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CityLit LIVE Blog #3 Benjamin Busch and Tom Hall

By Katrina Stevens

Benjamin Busch read passages from his new memoir, Dust to Dust, sharing his first connections to Baltimore through his acting career on Homicide and The Wire. Busch quickly acknowledged that the Baltimore portrayed in these two shows is completely different than the Baltimore community featured at the CityLit Festival.

The two Baltimores continually wrestle with one another, which echoes my own experience living in this charmed city. As police sirens outside threatened to overtake the room at one point, Busch explained with aplomb that this was an “interactive reading with the city of Baltimore,” lyrical prose set against the background of urgency and alarm.

Busch’s anecdote of one of his first experiences with Baltimore painted a hilarious picture of him walking from the Homicide set (where he played a dead man) to a local church wearing only a bathrobe, slippers and a prominent bloody hatchet wound on his forehead in the dead of winter. He was so focused on wanting to be a professional and not wanting to move until he was directed that he ended up being left on the set alone without any transportation to the catered site for the crew.  After walking the winter streets, smiling at curious passersby, he finally reached the location and inadvertently walked into the wrong room—a classroom of African American children all stopped and stared at this strange, dead white man with a hatchet sticking out of his forehead.  Quite the image! I’m looking forward to reading the extended account of this incident in his memoir.

Katrina Stevens blogs all things education, technology, the arts, and Baltimore. She supervises literacy for the Baltimore County Public Schools. Katrina is also the co-founder of LessonCast Learning, a Baltimore-based education technology company that provides blended professional development. She was also recently awarded the national Apple Broadway League for her work with the Hippodrome Foundation. Katrina blogs regularly at


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