Map: The Geography of A Detroit Anthology


I read through every single memory, story, poem, and even photograph from the early release of A Detroit Anthology. I was excited by some of the author names and even more excited to read the stories of authors I had never known before. The poignant, perceptive, and powerful writing that comes out of this compilation of Detroit stories is important, but not all encompassing. A Detroit Anthology doesn’t try to be the one stop shop for all of Detroit’s stories and hopefully more projects like this can collect the histories and memories of Detroiters.

As this site is geo-focused, I highlighted all geographic mentions in the book. This took some time, but wound up being well worth it. The collective stories of Detroit are hardly bound by the city limits. Many residents are unable to travel much further than their block and some teenagers have never seen the West side, but the stories of Detroit reach across the country and around the globe. I picked out the top ten mentions inside the city and outside to give a picture of the breadth of the Detroit experience.

I found a cluster of locations in the Downtown/ Midtown zone, but this is largely because of the long historic significance of the area represented by Jewish immigration (Lower Hastings), Greek immigration (Greektown), Irish immigration (Corktown), post-prohibition entertainment [legal] boom (Paradise Valley), African-American migrations (Black Bottom/ Paradise Valley/ Hastings), largest open air produce market (Eastern Market), the land of Lewis Cass (Cass Corridor), urban renewal (Lafayette Park), new entertainment developments (Arena District), and places like Hart Plaza, the River Walk, Cobo Hall, and Joe Louis Arena. All of these areas overlap, overtake one another, and compliment each other. They show a storied, often troubled past, as well as a difficult, but not impossible future.

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