CityLit Project

CityLit Festival Postponed Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Make a Donation to CityLit!

National Endowments for the Arts
MSAC: Vibrant Dazzling Diverse Engaging
Baltimore Promotion and The Arts
BCF Baltimore
University of Baltimore
Art Works - National Endowment for the Arts
See our other generous supporters here.

Proud Member of:


SET LIST: Schedule for Music-Themed CityLit Festival Set


The 12th annual CityLit Festival takes place at the glorious central branch of Pratt Library on Saturday, May 2. Called by Baltimore magazine a "can't miss event on the city's cultural scene," the free festival runs from 10am to 5pm.
This year's celebration of literature includes a celebration of music, too! WYPR’s Tom Hall talks with John Darnielle, frontman for the Mountain Goats, whose novel Wolf in White Van was long-listed for the National Book Award last fall. California punker Frank Portman, aka Dr. Frank, reads from King Dork Approximately, the sequel to his best-selling YA novel. Musician Jason Tinney’s new collection Ripple Meets the Deep includes a thread of stories about a downtrodden harmonica player. Gerry LaFemina—co-editor of a new anthology of poems inspired by The Clash's London Calling, will debut Clash by Night at CityLit.

CityLit Festival
Saturday, May 2, 2015
Pratt Library
400 Cathedral Street, 21201

Book sales courtesy of The Ivy Bookshop

Wheeler Auditorium

11am Rock and the Written Word


Writers who moonlight as rockers take the stage to discuss the differences and affinities between writing for the eye or writing for the ear. Poet Gerry LaFemina, short story author Jason Tinney, and young adult novelist Frank Portman join Baynard Woods, City Paper’s arts editor, for the jam session.

12pm Clash by Night Book Launch

Editors Gerry LaFemina (director, Frostburg Center for Creative Writing) and Gregg Wilhelm (director, CityLit Project) unveil Clash by Night, an anthology inspired by The Clash’s seminal album, London Calling, and the debut title in CityLit Press’s new Lo-fi Poetry Series (where “poets cover your record collection”).

1pm Poetry in Medicine: An Anthology of Poems About Doctors, Patients, Illness, and Healing


Editor Michael Salcman talks about the literary effort to compile this meticulously researched anthology, with readings by local contributors Shirley Brewer, Clarinda Harriss, and Jennifer Wallace. Dr. Salcman will read selections from some of the dearly departed poets who appear in the book. Hosted by Laura Shovan, poetry editor, Little Patuxent Review.

3pm John Darnielle

John Darnielle, long-listed for the National Book Award in Fall 2014 for Wolf in White Van and frontman for the group the Mountain Goats talks, with WYPR’s Tom Hall. A review in the New York Times stated: “Over the course of the story, as the wily and guarded first-person narrator unspools the clues back to the triggering, life-altering choice that cannot be undone, Darnielle gradually peels back the layers of the game world to reveal the hurt kid inside. {The novel} is a stunning meditation on the power of escape, and on the cat-and-mouse contest the self plays to deflect its own guilt.”

Fine Arts Department (2nd Floor)

11am Baltimore’s Little Italy

Join Suzanna Molino Singleton, author of Baltimore’s Little Italy, and special guests to explore what makes Little Italy one of Baltimore’s most enduring, most endearing neighborhoods. Suzanna is a native Baltimorean and the founder and director of the nonprofit organization, Promotion Center for Little Italy. She is the granddaughter of four Italian immigrants from Abruzzi and Sardinia.

12:30pm Comic Book Superheroes: Modern Literature, Modern Mythology


Why are all those colorful, crusading comic book heroes more popular than ever? What do they tell us about ourselves as individuals and as a nation, from their arrival in the late 1930s to the present day? Superheroes are a potent pantheon of pop culture symbols in our society, a modern mythological chronicle of our high-flying aspirations and darkest fears. Pop culture expert Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg lifts the cape of these amazing characters to explore their role in our modern literature and popular culture. Hosted by Gabriella Souza, arts editor, Baltimore magazine.

1:30pm New Mercury Readings


Deborah Rudacille and John Barry, hosts of the popular monthly nonfiction reading series, present Pamela Gerhardt (memoir, Lucky That Way), Michael Kimball (novelist, Big Ray), Matt Porterfield (writer-director, I Used To Be Darker), and Nancy Murray (memoir, One Child for Another).

Poe Room (2nd Floor)

11am 4th Annual Pratt Poetry Contest


Enjoy this reading by winners of Pratt Library’s fourth annual poetry contest presented in partnership with Little Patuxent Review.  Readers include Inga Lea Schmidt (contest winner), Ann Bracken, James Carroll, and Micia White.  Hosted by LPR editor Steven Leyva.

12pm Poetry Readings


Join poets Lalita Noronha (Her Skin Phyllo-Thin), James Arthur (Charms Against Lightning), and Danuta E. Kosk-Kosicka (winner of the Harriss Poetry Prize for Oblige the Light) with host Barbara Diehl, senior editor of The Baltimore Review.

1pm Short Story Readings


Join two local writers with terrific new short story collections—Jason Tinney (Ripple Meets the Deep) and Lucas Southworth (Everyone Here Has a Gun)—for a reading and discussion about the art form. Hosted by Holly Morse-Ellington, editor, The Baltimore Review.

2pm SKYPE Conversation with Steve Berry


Bestselling author Steve Berry joins the festival for a conversation via Skype. Berry’s new book, The Patriot Threat, along with signed bookplates, will be available for purchase at the festival. 

School and Student Services (2nd Floor)

12pm The Real Lives of Romance Writers


Real life is never as steamy as it is in a book. In this session, three best-selling romance writers will talk about finding inspiration for their work, how to balance real relationships with fictional ones, and how to generate future story ideas from life inside the real world. Join Mary McCarthy (The Scarlet Letter Society), Laura Kaye (Hard To Come By), and A.C. Arthur (Hunger’s Mate) as they discuss steamy motivations for plot lines, characters, and dialogue.

1:30pm Punk and Prose


Join young adult novelist Frank Portman (aka Dr. Frank of The Mr. T Experience) and poet/novelist Gerry LaFemina (Expletive Deleted and Tom Collins and the Cocktail Shakers) for a reading from their literary work: Portman from his young adult sequel, King Dork Approximately, and LaFemina from his recent novel, Clamor. Hosted by Aaron Henkin, “The Signal” on WYPR.

Main Hall (1st Floor)

All Day -- Literary Marketplace


Meet and talk literature with more than 60 exhibitors representing self-published authors, editorial services, lit journals, and more!



back to news

© Copyright 2020 CityLit Project | Created and Powered by Mission Media