Just as the wind had left his sail and he began wondering if he would ever get back to writing his current book, Trenton resident Peter Markus received news that was the gust he needed to get back on course.
Markus is one of 24 Metro Detroiters who were awarded the Kresge Artist Fellowship for 2012 for creative vision and commitment to excellence within a wide range of artistic disciplines, according to the Kresge Foundation website.
Markus received the award for literary arts for his vast collection of writings including his novel, “Bob, or Man on Boat,” and three books of short fiction.
"I'd been in a bit of a stand-off with the recent book I'm working on, had lost confidence in it in fact, and the Kresge award came at the right time that made me believe again in myself," Markus said. "It's also nice the way a sizable lump sum of money can buy you a little space or breathing room, which is another thing that came with being named a Kresge Fellow."
Markus is also the Senior Writer with the InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit. With the Insideout Literary Arts Project, Markus teaches inner city children the ins and outs of writing.
"InsideOut Literary Arts Project has grown to be what it is today in large part thanks to the spirit and integrity of Peter Markus, who has been with our organization since day one," said Terry Blackhawk, founder and director of InsideOut. "'Mr. Pete' is a magical persona in kids' lives. He knows that words matter, and that kids' words matter and when he puts that power into the 'magic pencils' of his students, there is no stopping what they can do or become."
Attached to his award was a check for $25,000 and Markus said even though he isn't in it for the money, it doesn't hurt to get a little monetary recognition for all his hard work.
"The Kresge's $25,000 check breaks down to a grand a year for all the words that I've put in over the years," Markus said. "If you look at it that way, it's not about the money at all. It's more about someone placing their hand on my back, with a check in its fingers, to tell me I've done good."
A dedicated family man, Markus contributed his success to his daughter Helena, son Solomon and wife Rebecca.
With his bow now pointed at the horizon, Markus said he is continuing to work on his current book tittled, "In a House In a Woods."
"I'm not sure I know what this book is about, though it seems to move about the way fairy tales do in that there aren't always clear causal connections between events," Markus said. "I like that about fairy tales and want to write a book that isn't afraid to take those kinds of leaps."
*This article was updated at 1:12 p.m. Sept. 14.