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Baltimore Fishbowl’s Betsy Boyd Named Style Mag EIC

Betsy Boyd
Betsy Boyd

There’s a new editor-in-chief at Baltimore Style magazine and it’s our own Betsy Boyd. Writer, teacher, mother (of toddler twins!), Betsy, 42, was recently named to head up the magazine after working there as freelance senior editor for the past year. Her first issue will come in January. She’ll continue with the Baltimore Fishbowl as literary editor. Inline image 1

The Boomer and the Boomerang: A Love Story

mother and son
The author and her son.

Lots of birthdays this month. Baltimore Fishbowl is turning seven, and with it the Bohemian Rhapsody column; meanwhile I am celebrating my 60th, and my son Hayes turned 30 at the end of April. In honor of all this, we’re re-posting the very first column I wrote for the Fishbowl… commissioned and edited by my dear Betsy Boyd, who shares my birthdate. The essay captures a time in our lives that seems long ago already; it, along with many of its successors, became part of the raw material for Highs in the Low Fifties, published in 2013.  As for highs in the low sixties, one of the reasons I didn’t write a new piece this month is that I’ve been working on my one-woman show, Portrait of the Artist as a Sad Little Girl in New Jersey. It will premiere at the University of Baltimore Wright Theater May 24, 7 p.m. One show only. It’s part of a works-in-progress series where the audience stays on after the show and gives feedback.

Originally published May 24, 2011 – Last spring, my son Hayes graduated from Georgetown with a degree in finance and was immediately offered a six-figure salary in New York City at one of the big banks. I was amazed. In 1978, when I graduated from Brown with a degree in Russian History, I could hardly land a four-figure job at the 7-11.

Off he went to Manhattan, but things very quickly went very badly. His girlfriend, the beauteous Queen of Ecuador (she was from an illustrious South American family and looked like Penelope Cruz), dumped him two days after he got there. Meanwhile, the six-week training program at the bank was mind-numbingly dull. And while he had not liked New York when he’d lived there as an intern his junior summer, this time, he really hated it. Just making his way from his apartment to the subway in the sweaty morning rush hour crowd was almost more than he could take.

The Next Room: Life After a Suicide Attempt


photo by Betsy Boyd

University of Baltimore MFA student Sierra Hallmen recounts her young love, lust, and suicide attempt, and what they taught her.

I have a thing for bodies. I love the way they look, what they wear, how they talk to me and to each other. I need to know what skin does when I can’t see it. I have a thing for the way bodies are when they’re doing body things, like legs crouching over public toilets or feet tiptoe jumping into skin-tight jeans. I love the shape of thighs, fatty handles, jaw bones, crow’s feet. Each a postage stamp of things done, undone or yet to be done. Each a howl in the dark night saying, touch me, I’m warm. Ask me about my body and I’ll tell you its story: the itches, the dry spots, the wet ones, the love, the languid slip between creases into folds or curves or bone jags, the rift between where my body ends and another begins, the unending parting.

Hot Reading at Artifact on Monday, October 27



If you haven’t been to Artifact Coffee for the popular Starts Here! reading series, sponsored by the Ivy Bookshop, this Monday October 27, 7 pm, might be the night to start. The Baltimore Fishbowl’s own Literary Editor Betsy Boyd will read from works in progress, and two-time National Book Award nominee Howard Norman will read from his recently published ghost story of a novel, Next Life Might Be Kinder.

Fear of Injection


shotdrugBetsy Boyd – Baltimore Fishbowl senior ed. – discovers that fertility shots really make you want…your mommy. This essay was originally published at It is part of an ongoing series.

“You can’t reap your harvest without first planting seeds, right?”

My Chilean fertility doctor thinks farming metaphors can help someone woefully unscientific like me understand the intricacies of ART—assisted reproductive technology, for the uninitiated.

Sperm Donor #4282: A Love Story



Part 1: In which Baltimore Fishbowl Senior Editor Betsy Boyd and her husband select their sperm donor.

In the last year, over the course of four IUIs (intrauterine inseminations) and one IVF (in-vitro fertilization) procedure, I have purchased millions of sperm “donated” by men whose names, ages, and places of birth remain unknown to me.

This Thanksgiving, Help a Needy Family at Apples & Oranges


apples & oranges

Apples & Oranges Fresh Market, the community grocery store on North Avenue that Betsy Boyd profiled in March, is providing a way for you to give back to your city this Thanksgiving. Michele Speaks-March, the store’s owner, explains how:

“Thanksgiving is fast approaching so Apples and Oranges Fresh Market would like to ask that you share the spirit with a family less fortunate by purchasing a holiday basket.  It’s easy.  Just call 410-235-2900 by November 22nd.  For $45 a family of four to six will be provided a turkey and the fixings.  If you want to support more than one family that would be terrific.  Have a wonderful holiday!”

You can learn more about Apples & Oranges at

The Morning After: What Was Your Most Satisfying Thanksgiving Delicacy, Baltimore?


We asked a few friends (and family) of the Baltimore Fishbowl to tell us what they cooked, creamed, cocktailed and gobbled during yesterday’s Thanksgiving meal. Below: a fun sampling. What did you prepare? What’s left over? What did you eat much too much of? Tell us below!

Ginger Juleps (pictured above)

“We made ginger juleps with Bulleit Bourbon, ginger syrup, fresh mint, bitter lemon soda and lime.” –”Bohemian Rhapsody” columnist Marion Winik