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In His Element: Maximillian Potter



Photo by Julia Vandenoever

“It’s not a man cave. It’s a writer cave,” says Denver author Maximillian Potter of the tiny 12-by-10 blue shed behind his Platt Park home. Potter, co-author of the recently released John Hickenlooper tome, The Opposite of Woe, felt compelled to do his penning in a separate space once his teenage boys’ wrestling matches took over the main house. Now he has peace and an upper perimeter of book-lined walls. “When I’m searching for an answer on how to treat a character or plot, or whatever pleasant conundrum I’m looking at on the page, I reach up and grab a book,” he says. “That’s really empowering.”

His “perfect” desk, a modern table with an orange steel base from a store on Santa Fe Drive called DoubleButter, was a splurge after his first book (Shadows in the Vineyard, 2014) sold. On one wall of the shed hangs a large corkboard for his index cards to help Potter “storyboard” his current work. Framed personal treasures (two National Magazine Awards finalist certificates) and remembrances of things past, including a poem his father gave him as he was going off to college, pepper the walls. “Being a writer is a lonely and insecure way to go through life,” he says, “so I hang up things to remind me of the times that I haven’t sucked at it.” 

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