Waverly's National Historic Main Street District sign. Photo by Ed Gunts.

With just three weeks to go before their event starts, organizers of the new Waverly Book Festival have announced a long list of authors and booksellers who plan to take part.

The festival is being organized by Waverly Main Street, Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, and Peabody Heights Brewery after the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts failed to put on a Baltimore Book Festival since 2019.

“We made a Book Festival, y’all,” Red Emma’s posted this week on Facebook.

“April 28-30, join the Waverly and Abell neighborhoods for a 3-day celebration of Baltimore’s literary culture, featuring special appearances from out-of-town friends and local luminaries,” the announcement said. “Shop our wealth of local bookstores and publishers, visit our libraries and book exchanges, drink locally-brewed beer and eat food prepared right here on Greenmount Avenue!”

The festival includes a kickoff event on Friday evening; book talks and other programs all around Waverly on Saturday, and an outdoor book market with food, drinks and a festival stage on Sunday, in the lot at 32nd and Barclay streets where the 32nd Street Farmers Market is held on Saturdays. Reservations are not required.

As of April 4, the list of 33 participating authors, poets and photographers includes: adrienne maree brown; Tarana Burke; D. Watkins; Devin Allen; Ruha Benjamin; Baynard Woods; Hanif Abdurraqib; Lawrence Burney; Thomas Stanley; Peter Redgrave; Alanah Nicole Davis; Teri Henderson; Vanessa Bee; Osita Nwanevu; Lyle Jeremy Rubin; Tarak Barkawi and Shae McCoy.

Also, Sheri Booker; Mona Kabbani; Hailey Piper; Kristine Gaddy; Skiz Fernando; Chris Mason; Mark Jickling; Chris Ciattei; Heather Fuller, Joseph Grantham; Sylvia Jones; Ebony Williams; Theresa Runstedtler, Aiden Levy; Lawrence Jackson and Lester Spence.

In addition to Red Emma’s, participating booksellers include: Normal’s Books; Charm City Books; The Ivy; Bird in Hand; Snug Books; Urban Reads; The Book Thing; the Enoch Pratt Free Library; the Baltimore Museum of Art; AK Press; Breakthru Comics and Old Line Plate.

Food and drinks will be provided by Peabody Heights Brewery, Red Emma’s and others. Schedules of talks and readings are at redemmas.org, @NormalsBooks and other websites of participating merchants. More information is available at @waverlybookfestival and waverlybookfestival.com.

On Twitter, Red Emma’s took at dig at city leaders for not holding a book festival:

“Baltimore City: Sorry, no Book Festival this year,” it said. “Waverly: We got this.”

Ed Gunts is a local freelance writer and the former architecture critic for The Baltimore Sun.