house that writers built
The Writers House was founded in 1995-96 as a writer-centered bottom-up writers' haven or sandbox, and by now, a dozen years later, we offer 300 events - seminars, lectures, readings, book groups, manuscript exchanges, mentorships, symposia on all forms of writing - each academic year, September through May. All events are free.
We have an archive of media files - audio and some video, mostly mp3 but also RealAudio and RealVideo - of hundreds of readings and talks. It's called medialinks. There's also an archive of webcast recordings - of (to name a few writers) Laurie Anderson, Robert Creeley, Thalia Field, Lyn Hejinian, Tony Kushner, Alice Notley, James Alan McPherson, Carl Rakosi, Susan Sontag, Slavoj Zizek. We have a podcast series that on this date has produced 15 programs. We host week-long and month-long book discussion groups.
Best of all, we've made a bunch of good friends - mostly, I think, by treating writers well, by feeding them fabulous food and by bringing to them and their art audiences that typically have read carefully, ask thoughtful questions and don't mind disagreeing.
 "You have created at once a center of artistic and personal social power, a non-bureacratic, unconventional power in one spot without being marginalized in the process. Brilliant."--Nick Spitzer, host of NPR's radio show, American Roots.
 "The people at the Writers House have created such a lively and hospitable environment that I love to walk in and teach there. I just finished reading a manuscript about the University of Chicago in the 1950's and that literary environment, and I thought that Writers House might have saved a lot people in that era."--Max Apple, author of The Oranging of America and many other books, and member of the Writers House "hub" since autumn 2001.
 "I keep telling everyone I see that this is an amazing thing you have here, this house of writers. It exists in no other space that I can think of in the United States. We were talking about that earlier, this question of a place for writers and translators, where poets and artists can come together and work, in a sense, in collaboration. It is amazing. So thank you."--Ben Hollander, poet and participant in "UnAmerican Poetry," a conversation about writing, translation, globalization, politics in the Middle East, the foreign poet's relation to language in March 2001.