (And see it - just look at the construction site for the city's new public transit option, the M-1 Rail, a modern streetcar line that will connect Detroit's Riverfront to its North End neighborhoods via Woodward Avenue.)

When I moved from the suburbs to the Midtown neighborhood of Detroit in the summer of 2005 for college, I knew nothing about the city. But like many creatives here, I fell in love with Detroit quicker than the purposeless People Mover can make its 2.9-mile trek around downtown. (The Detroit People Mover is a raised rail system with 13 stops and often not many more passengers.) There is just something inspiring about the city - the grit, the tenacity of its tenants, the gilded-age glamour of its architecture, and of course, its history.

After I spent a few years in NYC post-graduation working as a copywriter, I moved back to the metro Detroit area in the summer of 2012. As a writer and stylist based in Detroit, I've been lucky to see the city's most recent resurgence firsthand. Sourcing stories here has allowed me to rediscover the town and to work closely with other members of the tight-knit creative community.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

Detroit Receives $1M+ For Public Bike Share Program

Photo: DBusiness 

Detroit will get more than $1 million to launch a public bike share program, one of 14 projects tapped to get federal funding in the region, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

In addition to Detroit, Sterling Heights will see $650,000 for the Dodge Park Bridge over the Clinton River and Lake Orion will receive more than $263,000 for the Paint Creek Trail connection to the village's downtown.

Lisa Nuszkowski, executive director of Detroit Bike Share for the Downtown Detroit Partnership, said the program -- not to be confused with the system available to employees or affiliates of Dan Gilbert's companies downtown -- will likely begin with 350 bicycles at 35 stations around the greater downtown area. System details will not be finalized until after a vendor is selected, but users would likely be able to pay at the individual stations for daily or annual passes or something in between.

The system would be planned around the idea of short-distance trips to help keep more bikes in circulation with stations near transit stops and would not be designed to compete with bike rentals, Nuszkowski said.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 
Techno producer Richie Hawtin at Movement festival (photo credit: Bryan Mitchell)
Techno producer Richie Hawtin at Movement festival (photo credit: Bryan Mitchell)

As the sun sets on a warm evening at Detroit’s Hart Plaza, a silver-haired lady leans against the stage barricade, nodding her head to the pounding bass drum. Hundreds of revelers of all ages shuffle past her, occasionally grinning as they read the sign on her mobility scooter: Grandma Techno Hustles Harder.

The diverse demographics at the Motor City’s Movement Electronic Music Festival are not the only difference between this homegrown three-day party and its more commercial EDM cousins. Unlike at HARD Fest or Electric Daisy Carnival CCL -2.13% (EDC), there is not a single one of the World’s Highest-Paid DJs in the lineup. Instead, Movement‘s six stages are dedicated to the forefathers and current innovators of techno, an unrelenting largely-instrumental music characterized by a four-on-the-floor kick drum punctuated with open hi-hats and snare drums.

Though better known for motorcars and Motown Records, Detroit is also the birthplace of techno, which sprung from city in the 1980s, during the depths of its economic depression. Now the once-bankrupt metropolis is using its musical legacy to draw nearly 100,000 people from around the world for one festival each year, helping breathe new life into its downtown district–at least for a weekend.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

Introducing the 2015 Hatch Detroit Top Four Finalists!

Out of hundreds of applications and the first round of 10 businesses chosen, these four businesses are going on to the Finalist round of the Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest, presented by Opportunity Detroit.



Eskimo Jacks Artisan Cookies + Ice Cream

LiveCycleDelight-HatchDetroit (1)

Live Cycle Delight

NormaG business concept

Norma G's Fine Caribbean Cuisine 


Royce Detroit

Hatch Community Voting Booth Schedule


KUZZO’S CHICKEN & WAFFLES — Sunday August 23: 11am – 1pm
CAMPUS MARTIUS — Tuesday August 25: 11am – 2pm
CAFE CON LECHE SOUTHWEST — Wednesday August 26: 8am – 10am
CORKTOWN  FARMERS’ MARKET — Thursday August 27: 4pm – 8pm

Discovery: These urban explorers venture into abandoned buildings in search of remnants of its past, in this case finding millions of sports cards

A collection of sports cards estimated to be worth more than $1million has been discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Detroit.

