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CityLit Presents Authors Michael Tucker and Debra Spark with Dozens of Literary Artists and Musicians at 17 Annual Baltimore Book Festival


CityLit Project returns to the Baltimore Book Festival to host the CityLit Stage, all weekend September 28, 29, and 30, 2012. The stage features a variety of literary arts with special attention given to the region's diverse mix of writers.  Bookselling support provided by Cyclops Books.

The stage is located on the Mt. Vernon circle's south side at the foot of the Washington Monument.


CityLit Project Presents Michael Tucker
Actor and Author, After Annie: A Novel
with Tom Hall, WYPR's "Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast"
September 30, 3pm
Literary Salon Stage


An irresistible tale about love and the theater, After Annie is an astonishing first novel. Herbie Aaron is one half of a celebrity marriage. He and Annie have been famous, nobodies, and mingled with the rich and crazy. Through it all, they've been passionate lovers and fast friends. But when Annie dies of cancer, Herbie is lost.

After Annie is a hilarious and beautifully rendered novel about a man off the rails, battling through the middle-aged wilderness days he hoped never to face alone. It is a book that examines the inevitable passing of time with clarity and wry brilliance, and a story of surprising power.


CityLit Project Presents Debra Spark
Author, The Pretty Girl
September 29, 2pm
Walters Art Museum Sculpture Garden


Spark's fourth work of fiction, The Pretty Girl, revolves around artists, artistry, and the magical—sometimes malicious—deceptions they create. Debra Spark is author of the novels Coconuts for the Saint, The Ghost of Bridgetown, and Good for the Jews. She edited the best-selling anthology Twenty Under Thirty: Best Stories by Americas New Young Writers. Her popular lectures on writing are collected in Curious Attractions: Essays on Fiction Writing.


Friday, September 28

12-2pm Free Friday Feedback
Bring three poems or up to five pages of double-spaced prose for some on-the-spot commentary on your literary art and what to do next.

5:30 CityLit Happy Hour
Hang with the lit-sters!  Musical guest Savannah Valentino.

6:00 Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore: Alleyways!
Join a rambunctious cast of writers from the latest edition of Smile, Hon, You’re In Baltimore.  Impresario and ringmaster William P. Tandy leads the way with contributing writers from the zine praised by publications from Utne Reader to Urbanite.Featuring Earl Crown, E. Doyle-Gillespie, Girl Crown, Tony Hayes, Alex Hewitt, Geoffrey Welchman, and Mary Elizabeth Mays. Music by The Wayfarers.

Saturday, September 29

12pm Littl
e Patuxent Review: A Tribute to Lucille Clifton
A panel of local poets and authors who knew and worked with Lucille Clifton discuss her poetry and legacy. Poet Linda Joy Burke, Little Patuxent Review contributing editor Susan Thornton Hobby, poet Edgar Silex, and Clifton's daughter Alexia will discuss the newly released The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010. Moderated by poet Virginia Crawford and LPR editor Laura Shovan, the panel will include readings of Clifton’s poems. Attendees may be invited to write on-the-spot poems in response to Clifton’s work. This program is sponsored by Little Patuxent Review and presented as part of the 100,000 Poets for Change annual global event.

1:30 Retelling History: Bringing Historical Fiction to New Audiences
Maryland Historical Society director Burt Kummerow talks to author Jonathon Scott Fuqua, Calvert the Raven In the Battle of Baltimore, about books for younger readers and their families. Fuqua has written: YA novels, novels for adults, illustrated chapter books and graphic novels.

3pm Em Sea Water Presents Spoken Word
Poet, musician and spoken word artist, Em Sea Water, presents a revue of some of Baltimore’s best spoken word.  This form of poetry often uses alliterated prose or verse and occasionally uses metered verse to express social commentary from the poet’s first-person point of view.  Don’t miss these phenomenal artists!  Featuring J Pope, Slangston Hughes, Paradoxx, Da Truth, Gone, Golden Infamous da Angel, Black Root, and Lady Trai.

4pm Nonfiction Presented by New Mercury Reading Series
The popular series moves its action south from Station North for a special CityLit Stage rendition. Mikita Brottman is an author, critic, psychoanalyst, and true crime aficionado. She teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her latest book, Thirteen Girls, was published in August. Tim Kreider is a cartoonist and essayist. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Nerve, and Baltimore City Paper. His book of essays, We Learn Nothing, was published in June. Michele “Wojo” Wojciechowski is an award-winning freelance writer and humorist. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Family Circle, Boys’ Life, and other publications. Her book, Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box, was recently published. Hosted by New Mercury creators John Barry and Deborah Rudacille.

5:30 Poetry Presented by Smartish Pace
Join Smartish Pace founder and editor Stephen Reichert for readings by poets published in the nationally acclaimed, locally based literary journal. Poets Madeleine Mysko and Yao Hoke S. Glover III are joined by musical act woodworkings.

6:30 Fiction Presented by the 510 Reading Series
Music by Mr. Moccasin / Wine courtesy of the Chesapeake Wine Company
The popular series moves its action south from Hampden for a special CityLit Stage rendition. Featuring Carissa Halston, author of A Girl Named Charlie Lester and The Mere Weight of Words; Michael Kimball, author of Dear Everybody, Us, and hot off the press Big Ray; Patrick King, blogger and author of Exit Nothing; Nancy Murray, playwright, theater director and storyteller and Master of Fine Arts grad student at the University of Baltimore; Robb Todd, author of the collection Steal Me for Your Stories; Elissa Schappell, author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls, which was chosen as one of the “Best Books of the 2011” by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and O Magazine.  Hosted by Jen Michalski, fiction author, on-line journal publisher, and 510 Series co-creator with Michael Kimball.

Sunday, September 30

12pm Individual Artist Awards Reading: Playwrights
Presented by the Maryland State Arts Council, these winners of the annual Individual Artist Awards showcase some of the smartest, sharpest playwriting being created in the state today. Hosted by MSAC program manager for literature Christine Stewart.

1:30pm New Work Across Genres
Local authors with recently published books take the stage to share their literary art, as well as what new work they are creating. Justin Sirois, Falcons on the Floor. Joseph Ross, Meeting Bone Man. Jennifer Wallace, It Can Be Solved By Walking. Marion Winik, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead.

2:30pm Art & Lit
Started in 2007, this series takes place five times a year at the Watermark Gallery. The program combines various literary genres with music and visual art. Bathsheba Monk, Nude Walker. Jessica Anya Blau, Drinking Closer to Home. Charles Rammelkamp, Fusen Bakudan. Fernando Quijano III, President of the Maryland Writers’ Association Baltimore Chapter. Nancy Greene, Portraits in the Dark. Artist Manzar, whose permanent collection is housed at the Watermark Gallery. Music by Goodloe Byron. Hosted by writers Eric D. Goodman and Nitin Jagdish.

3:30pm BIG BOOKS: Tackling Institutional Histories
Recently, two big books that capture histories of famous Baltimore institutions have been published: Making History / Making Art / MICA by Douglas L. Frost and Leading the Way: A History of Johns Hopkins Medicine by Neil A. Grauer. Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, contributing editor at Architect magazine, leads the discussion.

4:30 pm Writing About Family, Searching for Self
Join acclaimed writers Lawrence P. Jackson and W. Ralph Eubanks as they discuss their books, both of which explore their own families’ past, and reveal what they learned about themselves in the process. Lawrence P. Jackson, My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family after the Civil War. W. Ralph Eubanks, The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South. Marc Steiner, host of “The Marc Steiner Show” on WEAA, leads the discussion.

5:30pm  MWA Presents “Me, Myself & I: The Art of the Monologue”
Everyone enjoys a good rant, whether insightful, pithy, humorous, or just irresistibly self-aggrandizing. Members of the Maryland Writers’ Association (MWA) offers a panoply of the best the ego has to offer, from magnificent monologues to spectacular speeches to salacious snapshots culled straight out of celebrity memoirs. Join MWA members as they offer an entertaining spin on the first person, singular.

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