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April 19, 2010

CityLit Fesitval recap

stanley plumly citylit festivalCongratulations to everyone involved in pulling off the CityLit Festival held over the weekend at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. It's always great to see the area's writers and readers come together for a day. Nancy and I moderated a panel of authors who are featured in "City Sages," a new anthology of Baltimore writing, and they gave rousing readings. Thanks to Rafael Alvarez, Maud Casey, Michael Downs, Jane Satterfield, Rosalia Scalia, and Ron Tanner.

I also got a chance to attend a poetry reading by Laura Shovan and Maryland Poet Laureate Stanley Plumly (show here in 2009). the most touching moment came as Plumly broke down during a poem about President Kennedy's funeral. He was very gracious throughout the reading --- difficult because he had to compete with reverberations from the open mike session in the main courtyard. As Plumly read, one participant seemed to be delivering his interpretation of an outboard motor, mixed in with some yodeling. It was maddening for those of us hanging on Plumly's words. Yet he persevered, at one point saying he would pretend the noise was the Atlantic Ocean.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 1:46 PM | | Comments (5)


May I direct readers to my casual review of the Festival on the web site "Poetry in Baltimore" and help them learn how to use it? (always a problem on web sites).

You google "Poetry in Baltimore"- you hit "Poetry Forum". you scroll down through the chapters to Reviews of recent readings"- you hit that- it opens. While you're at it- add some writing of your own.

The panel you two moderated- with the fiction- or prose writers- was special...and, as you mention- the acoustics in the main hall are horrible.

It was great to you both you and Nancy on Saturday! Glad to hear your panel went well. It's too bad about the open mic session in the main hall - it was difficult enough to hear the quieter speakers down there over the noise of the crowd at the author tables ... I can't imagine trying to listen to poetry over both the open mic and the crowd!

I'm working on a recap of the sports-themed panel I attended - hope to have it up later this week.

Heather- I hope you will post your review on Poetry in Baltimore as well. I was tempted to say- when I mentioned the Panel that Jane and Dave hosted as being special- that the Pratt is also a special place. ...a magnificent building- wonderful staff + Carla Hayden- the Poe room, the Mencken room, the Md room and, now, the African American collection, the Humanities Dept., the Music and Arts Dept..

Rafael Alvarez mentioned the fact that John Dos Passos may have written a lot there.

I don't care if there are a lot of homeless people spending their days there. If there were more philanthropists like Pratt- capitalism would not have to be over thrown (but there aren't and it does)

I would like to mention ( I am always very irreverent) that Dave reminded me of Tab Hunter and I think he could have been a star in Hollywood. Jane-you reminded me of Sandra Bullock and certainly also have star quality(why am I so star struck?)

David, thanks for the nice words. It was good seeing you at the festival. Hollywood? How about casting me and Jane in a remake of "Damn Yankees" -- I'll be the ballplayer and she can be Lola.

I really enjoyed your recap of the festival. I wish I could have been there. I'll have to make a point to attend next year!

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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