I was equal parts surprised and disappointed to find that Louisville, Kentucky did not make the lists for “writer cities” via Google. I’m going to refer to The Highlands of Louisville specifically. Louisville is the sanctuary for the weird, the eccentric, the intelligent, and hip young writer. You don’t have to look far to find murals of Louisville native, Hunter Thompson, scattered across The Highlands.
There are plenty of dive bars and coffee shops to do your writing or live readings here. If you hate your liver, you can give the “Bambi Walk” pub crawl a go. Many poets and authors that tour the country promoting their work put Louisville on the map as one of their destinations. If you like a kickass local beer selection, check out Java Brewing Company. If you like a bar with karaoke and pizza, try Wick’s Pizza Parlor & Pub or Bearno’s Pizza Highlands. The Bard’s Town deserves a notable mention as well.
Buy your books local at Carmichael’s Bookstores or All Booked Up. You are going to need music to write to so swing by Underground Sounds for your vinyls. There are also plenty of head shops, tattoo parlors, and hookah bars to frequent.
Not sold yet? I will keep rambling on then. The buildings here have aged like wine. It is possible to find studio apartments for $350 nearby. The people that reside here are attractive and polite. There are more hipsters here than Portland, Oregon but that is pretty much the only negative aspect of the area.
Bring a dog and a typewriter with you when you move here. We have a grilled cheese restaurant so don’t worry about bringing sammiches. The population contains a lot of intellectuals, liberal thinkers, and artists but the diversity is immense here.
Louisville is home to many great writers already. Here are a couple of them that you should read:
Patrick Wensink- Patrick Wensink is the bestselling author of the novel BROKEN PIANO FOR PRESIDENT and three other books. His work appears in New York Times, Esquire, Men’s Health, Oxford American and others.
Here is what Patrick had to say about Louisville: “I tell everyone I know that does creative work to move to a city like Louisville. I’ve lived in bigger cities and I couldn’t afford to be a writer. In a smaller town, you can afford to freelance for a living or teach a few classes and dedicate ample time to writing. I moved from Portland, OR to Louisville over 6 years ago and it’s been the most productive time in my life.”
David James Keaton- David James Keaton’s fiction has appeared in over 50 publications, including Grift, PANK, and Noir at the Bar II. His first collection, Fish Bites Cop! Stories to Bash Authorities, was named the 2013 Short Story Collection of the Year by This Is Horror and was a finalist for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award. His first novel, The Last Projector (Broken River Books) was released on Halloween of this year.
Here is what David had to say about Louisville: “I’ve found a lot of creative time in Louisville since I moved here to pursue teaching and writing, first from staying indoors and hiding from the heat (it took me a summer or two to acclimate to the Southern climate), but then I discovered the bounty of outdoor seating that the local restaurants and cafés’ have to offer. Cherokee Park is also a great place to find quiet, creative moments. A heads-up though, burying your recently deceased cat there is illegal. But that’s another story you can write about!”