26 September 2009
Last weekend in September = too much of a good thing in this area (why is it always Feast or Famine when it comes to things to do?). The Baltimore Book Festival started yesterday (Friday 9/25) and runs through tomorrow (Sunday 9/27). Down the road a piece in Washington, the National Book Festival is today (Saturday 9/26). As I had to remind someone, the Library of Congress poached on OUR date....that darn encroaching Big Gubmint strikes again!
While DC has more Big Names, Baltimore's event gives people more of a chance to talk to authors and to check out what's going on here in the local scene. Like most things Baltimore it's smaller scale, relaxed, slightly scruffy, with (more than?)just a dash of eccentricity. After a few years of not doing any events at the Baltimore Festival, I'm paying for my past slackness by being part of a couple of programs, both on Sunday. First I'll be playing host to fellow Cave Canem Fellows Derrick Weston Brown, Kyle Dargan, Jadi Omowale, Venus Thrash, Jacqueline Jones LaMon, Tara Betts, and Kamau Rucker in the Creative Cafe (Kamau on guitar 12 Noon, reading 12:30 pm). Then at the CityLit tent at 5 pm I'll be moderating a dissussion with poets John Pursley III, Sue Ellen Thompson, Charlie Jensen and Rachel Eisler.
Cave Canem actually makes its first weekend appearance at the festival today (Saturday) at 4 pm with a panel asking "To Form or Not To Form" when writing poetry with Derrick Brown, Kyle Dargan and Tara Betts, moderated by Jadi Omowale -- and with me standing in the back cheering them on.