Detroit Writing Room Author Series ft. Desiree Cooper

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Detroit Writing Room Author Series ft. Desiree Cooper

Enjoy an intimate conversation and book signing with the author of “Nothing Special."

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The Whitney 4421 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48201

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

The Detroit Writing Author Series is excited to feature Desiree Cooper for our June event!

Join us Wednesday, June 28, 2023 from 7 - 8:30 p.m. for an intimate book talk and signing at the historic Whitney mansion in Detroit.

Desiree Cooper is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, award-winning author and an activist for women’s rights. Her latest book, "Nothing Special," was published by the Wayne State University Press in 2022.

"Despite living in Michigan for 30 years, 'home' always remained the birthplace of both of my parents — a little town in the piney woods of central Virginia," Cooper says. "Like so many other black families in the North, I took my children on the pilgrimage back South every summer to remain connected to our Southern roots. 'Nothing Special' is an homage to that cherished tradition of returning home."

Guests will enjoy drinks and hors d'oeuvres during a meet-and-greet with the author in the Whitney’s garden (weather permitting). The event will include an author talk, opportunity to ask questions during Q&A and book signing. There will also be signed book giveaways and other raffle prizes!


7 - 7:20 p.m. - Meet-and-Greet, Drinks & Appetizers

7:20 - 7:45 p.m. - Book Talk

7:45 - 8:05 p.m. - Q&A

8:05 - 8:30 p.m. - Book Signing

Buy the Book:

We have partnered with the independent bookstore 27th Letter Books in Detroit. Guests can purchase the book onsite or online and have it shipped before the event. Order a copy here.


Single admission is $60. Includes passed appetizers and one glass of wine, Champagne or beer. There will also be a cash bar.

Tickets may be purchased as gifts. Please provide the recipient’s name and email so we can include them on our guest list.

Purchase a Detroit Writing Room Author Series Pass to receive admission to each monthly event January through June 2023. Pass holders get one event free! They will also receive a 15% discount on books. Buy a pass here.

Tickets are nonrefundable. Due to limited space, tickets cannot be purchased at the door and must be bought online in advance. Registration closes at 6 p.m. EST the day of the event.


The Whitney offers valet parking in their main lot for $10 per car. Guests may self-park in the lot located across the street at Woodward and Canfield. There is also street parking along Canfield Street.

Covid-19 Policy:

We will follow all CDC guidelines at the time of each event.

Detroit Writing Room Author Series ft. Desiree Cooper image

About the Author

A 2015 Kresge Artist Fellow, Desiree Cooper is a former attorney, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and community activist. She is an evocative speaker on the themes of racial and gender equality, reproductive freedom, family-positive public policy and the welfare of women and girls. As a full-time caregiver for her aging parents, she writes widely about women, self-care and reinvention. A sought-after creative writing instructor, she conducts readings from her flash fiction collection, “Know the Mother,” like an “instant book club.”

Cooper’s fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in The Best Small Fictions 2018, Callaloo, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Rumpus, River Teeth, and Best African American Fiction 2010, among other publications. Her essay, “We Have Lost Too Many Wigs,” was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2019.

Having forged a 30-year career in Detroit, she now lives in the Virginia Beach area where she cares for her aging mother and raises her three grandchildren.

Detroit Writing Room Author Series ft. Desiree Cooper image

About the Book

Six-year-old Jax can’t wait to leave Detroit and spend a week with his grandparents in coastal Virginia, where he’s sure he’ll be spoiled with the kinds of special things he enjoys at home: toys, movies and hamburgers. As he dreams of the adventures he’ll have, his PopPop has other ideas. He fills their days with timeless summer fun — crabbing, shucking corn and counting fireflies.

Illustrated entirely of repurposed textiles, “Nothing Special” celebrates the enduring connection between the generations who stayed in the South and the millions of emigrants for whom it will always be home. Between 1910 and 1970, more than 6 million African Americans left the Jim Crow South, but they never forgot the culture, the land and the family they left behind. In the decades since, it has become a summer ritual for many black families to reverse the journey and return South for a visit to their homeplaces. Order here.

About The Detroit Writing Room

The Detroit Writing Room offers an inspirational community for writers, creatives and professionals. Whether you’re working on the next Great American novel or a resume, the DWR has 30 professional writing coaches to help with all your writing needs. We also host book talks, writing workshops, and literary events. Visit to sign up for coaching, memberships, events and more. Check out to see our New York-based coaching team.