Tag: marion winik

Tomorrow at The Ivy: Marion Winik Presents Clifford Chase And James Magruder

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upcoming

Marion Winik Presents: Clifford Chase And James Magruder

Thursday, June 19, 2014 7:00pm

winik event

Tonight: Ivy Book Party for Blau/Winik’s Riotous Releases, “Wonder Bread Summer” and “Highs in the Low Fifties”

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The writers in the wilds of Roland Park.
The writers in the wilds of the Evergreen neighborhood. Left, Winik; right, Blau.

Think Laverne and Shirley, Lucy and Ethel, Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet are double funny female duos? Well, okay…but you haven’t seen novelist — and goddess of the comic sex scene — Jessica Blau go head to head with the mother of all memoirists — and beloved Baltimore Fishbowl/”Bohemian Rhapsody” columnist — Marion Winik. Don’t despair. Now you can! This Friday night at 7 at the Ivy Bookshop you can see and hear these two witty (and visually pleasing) women writers extraordinaire read excerpts from their latest laughers and ask them to sign your copy. I’m sure they will. Probably they will write something extremely amusing just for you. You might develop a literary crush on one or both. That’s well and good, but don’t reach out and touch them without permission. It’s not that kind of book party. Here’s what will happen.

After Vozzella: Will Her Truth-Telling Voice Fade Away?

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Yesterday marked for The Baltimore Sun the first Thursday without Laura Vozzella’s witty, snarky, tell-it-like-is presence.

After 11 years as a Sun writer and almost six as columnist, the astute reporter (and sassy observer) has relocated to The Washington Post, which leaves us wondering who her replacement might be — who could fill her wise word-count, if indeed she’s being replaced at all? (No sign of a new columnist, and no gossip on the street, could very well mean the ever-shrinking paper considers the provocative city column category said and done.)

If so, it’s a shame. We’ve relished Vozzella’s insights. We loved these highlights from her farewell column last week, in which she thanked high-profiles locals who made her revealing columns hilariously readable and teachable: “Former Mayor Dixon, for your passion for furs, Jimmy Choos and a married man doing business with the city. Developers A, B and C, for all those gift cards you donated to Mayor Dixon’s favorite charity: Mayor Dixon. Olympian Michael Phelps, for taking that Vegas cocktail waitress home to meet mom one Thanksgiving…A convention of out-of-town bishops, for downing $55 bottles of wine at Cinghiale…A Catholic priest Who Shall Not Be Named, for denouncing me from the pulpit of my own church for writing about the aforementioned bishops…Molly Shattuck, the Grandma Moses of NFL cheerleading, for proving motherhood and ripped abs are not mutually exclusive….Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, for scolding a constituent who called you “Stephanie,” overcoming your Cleopatra-wig phase and managing to always look bored with the family business (politics), even when the job brings you within inches of Barack Obama.”

Just in case the brightest Sun powers that be are considering cocky columnist applicants, here are some candidate ideas from BFB:

Justin Fenton, Baltimore Sun reporter–has been named best reporter by City Paper and Baltimore Magazine. Pros: He’s a skilled and dogged crime reporter, a solid writer, and well-trained journalist. Cons: He’s likely a tad too serious to tackle the gig’s fun-poking requirements.

Max Weiss, editor of Baltimore Magazine
Pros: She’s funny, clever, and well-versed in pop culture and politics. Cons: She might love Baltimore a little too much to knock our heroes from their pedestals.

Marion Winik, nonfiction writer, poet, Baltimore Fishbowl columnist
Pros: She’s intelligent; knows what’s happening around town, around the world.
Cons: Her best, most heartfelt writing may be found in those small moments in which she takes ruthless aim at herself, rather than the jerks all around her.

Which local thinker/scribe would you nominate to be Vozzella’s replacement? Let us hear.

This Saturday: Writing You Can Dance to

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A great live reading can be as stimulating as good live music. Saturday afternoon at the Windup Space catch the New Mercury nonfiction reading series featuring Fishbowl’s very own “Bohemian Rhapsody” columnist Marion Winik. This gig always welcomes a diverse group of talented readers — and often performs terrifically. Other readers include Jay Imbrenda, quick-witted chair of the lit arts department at Carver, poet/author/musician Bruce A. Jacobs, whose latest book, Race Manners for the 21st Century, was published by Arcade/Skyhorse, and fiction writer Caryn Coyle, whose latest short story, “Ballerina,” appears in the current issue of Little Patuxent Review.