Millions of the Topps cards were packed away in dust-covered crates, with thousands more strewn over the floor of the derelict building.

The mint-condition collectibles, dating from the late 1980s and 90s, were discovered by a team of urban explorers whose hobby is to venture into forgotten man-made structures.

While only estimated to be individually worth between 99 cents and $5.99, the collective haul of hundreds of cases would potentially fetch millions if ever put on the market.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 


The Belle Isle Conservancy and the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts will host an outdoor movie night on Thursday, Sept. 3, at Belle Isle Park. Beginning at 8:30 p.m. on the grounds near the Belle Isle lighthouse, movie goers will explore the critically-acclaimed 2008 documentary film Soul Power, projected on a giant screen. The site will open at 6 p.m.

The film, directed by Jeff Levy-Hinte, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the makings of the Zaire 74 music festival, which accompanied the Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight boxing championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in October 1974. In addition to colorful clips of Ali, the film features performances by music legends James Brown, B.B. King, Bill Withers and The Spinners, as well as a variety of off-stage commentary. The movie is approximately 90 minutes.

Outdoor Movie Night at Belle Isle Park is part of the Detroit Film Theatre’s initiative to bring culturally significant films to outdoor venues across the state. The Sept. 3 movie night is free and open to the public. Concessions will be available near the movie site, including Detroit famous food trucks Hero or Villain and Detroit BBQ Company, as well as What’s Up Dawg and NYC Yogurt. Movie goers are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs and snacks; however, alcohol is prohibited on the island.

A recreation passport is required for vehicle access to Belle Isle Park - $11 annually for Michigan residents or $9 daily for non-Michigan residents. No recreation passport is necessary for pedestrian and bike access. Please visit for details. Street parking will be available during the Outdoor Movie Night event on the east end of the island along Lakeside Drive.

A complete list of Belle Isle outdoor movie night guidelines and restrictions is available at

2024 Smmer Olympics: Detroit-Windsor Joint Bid?

Photo: Freep

It's probably an Olympic record we don't want, and it's not marked with any banner or highway sign.

But no other city in the world has made more Summer Olympic bids than Detroit — seven — and never landed the games.

The closest Detroit ever came was its 1963 proposal for the 1968 games, when it finished second to Mexico City. City leaders more or less stopped trying once the 1972 games went to Munich.

As I watched Boston's $4.6-billion bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics collapse several weeks ago amid financial concerns, I started wondering if Detroit could ever get into physical condition for an eighth bid at Olympic glory.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

Write A House is delighted to announce ten finalists for the second round of our groundbreaking writing residency, in which we renovate a formerly vacant home in Detroit and give it to one talented writer—for keeps. We will celebrate the winner on October 2 at a showcase event featuring the celebrated author Matt Bell, whose new novel, Scrapper, draws inspiration from Detroit. We will welcome the winning writer into their new house soon afterward.

In 2015, we received about 220 applications in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from all over the United States and abroad. Many of our best applicants came from right here in Detroit. There were a number excellent and inspiring submissions, and if we could give a home to every talented writer who applied, we would. In fact, if you’d like to help us give out two, or five, or ten houses each application round, you can do so here.

Finalists come from diverse backgrounds, personally and creatively. They were chosen foremost for the quality of their writing by judges Toby Barlow, Matt Bell, Billy Collins, dream hampton, Major Jackson, Nancy Kaffer, Sean MacDonald, Michael Stone Richards, and Tamara Warren. Write A House’s application director and board also vetted candidates for their ability to contribute to the neighborhood and the literary culture of Detroit. Each finalist will participate in video interviews with Write A House’s co-founders before the final winner is chosen.

See renovation progress on the house we’re giving to the winner -- an adorable two-room bungalow -- in our photo gallery. Follow the journey of poet Casey Rocheateau, our inaugural Write A House recipient, at her blog.

Every one of the 2015 finalists deserves your notice. We are excited about their writing, and we know you will be too.  We expect to open applications for our next house in 2016.

