a weblog for readers and writers

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Haunt Poe This Halloween

It’s said that Edgar Allan Poe still haunts the spots he frequented in Baltimore. This Halloween, why not haunt some of Poe’s hot spots?

Start off at the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum where the master of macabre once lived. Then, visit Poe’s grave at Westminster Hall, where he has been since he died. Then visit Church Hospital, where Poe breathed his last. The cause of his death is still debated. What is known is that he was found four days earlier delirious, on the streets in someone else’s clothes.

Check out the collection of Poe’s papers, letters, and images at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

By now you’ll want a drink to calm you: try a house drink at the Annabelle Lee Tavern. We suggest “The Pit and the Pendulum.” Then, go and check out the Poe statue at the University of Baltimore’s law school.

End your evening at the last place Poe was seen alive: The Horse You Came In On Saloon. And if you find yourself deliriously walking the streets and don’t want to risk driving home, check into the Poe Suite of Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast.

Or, just curl up with a book of Poe.

Learn more about this Poe Pilgrimage at City’s Best.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Celebrate Lit, Art, and Music

Lovers of literature, art, music, and wine won’t want to miss Lit & Art at the Watermark on Sunday, October 24. The celebration begins at 2 p.m., and features artists, and authors from around the world.

Novelist Bathsheba Monk will read from her fiction. She has been described by Tim O’Brien as “a writer I'll be talking about when I talk about brilliant new writers.” Bathsheba is best known for her collection of stories, Now You See It … Stories from Cokesville, PA. Her novel, Nude Walker, is being published by FSG in Spring 2011.

Persian artist and musician Bahman Panahi will give a performance and talk about his work. Originally from Iran, Bahman has performed many concerts, exhibitions, courses and workshops in Iran, UK, Syria, India, Netherlands, Maldives, Tunisia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Belgium, Morocco and France. He recently performed a tar and setar concert at the Freer Gallery in DC and he will be performing at Harvard University in November. www.bahmanpanahi.com

Joining Bathsheba Monk and Bahman Panahi will be artist Manzar (of the Watermark Gallery), and authors Charles Jensen (most recent Director of The Writers’ Center), Katherine Cottle (author of My Father’s Speech), and Eric D. Goodman (author of Tracks, a novel in stories).

Music will be provided by the Lit & Art house band, Red Tractor Factory. Wine and refreshments will be served during intermissions. The event is free and open to the public.

The event takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 24 at The Watermark Gallery, located in the Bank of America Center Skywalk Level, right across from the Inner Harbor, at 100 S. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland. The phone number is (410) 547-0452.

Started in October 2007, the Lit and Art series provides a unique opportunity to sample a wide variety of artistic sensibilities in one sitting. The events are free and open to the public. An open mic section allows audience members to share their own work.

Come experience what has been called “the best excuse to get lit in Baltimore on a Sunday afternoon.” Visit the Watermark Gallery online at www.wmgallery.info .

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Words & Wine Event to Benefit Catonsville Library

If you like wine, cheese, desserts, books, authors, libraries, and music, you won’t want to miss this Friday’s hottest ticket!

Mingle with fellow book-lovers in the library stacks; engage in conversation with local authors; sip on wine varietals; savor gourmet cheeses and desserts; listen to classical guitarist Bob Margolis. It’s all happening at the 5th Annual Wine & Cheese Author Reception to benefit the Catonsville Library. The Friends of the Catonsville Library will host “Words & Wine” on Friday, October 22, 2010, from 7-9 p.m. at the Catonsville Library, 1100 Frederick Road, Catonsville, Maryland 21228. Tickets are $25 and available at the Catonsville Library or at the door. This year’s proceeds will be used to conserve historic documents in the Catonsville Room, and also to support Catonsville High School’s literary magazine, Ellipsis.

More than 15 authors from the area will share their work and have books available for sale and signing. Authors include: Steve Luxenberg, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist, author of Annie’s Ghost; Michael Collier, former Poet Laureate for Maryland; Rafael Alvarez, Jane Byers, Maud Casey, Louis Diggs, Kate Dolan, Dan Fesperman, Tom Flynn, Eric and Nataliya Goodman, Antero Pietila, John Rowell, Deborah Rudacille, David Shackelford, Suzanne Supplee, Joe Swope, Meg Tipper, Laura Wexler, Marsha Wight Wise.

In Luxenberg’s much-lauded Annie’s Ghost, the author explores the discovery that his mother, who claimed to be an only child, had a sister in an asylum. Topics other authors have tackled include a journey into the land of grief following the sudden death of a daughter; a teenager’s quest to follow her Nashville dream to become a singer; suspenseful tales of intrigue set in some of the world’s most volatile locales, to name a few.

In keeping with Catonsville’s Bicentennial Celebration, some writers’ works reflect the area’s storied past. Sponsors include The Wine Bin, SugarBakers Cakes, Sweet a Bakery & Café and Wegman’s.

Since 1962, the Friends’ mission has been to support and enhance the Catonsville library,
including maintaining and promoting the Catonsville Historical Room. The Friends of the Catonsville Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; donations are tax-deductible.

Learn more at www.bcpl.info/yolib/yoliprog.html.

For a recap of last year’s event, visit http://flightlessgoose.blogspot.com/2009/04/goose-hit-at-catonsville-book-festival.html

Thursday, October 14, 2010

F. Scott Fitzgerald Conference Honors Alice McDermott

The 15th Annual F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference will honor Alice McDermott on Oct. 16, 2010.

Alice McDermott is one of the most highly regarded writers in contemporary literature. Her second novel, That Night (1987), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In his cover review for The New York Times Book Review, David Leavitt called That Night “an original, a work that revels in a rich, discursive prose style that belongs entirely to Alice McDermott.”

She received the National Book Award for her fourth novel, Charming Billy (1998), which the Roundhouse Theater in Bethesda is adapting Charming Billy for the stage to open in February 2011. Her recent novel, After This (2006), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. In recent years, McDermott’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker.

Come meet Alice McDermott at this weekend’s conference. For more information, visit the conference website.


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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I haven't gone public with this news, although several readers have pointed out a subtle mention here or there. So an announcement is long overdue …

I have a literary agent!

As many writers know, it’s difficult in today’s market to find an agent excited enough about a book or writer to take on representation. After years of knocking on doors and running into brick walls, I finally have an agent!

Tracks, my novel in stories, is now represented by the Doris S. Michaels Literary Agency, Inc.

With Doris and her creative team on board, this train is building momentum.

Learn more about the Doris S. Michaels Literary Agency at Publisher’s Marketplace.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Understanding Campaign Wants You

How hard can it be to learn just one word of Arabic? The Understanding Campaign encourages you to become familiar with the word Fhm (fuh-hem’), which literally means understanding. By joining the campaign, you are saying you support empathy and understanding over conflict.

Haneen Alshujairy and Justin Sirois began collaborating on a novel and a book of short stories in late 2007, working entirely over email. After completing both literary projects, they decided to start a more culturally overt campaign to get everyone in the world to read just one word of Arabic. It is a gesture of goodwill between Western and Arab cultures.

The Understanding Campaign is growing into an international nonprofit organization promoting literary projects between the English and Arab worlds. Our nonpartisan initiative seeks to open dialogue through establishing a book donation program where publishers and individuals can easily send books to the Iraqi National Library and Iraqi University libraries.

Want to understand more? Visit http://understandingcampaign.org.