Detroit Richards: Writer Biography

All the written material on this website is the sole work of Detroit Richards aka The Paltry Sum. I love creating prompts to form AI-assisted artwork via Bing image maker and you will see a lot of those images adorning my work.

I am a culture blogger, writer and journalist based in San Francisco, who writes under the name ‘Detroit Richards’. I am a survivor of extreme domestic violence and an occasionally radical feminist, all of which makes it a lot safer for me and my Boy if I use a nom de plume and not my real name. Anonymity is freedom to write for me.

I got my nickname “Detroit” many years ago because of my love of the Joni Mitchell song, The Last Time I Saw Richard. Joni sang:

The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in 68
And he told me, “All romantics meet the same fate
Some day, cynical and drunk and boring
Someone in some dark cafe”

The Last Time I Saw Richard, Joni Mitchell, Blue.

I am that romantic, ‘cynical, and drunk and boring someone in some dark café’, though I hope not to bore my readers! This blog is my ‘dark café’ of writing. You can follow my diary, chronicle type writings on The Paltry Sum, if you too are interested in those ‘dark café days’.

I also write poetry and am particularly interested in examining the phenomenon of popular music culture and how it interwove with humanity for those glory years when music meant something. I had to come up with a nom de plume quickly in order to be credited for some work I did, as my personal life is too complicated to write under my legal name, I was wearing my favorite Keith Richards tee shirt at the time, and so I became ‘Detroit Richards’.

I greatly appreciate my readers! If you like what you read here, please share my work on social media. All my content is free, but any publicity is greatly appreciated! I would love to expand my website to include interviews with musicians, writers and artists – please contact me if you think you could help with this goal!

I was recently diagnosed with a serious autoimmune disease, but will not be letting it stop me writing, even if it may slow me down a little!

On the serious side…if you quote me, please attribute it to The Paltry Sum / Detroit Richards. Please consult me before using any of my words, poems, photographs or music, so I can make sure I’m fairly credited. All rights and copyright to my own work fully reserved by virtue of it being published in a fixed state, as in accordance with US copyright law. I do take action if I see my work being plagiarized.

You can also find my writing at Street Sheet (San Francisco), The Auto Ethnographer, Invisible People and The Radical Notion.

If you want to follow me on twitter you can find me at @detroitrichards

Peace, love and aliens

Detroit Richards

April 2023