Liana Aghajanian

Liana Aghajanian is an independent, Armenian-American journalist whose work explores the issues, people and places that remain hidden and on the fringes of society. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, BBC, Al Jazeera America, GOOD and The Atlantic among other publications. Reporting from Kenya, the UK, Germany, the South Caucasus and across the West Coast of the U.S., she covers issues at the intersection of culture, immigration, social justice, displacement and identity. She edits Ianyan Magazine, an independent-online journal on Armenia and its diaspora and authors a column for L.A. Times Community News on under-reported issues. Her work has received support from the Metlife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellowship, the California Health Journalism Fellowship and the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University.

Selected by dream hampton.

Glendaliz Camacho
New York, NY
Glendaliz Camacho is a 2013 Pushcart Prize nominee, 2014 Jentel Foundation Artist in Residence, and 2015 Caldera Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook Artist in Residence. Glendaliz is an alum of the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation Fiction Workshops. Her work appears in All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color (University of Wisconsin Press), The Female Complaint: Tales of Unruly Women (Shade Mountain Press, 2015), The Butter, and Kweli Journal, among others. Glendaliz is currently working on a short story collection, fantasy novel, and essay collection.

“This piece surprised me the most of any of the submissions—it quickly drew rounded portraits of its characters and pulled me into their sure-to-be-tense relationship. More than any of the other pieces, I would have happily kept reading more.” Sean MacDonald

Katie Chase
Portland, OR

Katie Chase's short fiction has appeared in The Missouri Review, Five Chapters, Narrative, Prairie Schooner, ZYZZYVA, Mississippi Review, and the Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize anthologies. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she was the recipient of a Teaching-Writing Fellowship, a Provost’s Postgraduate Writing Fellowship, and a Michener-Copernicus Award. She has also been a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San José State University. Born and raised outside Detroit, she lives currently in Portland, Oregon. Her first book is forthcoming from A Strange Object in 2016.

“Devil’s Night is an oft-explored theme, and yet this felt fresh, compelling, and true. Wasn’t really sure what to make of the last paragraph, but it held me nonetheless.” Toby Barlow

Allison Hedge Coke
Arcadia, OK

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke's authored books include Dog Road Woman, Off-Season City Pipe, Blood Run, Streaming, and Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer (memoir), and anthologies she edited, including: Sing: Poetry of the Indigenous Americas, Effigies and Effigies II. She also performs with the band Rd Klā. Hedge Coke came of age working fields, factories, and waters, and serves as an alternative field mentor. Awards for her work include an American Book Award, a Paterson Prize, a Sioux Falls Mayor’s Award, and residencies with MacDowell, Black Earth Institute, Hawthornden Castle, Weymouth Center, Center for the Great Plains, and Lannan at Marfa. Hedge Coke directs the annual Literary Sandhill Crane Retreat and is currently at work on an environmental documentary film, “Red Dust: resiliency in the dirty thirties.”

“(In her work), there is seriousness and ambition and scope for growth. It is densely packed and is mostly story-telling, anchored in a myth of blue-collar world. This is worth exploring.”  Michael Stone-Richards

Nandi Comer
Detroit, MI

Nandi Comer is the lead writer for Techno Poetics, a collaboration between Detroit music makers and writers. She has received fellowships from Indiana University, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Cave Canem, Callaloo, and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in To Light a Fire: 20 Years with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project (Wayne State University Press, 2014), A Detroit Anthology (Belt Publishing, 2014), Another and Another: An Anthology From the Grind Daily Writing Series (Bull City Press, 2012), Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Green Mountains Review, Southern Indiana Review, and Sycamore Review. She lives and works in Detroit.

This poet plays with poetic form and verbal music in such a way that art amplifies social consciousness, violence, and cultural inheritance. This is the hallmark of literature that aims high, a kind of redemption song … I admire the maturity evident in this poets' work.”  Major Jackson

Jaquira Díaz
Miami, FL

Jaquira Díaz is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, the Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, a Bread Loaf waitership, and an NEA Fellowship to the Hambidge Center for the Arts. She's been awarded fellowships or scholarships from the Sewanee Writers' Conference, The MacDowell Colony, Summer Literary Seminars, and the Tin House Writers' Workshop. A finalist for the Richard J. Margolis Award in journalism, her work is noted in Best American Essays 2012 and 2014, Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014, anthologized in Pushcart Prize XXXVII: Best of the Small Presses, and appears in Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, The Sun, The Southern Review, Salon, Five Chapters, TriQuarterly, The Rumpus, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.   

