What is it about Flint that inspires you as a writer?
It's hard to answer objectively, because my experience is so colored by my personal experiences here. I'm tempted to default to something abstract; that this is a complex place that is typically perceived from within and without as a simple place; that this is a very unique place whose distinctiveness is often masked by a layer of grit and public apathy; that the stakes of our historical strategies and our missteps are higher in Flint than in much of the U.S.; that Flint represents a sort of "everyman's desintegration" template for American communities in decline.
These observations are all true.
But that isn't really what "inspires" me about Flint. I am inspired by my experiences here. The friendships I formed here and the ordeals they've been through. An intense collision between music and open air. A sort of romantic earnestness and furious frustration I've seen and heard and felt myself. Above all, I like it when it is cloudy and rainy here, in the springtime. The dirt smells different to me in Flint, especially after a rain. It is an intense experience for me. It makes me enjoy living here, and makes me want to write about that.
Also, I should add, Flint has always been a nurturing community to me, personally and artistically. That isn't remotely true for many people who live here, but it has paved the way for me and made it easy for me to live here and write about living here.