Skip to main content

This lucky someone will get to live in Mall of America for 5 days

He'll also write 25 poems on a typewriter every day he's there.

Meet the man who is going to willingly spend five days living at – and writing about – the Mall of America.

Brian Sonia-Wallace, a Los Angeles poet, was picked as the winner of the megamall's Writer-in-Residence contest. The mall had been taking applications for the gig since February, as part of its 25th birthday celebration.

Sonia-Wallace will spend June 14-18 at the mall, sleeping in one of the attached hotels for the four nights. He'll get a $400 gift card for food and drinks, plus an honorarium payment of $2,500.

In return, he'll spend his time "immersed" in the Mall of America, writing poems. His goal is to do 25 poems a day, inspired by the mall's guests and experiences. They'll be recorded and shared with the public over the summer.

The mall got more than 4,000 entries, which it went through and judged before landing on Sonia-Wallace.

Dan Jasper, the mall's communications vice president, said it was his "interactive yet simple idea" that sold them.

"These poems, 25 each day, will be a unique way to bring people in the mall – especially kids – together for the creative process. And using a typewriter? That’s pure fun," he said in the release.

More about Brian

Sonia-Wallace has residencies with the City of Los Angeles ... and Amtrak ... and the Chandler Center for the Arts in Arizona ... and the University of North Dakota Warming House. So he's not a newbie when it comes to this.

He's also worked with the National Parks System, LA County Museum of Arts and Dollar Shave Club. His first book, called I Sold These Poems, Now I Want Them Back, came out in 2016. He also really likes typewriters.

"I want to bring poetry back into people’s everyday lives," Sonia-Wallace said in the mall's announcement. "We think of poems as this elite art form, but their roots go back to the dawn of self-expression and communication. The typewriter is my hook – it gets people engaged. From there, conversations can flow that awaken the inner storyteller in everyone."

Next Up

storm

Twin Cities placed in tornado watch ahead of intense line of storms

Photo above is a view from Marshall as the line of storms moved through Thursday evening.

fire pixabay stock

1 dead, 1 escapes western Wisconsin house fire

The single-story home was fully engulfed in flames when first responders arrived early Wednesday morning.

Wind storms tree

Rare 'particularly dangerous situation' weather watch issued in SW MN

The warning covers an area of Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

fire, firefighter

Dad and 2 children killed in western Wisconsin house fire

A devastating house fire happened early Thursday morning.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

2 suspects involved in Brooklyn Park armed carjacking

The incident happened Wednesday night near a shopping center and Cub.

Alexander Odegaard

Man sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for child pornography

Alexander John Odegaard was sentenced in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 12.15.21 PM

Victim in I-90 crash was storm-chasing meteorologist from Mexico

Martha Llanos Rodriguez died in the wreck on I-90.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Tickets still available for Minnesota State Fair preview event

The five-day Minnesota State Fair taster event, featuring over 30 food and drink vendors, is making its return at the end of the month.

Screen Shot 2022-05-12 at 11.47.44 AM

Woman critical after boyfriend stabs her in neck at light rail station

The boyfriend of the victim is said to have stabbed her, according to St. Paul Police.

Female wolf illegally killed by poachers within Voyageurs Wolf Project.

Female wolf illegally killed in Voyageurs National Park

Researchers for the project said this is the fourth collared wolf that has been illegally killed in the past two years by poachers.

116 E 22nd Ext

Gallery: Beautiful English-style home showcases grandeur of an earlier era

Located across Washburn Park and the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Related

Get paid $2,500 to write about spending 5 days in Mall of America

How would you spend five days in the Mall of America?

How are Super Bowl guests finding the Mall of America?

It's the media center of Super Bowl festivities ahead of Sunday's game.

How are Super Bowl guests finding the Mall of America?

It's the media center of Super Bowl festivities ahead of Sunday's game.

Mr. Fitz is an author in real life too – and he's coming to Mall of America

The Pretty Little Liars star wrote a memoir about being a celebrity – and about bird watching.

Another escape room game is coming to MN, this time at Mall of America

Escape room games have become pretty popular in recent years.

Mall of America will host a casting call for a Norwegian reality TV show

Get out of the country AND be on the next season of an award-winning reality show.

Flashy new movie theater will replace the old one at Mall of America

Fancy food and cocktails replaces Milk Duds and pop at the new Mall of America movie theater.

Flashy new movie theater will replace the old one at Mall of America

Fancy food and cocktails replaces Milk Duds and pop at the new Mall of America movie theater.