the detroiters

Timothy Dugdale
President, Atomic Quill Media

"(somewhat prickly) Renaissance Man": Writer/Publisher Answers Our Four Questions



Timothy Dugdale fancies himself a weather-beaten and somewhat prickly renaissance man. He teaches creative writing and publishing in the Department of English at the University of Detroit Mercy even though he holds a Ph.D. in Communications and Anthropology from Wayne State University. He has written a crime fiction novella, I Couldn't Care Less and has translated another one, Requiem for Oblivion, from its original Portuguese (Both published by Black Moss Press). He is currently at work on
two more novellas.

In late 1994, Dugdale founded Atomic Quill Media, a boutique cultural node dedicated to the production and appreciation of exemplary works in literature, music and graphic design. Atomic Quill strives to be an integral part of Detroit's vibrant cultural life.

We sat down to talk with him a while back about the publishing world and Detroit, and then caught up with him later via email to answer's famous Four Questions.

Look to our lit section this month for a short story from Bruce Henriksen, whose book Ticket to a Lonely Town is forthcoming from Atomic Quill Press. Also, check out radio (techtronica station) for a listen to Atomic Quill Music artists Francis Rimbert and Kenneth Thomas. (More info here.)


I've lived here for almost fifteen years. I teach at University of Detroit Mercy. This is my town and it's a great one.


I have interest in books and music and graphic design so I thought why not do something that combines all three? Atomic Quill was the moniker I used as a graphic designer so I used that as the name for the company — a quill can be used to draw or write but a needle also goes through a record groove. Alas, the literary scene is much different than the music scene. You almost need a split personality because each sphere attracts particular kinds of people with very interesting ambitions and agendas.


As it is now, Detroit is a black American city. Those are the people that live here en masse and have been living here since the riots almost forty years ago.

Until you get a real sustained and substantial wave of economic and ethnic diversity in the city, people in the suburbs will stay away. They won't commit to living in the city which is a real shame. At the same time, when they do commit to the city, they will expect services that they are accustomed to in the suburbs. Watch for heavy conflict at the polls between those who have no problem electing guys like Kwame Kilpatrick and those who would have no problem having him and his ilk banished from the planet.


This is a great place to do business. Detroit has enormous cultural cachet in the world. We are located in a major population area with great access to other big cities like Toronto and Chicago

- Nick Sousanis

Who will be the next detroiter to face our four questions? Watch this space...

For a look at detroiters past, here's a few:

Artist, Gallery Director, Monte
Mayoral Candidate, Freman Hendrix
State Senator, Hansen Clarke
Arts enthusiast, James Dozier
Community Leader, Detroit Synergy Co-Founder David Naczycz
"The Passenger" writer/director Jamie Sonderman
DEQ founder, DJ Shortround
Author Lynn Crawford
Godfathers of Techno, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson
Theatre Artistic Directors Oliver Pookrum and York Griffith
Art Gallery Directors Aaron Timlin, Phaedra Robinson, and Mitch Cope

Other (non-4 question) Detroiter interviews from our archives:
Artist Charles McGee
Artist Tyree Guyton
Artist Scott Hocking
Artist John Ganis
Sculpture Conservator Giorgio Gikas
Artist Peter Williams

© 2002