Tag: Jen Michalski

STARTS HERE! The Ivy Bookshop Reading Series Tonight at Artifact Coffee


Starts Here! At Artifact Coffee


Monday, August 25, 2014 – 7:00pm

Jen Michalski hosts the August installment of our Starts Here! series. The evening will feature readings by Michael Kimball, Sarah Pinsker,Matthew Zingg.


By The Author

Michael Kimball is the author of seven books, including GalagaBig Ray, and Dear Everybody. His work has been translated into a dozen languages, and featured on NPRs All Things Considered and in Vice, as well as in The Guardian and Bomb.

Sarah Pinsker‘s novelette In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind, won the 2014 Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award and was a finalist for the Nebula Award. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Baltimore City Paper, and more, and in anthologies including Long HiddenFierce Family, and The Future Embodied. She co-hosts the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s Dangerous Voices Variety Hour, a reading series/quiz show.

Matthew Zingg’s work can be found in Blackbird, Muzzle, Sink Review, The Madison Review, The Awl, HTML Giant, 32 Poems, The Rumpus, The Paris-American, and Everyday Genius among others. Originally from Tennessee, Zingg now lives in Baltimore, where he hosts the Federal Dust Reading Series.


Bad Girls: An Interview with Paula Bomer



Paula Bomer is the girl you smoked your first cigarette with in the girls’ bathroom or, as an underage girl, took a beer bong hit at some off-campus party. You listened to Patti Smith and Laurie Anderson together, and she always seemed to date a guy who looked like Paul Westerberg of The Replacements.

The Asylum of the Heart: An Interview with Maud Casey



Maud Casey’s latest novel, The Man Who Walked Away (Bloomsbury, 2014), is the real life-inspired tale of the nineteenth-century Frenchman Albert Dadas who, in the first documented case of fugue, wandered Europe in a mysterious state of amnesia. After Casey’s character Albert Dadas meets the imaginary asylum doctor (named “Doctor”), the novel becomes an irresistible study in contrasts. The Man Who Walked Away has been praised by The Washington Post and NPR.  Casey will read along with authors D. Foy and Joseph Riipi at the Ivy Bookstore’s Starts Here! reading series at Artifact Coffee on Monday, April 28th at 7:00 pm.  
Starts Here! cohost Sandy Fink talked with Casey about The Man Who Walked Away and the connections between pathological wanderlust and the search for “home.”

Sandy Fink:  It is a pleasure to welcome you to Starts Here! on April 28, 7:00 at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore.  You teach at the University of Maryland, so I assume you’ve been to Baltimore…

Maud Casey:  I lived in Baltimore for three years, from 2002-2005.  I was writer-in-residence at Gilman School for a year, and then was hired by the University of Maryland to teach in the MFA Program.

The Virgins: An Interview with Pamela Erens



Pamela Erens’ second novel, The Virgins (Tin House Books, 2013), the tale of sexually abstinent boarding school teenagers Aviva Rossner and Seung Jung,  was included in several notable and best books lists of 2013, including both the New Yorker and the New Republic.  Erens will read along with Baltimore authors John Rowell and Jennifer Lee at the Ivy Bookstore’s Starts Here! reading series at Artifact Coffee on Monday, March 31st at 7:00 pm.  Starts Here! cohost Sandy Fink talked with Erens about The Virgins as well as her critically acclaimed first book, The Understory, and her first visit to Baltimore:

Sandy Fink:  Hi Pamela.  We’re really looking forward to hosting you at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore on March 31st.  Have you ever been to Baltimore?

Pamela Erens: Not really. I passed through on the way back from Charleston a few years ago.  I’m looking forward to coming back and meeting some readers and writers there. 

