Baltimore Writers Club

Baltimore: Great Poets Live Here


Steven Leyva, The Understudy’s Handbook. Washington Writers’ Publishing House. 2020
Elizabeth Hazen, Girls Like Us. Alan Squire Publishing. 2020
Dora Malech, Flourish. Carnegie Mellon University Press. 2020

At least several times a week, it occurs to me that this needs to be our city motto. There’s a deep pool of poetic talent in this town. Here we take a look at new collections from three of our best.

Q&A With Adam Schwartz, local writer and author of ‘The Rest of the World’


In his award-winning collection, “The Rest of the World,” veteran high school teacher Adam Schwartz imagines the lives of teenagers in Baltimore City’s broken neighborhoods. With action-packed, often heartbreaking plotlines, vivid settings, and screen-ready dialogue, eight stories make it clear how carefully Schwartz has observed and listened, how deeply he has felt, in his decades in and out of the classroom.

Baltimore Writers’ Club: Q&A with local writer Justin Sanders, editor of ‘The Horror is Us’


Halloween feels different this year. Masks are now everyday attire; unable to tell friend from foe, we perceive threat everywhere. A shroud hovers in the air from coast to coast. Our fellow Americans are gasping for breath. In short, it’s hard to take pleasure in fear.

Q&A with Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David Linden, on the science of human individuality and his book ‘Unique’


As of this writing, there are – give or take – 7,815,637,687 human beings living on planet Earth.  This staggeringly large number is made even more unfathomable by the fact that each one of us is unique in the particular combination of features that make us, well, us.

How we become the individuals we become is the fascinating question that Johns Hopkins Neuroscience professor David J. Linden explores in his latest book “Unique: The New Science of Human Individuality.”  It is a big question, and Linden tackles not only the roles that genetics and experience play in shaping who we are, but also the varieties of human experiences found in traits ranging from food and sexual preference to gender and race – and more.

Baltimore Writer’s Club: Q&A with JHU prof and author Andrew H. Miller



It’s hard to imagine a more opportune time to contemplate the lives we’re not leading. After five months of quarantine, however, finding the motivation to do so might be even harder. Where to begin? How to proceed? Luckily, Johns Hopkins English professor Andrew H. Miller has written the perfect guidebook to accompany us on this journey.

How a Baltimore Singer/Songwriter Predicted This Whole Mess: Q&A With Sarah Pinsker, Author of ‘A Song For A New Day’


Back in September 2019, local sci-fi/fantasy author Sarah Pinsker launched her first novel, A Song for a New Day, with an event at the Ivy Bookshop. An award-winning author of short science fiction and fantasy, Pinsker’s short stories have been translated into many languages and are collected in Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea. In addition to being a successful author, Pinsker is also a singer/songwriter with three albums and a local darling rock band called the Stalking Horses.

Q&A with Matthew Norman, author of ‘Last Couple Standing’


Calling all readers who have enjoyed recognizing Charm City landmarks in the novels of Anne Tyler – Matthew Norman’s entertaining new domestic comedy, “Last Couple Standing,” is Baltimore to the bone. While Tyler’s characters traditionally shop at Eddie’s on Roland Ave, Norman’s crowd has moved to the suburbs, so shop at Graul’s. But they frequently come into town for scenes at Bar Vasquez (where they reminisce about when it used to be Pazo), the Greene Turtle, Bond Street Social, Towsontown Mall, the Ivy Bookshop, the Under Armour store, the Senator Theatre, Tark’s, and more.  And they don’t need a GPS to get around. “In the city, Falls Road is as congested and annoying as any other street in Baltimore. In the suburbs, though it opens up into a scenic highway through horse farms, like you’re time traveling.”

Q&A with Laura Bogart, Goucher grad and local author of ‘Don’t You Know I Love You’


“The best thing that ever happened to my writing life was breaking my ankle,” Baltimore author Laura Bogart proclaimed in 2015. At the time of the accident, Bogart, now 37, was writing mainly nonfiction, and she’d already met with success as an essayist. Her personal reflections on a range of hot-button topics—sizeism and feminism, politics and pop culture—often went viral on Salon. (She’s now a featured writer at The Week and a contributing editor at DAME).

Baltimore Writers’ Club: A Q&A with Jessica Anya Blau and Tracy Walder about ‘The Unexpected Spy’


In 2015, popular Baltimore novelist Jessica Anya Blau (The Trouble With Lexie, The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, etc.) decided to try her hand at something completely different — ghostwriting. After working behind-the-scenes on a few books, including a bestselling memoir of child abuse and dysfunction, she was offered the opportunity to collaborate on a very different project – the memoir of a sorority girl from the University of Southern California who ended up working for the CIA and the FBI. An ex-spy named Tracy Walder, then a high school teacher in Dallas, was ready to tell her story.

Q&A With Malka Older, Author of “…and Other Disasters”


It’s hard to do much better in describing Malka Older’s unusual new collection, “…and Other Disasters,” published by Baltimore-based Mason Jar Press, than sci-fi king Bruce Sterling, who commented that Older is like “a psychoanalyst in a planetary refugee camp.”