Last week, I spent eight blissful days in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the very tip of Cape Cod and home to many talented writers and artists. Thousands of fascinating people have traveled through P-town over the years, but my family always took particular delight in one of our most notable neighbors—Norman Mailer.
Mailer lived just a few houses down from my family and someone always had a “Mailer spotting” story to tell. But walking by the Mailer house this summer, you can’t help but notice that things are different. Of course the great literary legend is no longer with us (he died in November 2007), but his house has been transformed into The Norman Mailer Writers Colony.
Opening its doors this spring, The Norman Mailer Writers Colony is a non-profit organization established to honor Mailer and his commitment to Provincetown and its artistic community. Mailer’s gorgeous bay-front estate is now a meeting place and residence for “promising writers, educators, editors, scholars and distinguished writers” and offers fellowships and weeklong workshops. Mailer’s third floor study, where he wrote many of his major works since 1975, remains as he left it—with books, notes and research materials that he was using as he worked on his final projects.
In addition to a number of programs and workshops on site, the Colony has established a series of national writing awards open to all high school, college and university students, encouraging the passion, skill and commitment Mailer exhibited during his 60-year writing career. I can’t think of a better way to honor the great writer—and to celebrate our great town of Provincetown. For more information on this remarkable Writers Colony, visit: www.nmwcolony.org.