“The author has a strong sense of voice and language that drives these three short pieces. Even in the single paragraph that is ‘December’, the language has a natural cadence and sense of urgency that propels the narrative in two lyrical sentences. ‘Seasons of Risks’ captures the adolescent appetite for danger.” Tamara Warren

Matthew Fogarty
Columbia, SC

Born and raised in the square-mile suburbs of Detroit, Matthew Fogarty has an MFA from the University of South Carolina, where he was editor of Yemassee. He also edits Cartagena, a literary journal. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in such journals as Passages North, Fourteen Hills, PANK, Smokelong Quarterly, and Midwestern Gothic. His short story collection, Maybe Mermaids and Robots are Lonely, will be published in Fall 2016 by Stillhouse Press, a publisher based at George Mason University.

The first two shorts in this packet were the most interesting, in part because they're so different. The first tells of a man obsessed with telling and retelling the story of Pope John Paul II being elected, but the story varies wildly depending on the day, and ‘depending on what we'd eaten and how much he'd had to drink.’ The second is a more absurd story about two con artists staging fake accidents for cash, while traveling under the names of characters from The Legend of Zelda. There's a lot of varied imagination here, and I appreciated the range.” Matt Bell

J.M. Leija
Detroit, MI

J.M. Leija is a Detroiter at heart and proud to claim all the accompanying trials, travails, and joys that accompany such a statement. By day she is a teacher/disguised superhero who tries to convince her students that reading is cool. On nights and weekends, she turns into a writer who tortures herself over whether writing about things that have really happened and people who really exist can ever be truly ethical. She then proceeds to write about them anyway. Her work has previously been featured in A Detroit Anthology, Motif's Seeking It's Own Level anthology, and Pithead Chapel Magazine, and she has work forthcoming in the 3288 Review.

This is a person who has something interesting to say, and in saying it, she exercises complete command of the language. The words do exactly what she wants them to at all times. This is no mean feat. There’s an ease and authority here that was unmatched in any of the other submissions I read. … this #1 lady is a writer. There is an instinctive understanding of how words fit and rhythm and le mot juste. This is the thing that can’t be taught.” Nancy Kaffer

M. Sophia Newman
Homewood, IL

M. Sophia Newman is a writer whose work has been published in the US, UK, Bangladesh, and Japan. She writes a column on global health, Health Horizons, for Next City. She's reported on infectious disease in West Africa via a crowd-funded project for Pacific Standard Magazine and on violence in South Africa and America with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. She received a 2014 Shannon Fellowship from Bellarmine University’s International Thomas Merton Society to report on environmentalism, and continued this work with a 2015 retreat at Collegeville Institute for Cultural and Ecumenical Studies. Prior to journalism, she completed a Critical Language Scholarship in Bangla (2011), followed by a year of health research as a Fulbright fellow in Bangladesh (2012-2013). She holds a bachelor of science in cell and molecular biology (Tulane, 2009) and a master's degree in public health from University of Illinois (2012). Sophia is a Bangla speaker who hopes to attain fluency for journalism and to translate Bangla-language literature. She has also won admission to a short program on global mental health at Harvard, and intends to complete a nonfiction book expanding on the violence prevention she explored via the Pulitzer grant.

Selected by dream hampton.

Katie Nichol
Fayetteville, AR

Katie Nichol is a poet, educator, and activist based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Recent work has appeared in Cream City Review, St. Petersburg Review, and Cannibal. She is the Creative Writing Director for Prison Story Project, and was a 2014 finalist for the Wisconsin Institute Creative Writing Fellowships. Prior to receiving her MFA from the University of Arkansas, Katie worked as an advocate with homeless youth in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Like many of the manuscripts, this one deals with strong subject matter—notes from a rough life—but here the matter is balanced with literary grace and a knowledgeable sense of form.  The manuscript includes a ghazal and a rather amazing poem that reads forwards and backwards.” Billy Collins