Baltimore Writers Club

Q&A with Baltimore cartoonist turned literati, Tim Kreider


In Baltimore, Tim Kreider is known primarily for two things: his comic strip in the City Paper, The Pain: When Will It End?, which ran for fifteen years, and an essay called “My Own Private Baltimore” that he published in The New York Times. For the former, he is beloved. For the latter, the reaction was more complicated. (Sample sentence: “Ernest Hemingway famously described Paris as a moveable feast; Baltimore is more like a permanent hangover. Once you have lived there, you will never be entirely sober again.”)

Q&A with Baltimore novelist Laura Lippman about her latest book, ‘Sunburn’


Laura Lippman wanders downy shore.

If you love Laura Lippman, as so many Baltimore readers do, she’s kept you busy in the seventeen years since she left her job as a reporter at “the Sunpaper” and devoted herself full-time to fiction. Her series featuring detective Tess Monaghan debuted in 1997 with “Baltimore Blues.” “Hush, Hush,” the twelfth in the series, came out in 2015. Her latest book, “Sunburn,” is the tenth of her off-series novels; many of these have hit the New York Times bestseller list in a big way. Just released this week, “Sunburn” may be heading there to join them; starred pre-pub reviews are now joined by raves all in the daily papers and on websites.

Q&A with Baltimore Writer Timmy Reed, Author of ‘Kill Me Now’


Kill Me Now, by local author Timmy Reed, is the journal of a skateboarder named Miles Lover kept over the summer between 8th grade and high school. Miles has divorced parents who live on opposite ends of Roland Park, younger twin sisters, and no friends —  though he does see a fair bit of his pot dealer, whom he calls the Beaster Bunny. Midway through the summer, he develops a relationship with an old guy from the neighborhood named Mister Reese, along with his health aide, Diamontay, and their giant boa constrictor, Tickles.

Baltimore Writers Club #8: Four UB Alums Take Flight


A couple of years ago, my colleagues and I at the University of Baltimore Creative Writing MFA program watched with pride as D Watkins published The Cook Up and The Beast Side, a memoir and a collection of essays from two major publishing houses, and quickly became recognized as a major voice of his generation of African-American writers. D had just graduated from our relatively young program, and his level of success was a first for us.

Baltimore Writers Club #5: Don Lee’s Lonesome Lies Before Us


Here’s a preview … don’t miss the launch on June 22, 7 pm, at Bird in Hand.

According to the bio on the back of his fifth book, Lonesome Lies Before Us, Don Lee “splits his time between Philadelphia and Baltimore.” I laughed when I read this. Don’t most two-city authors split their time between San Francisco and Paris? Or New York and Rome?

Baltimore Writers Club #6: Madison Smartt Bell’s Behind the Moon


I’m sitting here trying to recover from reading Madison Smartt Bell’s new novel, which is quite unlike most anything else (except previous books by MSB – I’d recognize the ferocity of the prose style anywhere). I’m a little shaken, I’m spent, and I truly feel like I have been Somewhere Else.

Faux ‘Ruxton Academy’ Sets the Scene for Local Writer’s Latest Novel


The Trouble With Lexie book jacket

Baltimore Writers’ Club is an occasional series introducing new books from Baltimoreans.

Jessica Anya Blau fans — a significant voting bloc in Baltimore —will be found on their pool lounges this summer with another of her high-spirited, racy novels in hand. As usual, it’s a triple fudge sundae with sex, drugs, and money on top. This time, we’re at a fictional East Coast private school called Ruxton Academy, where guidance counselor Lexie James, 33, has gotten herself in a heap o’ trouble.

Baltimore Writer’s Club: Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall



An occasional series introducing new books from Baltimoreans

I really don’t know of any writer, living or dead, who fashions a funnier sentence than Jim Magruder, and I mean that in all seriousness. For many readers, the almost vertiginous hilarity of Magruder’s prose will be a source of unbridled pleasure while for aspiring literary comedians such as myself, that enjoyment must be mixed with venomous jealousy.

Loyola Prof Ron Tanner’s ‘Missile Paradise’ Takes Aim at Imperialism, Insularity, and Going Off the Grid



An occasional series introducing new books from Baltimoreans

Ron_TannerRon Tanner is a man who wears a lot of hats. He’s a professional jazz musician, a Loyola professor, a builder, and handyman, and a writer. But even as a writer, you can’t pin him down. When I first met him, he was working on a memoir about how he and his wife Jill bought a completely destroyed frat house in Charles Village and renovated it to its original glory, one window pane, banister rail, and brick at a time. That tale became From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story.

Liz Hazen’s ‘Chaos Theories’ Launches April 7


Liz Hazan artwork for book reading

‘Baltimore Writers Club’ is an occasional series by Marion Winik introducing new books from Baltimoreans.

One of the sweetest things about living in Baltimore has been the opportunity to be part of the active community of writers here, including the teachers and students I work with at UB, the authors I hear at readings, and many of those who sit in the audience with me. From this pool has come a group of friends who are the first readers and editors of each other’s work, something all writers need.

In this occasional series I’ll introduce new books from Baltimoreans I admire, and prevail on their authors to answer a few questions for Baltimore Fishbowl readers.