Diving into the Wreck: An Interview with Laura van den Berg


Laura C2Laura van den Berg’s second collection of stories, The Isle of Youth, will be remembered as the one that catapulted her from indie-press steerage to first-class cruising with contemporaries Karen Russell, Josh Weil, Alissa Nutting, and Adele Waldman. Not that her first collection, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, was overlooked; it was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, longlisted for The Story Prize, and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Award. The Florida-born van den Berg, who spent several years teaching in Baltimore before moving to Boston with novelist and husband Paul Yoon earlier this year, is returning to the Charm City to read from Isle with novelist Katharine Noel on January 7th.  Jen Michalski, host of Starts Here! (the new Ivy Bookshop reading series held at Artifact Coffee), interviewed van den Berg about the rather-human islands that populate her work.–van den Berg reads with Katharine Noel at the Artifact Coffee, Tuesday, January 7th at 7 p.m.–visit the Ivy Bookshop’s website for more information.

12-Bell Blues: An Interview with Novelist Madison Smartt Bell


madisonsmarttbellphotoA rolling stone gathers no moss, and neither does the writer Madison Smartt Bell. The author of 20 novels, including All Souls’ Rising (which was a finalist in 1995 for the National Book Award and PEN/Faulkner Award and winner of the 1996 Anisfeld-Wolf award for best book of the year addressing race), Bell is as prolific as he is unpredictable, and 2013-14 is no exception. In the spring, Bell’s novel Behind the Moon will be released by upstart publisher Dymaxicon, and this month, Concord Free Press will release  Zig-Zag Wanderer,  two decades of stories set in the United States, Haiti, and beyond, under an innovative publishing paradigm. This limited-edition collection will be given away for free (yes, you read that correctly). Jen Michalski, host of Starts Here! (the new Ivy Bookshop reading series held at Artifact Coffee), interviewed Madison Smartt Bell about the crazy rhythms that run through his work. Bell reads at the Ivy, Wednesday, December 11th at 7 p.m.–visit the store’s website for more information.

Complicated Knots: An Interview with Justin Kramon


Justin KramonJustin Kramon is as unpredictable as he is sweet. In his debut novel, Finny, a tender coming-of-age story, Kramon showed great sensitivity in portraying female characters, particularly the title character, Finny, a fiery young redhead from Baltimore. So why did Kramon decide to make his follow-up novel, The Preservationist, a thriller? Jen Michalski, host of Starts Here! (the new Ivy Bookshop reading series held at Artifact Coffee), interviewed Kramon about the surprising evils that lurk in the hearts of his characters. Look for her new Prologue lit column monthly at Baltimore Fishbowl. And take note: Kramon reads at the Ivy, Tuesday, October 22 at 7 p.m.–visit the store’s website for more information.

 Jen Michalski: In both your novels, Finny and now The Preservationist, there’s a strong female protagonist and an equally strong and engaging coming-of-age story. The twist in The Preservationist, however, is the introduction of a serial killer. As someone who I consider one of the most sensitive writers on the planet, where did *that* come from?

Justin Kramon: Thanks for the kind words about the novel. In kindergarten, the teacher once told me I was “sensitive,” and I got very upset.  I think I cried, thereby proving her theory.  I don’t cry anymore when people call me sensitive, but I do occasionally wet myself.

The Extra-Large Baltimore Lit Parade for December: John Barth, Stephen Dixon, Justin Sirois, Jen Michalski, and More Greats!

John Barth
John Barth

IVY10-e1350927055992We’re pleased to present writer Joseph Martin’s The Ivy Bookshop-sponsored column for the Baltimore Fishbowl, “The Lit Parade,” a celebration and thoughtful examination of the epic local lit scene that too often goes unreported, unread.

Once again, we’re at the (briefly) snow-covered tail end of a year’s worth of reading, and this particular annum has been a doozy – from brainy juvenilia revisions to collections of darkly funny riffs, serial novels about truly killer apps, small-run poetry chapbooks, and at least one sorely needed history of Charm City’s booze trade, 2012 has given fans of local lit a veritable Santa’s sack of new, distinctive writing.  That in mind, this month’s Lit Parade is devoted to excavating some stuff you may have missed and giving some Baltimore Fishbowl favorites another round of praise.  Let the lists commence: