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By Anna Lothson
Many writers have been inspired by Ernest Hemingway. Now the foundation created in his name is looking to inspire anther writer by giving him or her the chance to work in the attic of Hemingway's Birth Home.
The Ernest Hemingway Foundation has announced a writer-in-residence program on its website, offering bits of information as to why a writer might want to work in the upper portion of the old Victorian home on Oak Park Avenue. They've guaranteed two things: space and inspiration.
John Berry, president of the foundation said a similar program existed previously, with novelist Bill Hazelgrove, but in much simpler form. The attic was previously bare bones and a less than desirable place to work. Now, the dusty storage space has been transformed into a functional furnished office suitable for a writer looking for a quiet space with a connection to history. A schematic drawing of the room shows a desk, two lamps, an armchair and ottoman. According to a press release, the room is furnished with pieces from the Thomasville of Oak Brook Hemingway Collection. A photo also shows an antique typewriter.
"It's a good, creative environment," Berry said. "We think it's going to be very attractive."
The writer will be given use of the space free (during business hours) in exchange for providing cultural programming throughout the year on a quarterly basis. This may take the form of lectures, workshops, presentations, or other programs that will be worked out between the chosen applicant and the foundation.
An extensive process ensured that the furniture in the spruced-up space matched the historical period of the house. The design also includes pieces from the foundation's Hemingway collection.
"That's all coming together," Berry said. "Now we begin the search for a writer to put in the space. We're excited about it."
To learn more about the program, or to download an application, visit www.ehfop.org.