What is Reasonable?

I was a resident at Artists Colony X in 1987, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2004. One time I was the judge for nonfiction applications. I used to be friendly with the people in charge, but people quit and retire, and move, and I barely know the director now. Anyway, I was offered a residency last year for 2-4 weeks in summer 2007. I decided to postpone it because I wasn't sure how chemo would affect me. Today I talked to the person in charge of residencies and he said he would get back to me in mid-April, after the current applications were processed. The people who applied for summer/fall 2008 would have first priority, then I would get what was left, if anything. I said OK, then about an hour later I became somewhat angry. I couldn't help it that I had to go through chemo. Shouldn't priority be given to the people accepted the year before who had cancer?

A lot of us in Chicago feel too proprietary about this artists colony, because it's so close and so familiar, and we used to be able to stay there almost whenever we wanted. It's tightened up now. Like college, it's harder to get into.

I feel attached to X because I've been there so many times. And taught writing workshops there for the public. Should I make way for people who haven't been there before?

I have asthma and need to have air conditioning or else I wheeze a lot and have to take prednisone. The rooms at X all have a/c units or central air. I've inquired around and I don't know of other artists colonies that have a/c. I turned down a residency a few years ago in Montauk, NY, after it became clear that the housing was ramshackle and moldy and the electricity couldn't support an a/c unit.

I want to be treated special. Is that asking too much?


Anonymous said...

It's not asking to much to be treated special. You are special, you clearly have a special place in your heart for "X" and you have had special circumstances. So there. I am sure there is room for you and newcomers. Surely someone there will see that, right?

- Cousin D

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