Skip to content

Baltimore, The City that bReads


are those dumpsters or gym hampers?

“The City That bReads”

I actually saw that on a baltimore city bus bench outside of one of the public library branches on a class field trip around 1998. The city thats breads done by some bibliophobic, hack graffitti artist who thought intercourse and applying bread crumbs were one in the same.

Utne Reader is one of my favorite magazines and near the top of “the list of magazines i wish i had a subscription to.” Perusing Utne Reader in my local suburban housewife haunt, Barnes and Noble, i came across this month’s Reader and a positive article about Baltimore and our thriving literary scene.

The article talked about our proliferation of indie book stores and all kinds of events that go on there and inside b-more’s extensive Enoch Pratt Library system.

There is a local zine called Smile Hon, You’re in Baltimore which is published 3 times a year and filled with local writers’, polished and novice, tales of city life in maryland. That particular publication is approaching 9 years of publication. And here is their submission page if you feel so inclined…

The maryland a la carte literary experience also includes the i.e. Reading Series of “avant garde” poetry reading hosted open mic style around the city. Local indie fixture, Atomic Books hosts the Atomic Fiction Series in which regional and national authors showcase their newest works alongside marylanders giving it a very indie-house vibe.

Every college town has the indie house, where starving touring punk bands play for a couple nights before moving on to the next college town drunk and miserable, cramped in their big white ford vans or decomposing volvo station wagons. This is Baltimores literary version of that with a little less crotch rot and a little bigger lexicon.

CityLit Logo

The CityLit Project is a non-profit organization that holds classes, workshops, readings and even reader/write oriented happy hours for those of lexipensical leanings. Their website lists a whole host of literary offerings from writers conferences to contest for young writers (elementary and secondary school students) as well as resources for the aspiring poet, essayist or novelist. All in All it looks like a great local resource developed right here in Charm City.

While on the streets of The City That Reads be on the look out for IsReads an “outdoor poetry journal” which posts it’s submissions in public spaces across the city. IsReads also has Pittburgh and Nashvill, TN edition.

The concept of the outdoor journal is to put short poems in unusual places so that people who don’t often read literary journals can still get annoyed with poetry. Usually about 50 copies of each poem are taped to abandoned buildings and in stores and on benches and on fences and in shopping carts. They are easily removed. When they have been posted around town sufficiently, this website is put up so other people can read the poems. The map gives online readers a sense of what the city is like

The link to their submission page is Here.
Check it out, submit something if you’d like to to be (or striving to be) an misunderstood obscure urban creative type.

Check out the Utne article for more on the people, places and personalities that make up the Baltimore Lit scene.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: