This will be an occasional series about writers' places I've come across and/or visited. There are many very well known writers' sheds and shed-like writing dens but I hope to be able to introduce you to some much lesser known ones too. First – Jack Kerouac's place in Orlando, Florida that just popped up on my news feed.
Thanks to bungalower.com
This was the house where Jack Kerouac was living when On The Road was published and where he wrote the follow up Dharma Burns in twelve days, typing onto a roll of teletype paper taped together as a continuous scroll. Because the home had no air conditioning, Kerouac mostly wrote at night or underneath the large oak in the backyard.
Photo credit: Tom Palumbo. Thanks to poets.org
In 1997, a local Orlando freelance journalist, Bob Kealing, discovered the exact location of the house. It was still standing but in a poor state of repair. Kealing wrote an article for the Orlando Sentinel and in response a group of local people decide to buy the house, re-furbish it and make it a sanctuary for writers, in tribute to Kerouac. Jeffrey Cole contributed $100,000 to secure the house.
If you come across any shed-like writers' places – or any other artists' come to that – that aren't so well known, please let me know. I'm always interested to hear about them. And they can be virtual as well as real!
You can follow Shedman on Twitter @Shedman. Tweets may include the occasional short poem as well as information about what Shedman's doing, where he is and how he's feeling. How interesting is that!
What do you do in your shed?
Take five minutes to tell Shedman about the amazing things you do in your shed. Share your favourite shed story. Send in a shed poem. Or send media links to shed activities far and wide. Just email shedman at shedman.net.
'Thank you for your magnificent contribution to Havant Literary Festival's maiden voyage - you were the absolute lynchpin of the programme.
Shedman was the outstanding hit of the Festival; he was both the focal point of the street entertainment and a tangible manifestation of the Festival's aims of connecting with all ages and all sections of the community in interesting and dynamic ways.
He is also a PR dream - there isn't a Press Release in the world that can't be improved by adding "and a poet in a shed" at the end!'
Lucy Flannery Festival Director Havant Literary Festival
Writer, poet and film maker John Davies is the original Shedman. He's inspired by all kinds of sheds – garden sheds and aircraft hangars, shed antlers or skins, shedding tears or shedding light. He’s writing a book about his shed experience and on his travels, researching the subject, he creates residencies and workshops at different events and locations, using sheds as the focus for a unique interaction with people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds.