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CityLit Festival Photos Capture Diversity of Baltimore's Literary Scene

(Wilhelm/Cooper photo credit: RARAHPHOTO) Gregg Wilhelm, executive director of CityLit Project, and Judy Cooper, director of public programs at Pratt Library, have teamed to present ten CityLit Festivals since 2004.  Edward P. Jones, Junot Diaz, Mark Doty, Edward Hirsch, Steve Coll, Dick Allen, Stanley Plumly, Jaimy Gordon, Terese Svoboda, Tom Lux, Afaa Michael Weaver, Danielle Evans, Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Busch, Andrei Codrescu, E. Ethelbert Miller, Elizabeth Kostova, Victoria Rowell, and Masha Hamilton are just some of the wonderful authors we have welcomed to Baltimore to appear with our own amazing literary talent.  Thanks, Baltimore, for making CityLit Festival "a can't miss event on the city's cultural scene" (Baltimore magazine).

The following photos credit: Kaitlin Newman

CityLit Festival fiction headliner George Saunders responds to a question while an audience member looks on.  The Wheeler Auditorium at Enoch Pratt Free Library was filled to capacity for the event, one of fifteen programs presented as part of the 10th annual celebration of literature in Baltimore (April 13, 2013).

Poetry co-headliner Dick Allen, Poet Laureate of Connecticut.  Poe Society president Rafael Alvarez and Edgar Allan Poe himself (Mark Redfield).

Activist, educator, and writer Jamal Joseph discuss his memoir, Panther Baby, with activist, educator, and radio talk show host Marc Steiner from WEAA. The crew from Barnes & Noble at the University of Baltimore handled book sales.

This shot of the audience welcoming George Saunders happens to feature author Eric D. Goodman (yellow shirt), who was a member of CityLit's first writers' workshop in 2004. Eric has since published a novel-in-stories and a children's book.

Joan Wilhelm and Sue Ellen Wheatley turned out to enjoy CityLit Festival.  "Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore" founder and editor Pat Tandy shows copies of his popular zine to Don Clark, a student in the University of Baltimore's MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts program.

Jonathan Scott Fuqua shows off his newest book, Calvert the Raven in the Battle of Baltimore, a children's book that he wrote and illustrated. Author and illustrator Brian Floca, Locomotive and Ballet for Martha among many others, signs a book for a fan at the festival.

On display in the Literary Marketplace, where nearly 70 exhibitors showcased their literary creativity, were the journals "CoBalt" and "Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore."

Author Tonya Dowhite talked to attendees about her book, Secrets of the Heart, while Edgar Allan Poe (Mark Redfield) officially welcomed people to the 10th annual CityLit Festival.

Authors Leigh Newman, Still Points North (a memoir), and Tim Wendel, Habana Libre (a novella), read from their books and discussed the importance of place in these latest publications.

Jonathan Scott Fuqua was the featured guest author during the Maryland Humanities Council's "Letters About Literature" celebration.  The event recognized Maryland's winners of of the Library of Congress-sponsored program, which encourages young readers to write to the author of a book expressing how that book changed their view of themselves or the world.

Once again, the Literary Marketplace was jammed with exhibitors: self-published authors, small presses, literary organizations, and journals. Poets Afaa Michael Weaver and Reginald Harris, native Baltimoreans who returned home to read from their newest books, packed the Poe Room.

Exhibitors representing the Virginia Quarterly Review (left), Passager Books, and Welter (both right) were all smiles in the Literary Marketplace.  Passager and Welter are both houses at the University of Baltimore.

Fernando Quijano III, president of the Maryland writers Association, staffs MWA's booth.  The Sage of Baltimore, H.L. Mencken (John Dausch), welcomes people to the New Mercury Reading program at CityLit Festival.  The reading series was created in the spirit of Mencken's American Mercury magazine, launched in Baltimore in the early 1920a.

CityLit Project executive director Gregg Wilhelm (podium) welcomes the standing-room-only audience to the festival's final program, a discussion with Tom Hall (left) and George Saunders (right).

Author George Saunders chats with fans while signing books after his program at CityLit.  The audience left thoroughly entertained and enlightened by his reading and discussion.

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