Winik is the author of eight books of creative nonfiction and poetry, most recently The Glenrock Book of the Dead (Counterpoint, 2008). She gave us a hint about her Saturday performance.

“There is nothing funner to me than doing a reading–and I especially enjoy the risk of reading from new work, as I plan to do at New Mercury on Saturday,” Winik says. “I’m going to read something similar to the ‘Desperate Housewives of Roland Park’ that ran in Fishbowl, another funny/sad chapter from the memoir I’m working on — but one that has never seen the light of day. Of course, it’s scary to reveal these stories, scariest when it’s the first time, but this kind of fear is useful to me as a performer. I have everything at stake in bringing the audience into my emotional space. At its best it’s like stand-up comedy and stand-up tragedy combined!”

Saturday, 5:30-7:30
The Windup Space
12 W. North Avenue

Marion Winik to Contribute Brainy/Confessional Fishbowl Column

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In her new “Bohemian Rhapsody” column for Baltimore Fishbowl, set to launch tomorrow morning, Marion Winik continues the low-boundaries yet eerily relatable approach to storytelling that made her a popular commentator on “All Things Considered” for 15 years. Today a once-widowed, once-divorced, fifty-something single mother, Winik has been writing about growing up, parenting, relationships and various social and cultural matters since the early 80s. Her hope in her Baltimore Fishbowl column is to continue to make people feel better about themselves by revealing her stupid decisions, pushover attitude and amazing powers of rationalization. To be a boon to the self-esteem of her peers: This is why she writes.

Asbury Park, New Jersey native Winik started out as a poet (nonstop, 1981, BoyCrazy, 1986, both out-of-print but online at marionwinik.com.)  In 1987, she began writing essays for a Texas alternative weekly, The Austin Chronicle, and through a series of lucky breaks, ended up on NPR. As a result, magazines like Redbook, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmo, and Men’s Journal began to publish her work and her first collection of essays, Telling, came out from Random House in 1994.

When her first husband Tony — a gay bartender/ice skater she met at Mardi Gras — died of AIDS in 1994, she was left with two young sons. Her memoir First Comes Love (1996) tells the story of their marriage and wrestles with issues like sexual preference, IV drug abuse, terminal illness, assisted suicide and whether there’s really anything good about Disney World. It was a New York Times Notable Book and has been in development as a feature film for many years now. All kinds of fancy people have been involved (Henry Winkler, Ally Sheedy, Kathy Bates, even Pink), but nothing much has ever happened.

Her next book, The Lunch-Box Chronicles: Notes from the Parenting Underground (1998) revealed the surprising bearability of her life as the widowed single mom of two little boys. It was selected by Child Magazine as a parenting book of the year and was made into a pilot for a TV series by CBS/Universal. Monica Potter played Winik, and parts were invented for Steve Carrell, Andy Richter, and a sheepdog. As you might expect, the sheepdog was the kiss of death and the pilot was filmed but never aired.

In 1999, she left Austin for a second marriage in Pennsylvania. By this time she was teaching writing — today she is a prof in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore — and working for O, More, Ladies’ Home Journal, Real Simple and The New York Times Magazine. After a talk at her old high school in New Jersey, she wrote an advice book called Rules for the Unruly: Living an Unconventional Life (2001), since adapted into a greeting card and refrigerator magnet — the real moneymakers, as she will readily tell you. The magnet was followed by Above Us Only Sky in 2005 and The Glen Rock Book of the Dead in 2007.

But what impresses people most of all, usually, is that Marion Winik was on “Oprah.” Yeah, well, it wasn’t awesome as you think. Story for another time. These days she is working on a new book, Love in the Time of Baltimore, from which chapters (“The Boomer and the Boomerang,” “Desperate Housewives of Roland Park“) will be featured from time to time in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

To learn more about Marion Winik, go to marionwinik.com.

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