Podcast offerings from the Enoch Pratt Free Library / Maryland State Library Resource Center, featuring many author's appearances at the public library of Baltimore, MD.
Writers LIVE! Mary Rizzo, Come and Be Shocked: Baltimore beyond John Waters and The Wire
Mary Rizzo is in conversation with Wesley Wilson and Melvin Brown. In Come and Be Shocked, Mary Rizzo examines the cultural history and racial politics of these contrasting images of the city. From the 1950s, a period of urban crisis and urban renewal, to the early twenty-first century, Rizzo looks at how artists created powerful images of Baltimore. How, Rizzo asks, do the imaginary cities created by artists affect the real cities that we live in? How does public policy (intentionally or not) shape the kinds of cultural representations that artists create? And why has the relationship between artists and Baltimore city officials been so fraught, resulting in public battles over film permits and censorship? To answer these questions, Rizzo explores the rise of tourism, urban branding, and citizen activism. She considers artists working in the margins, from the East Baltimore poets writing in Chicory, a community magazine funded by the Office of Economic Opportunity, to a young John Waters, who shot his early low-budget movies on the streets, guerrilla-style. She also investigates more mainstream art, from the teen dance sensation The Buddy Deane Show to the comedy-drama Roc to the crime show The Wire, from Anne Tyler's award-winning book The Accidental Tourist to Barry Levinson's movie classic Diner. Mary Rizzo is an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University–Newark. She is the author of Class Acts: Young Men and the Rise of Lifestyle and founder of the Chicory Revitalization Project. Melvin E. Brown was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Columbia University and is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. He was the longest serving editor of Chicory Magazine published by the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Community Action Program (1966-1983). Melvin is a former faculty member at Sojourner Douglass College and Towson University, where he taught African American Literature and Creative Writing. Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by a bequest from The Miss Howard Hubbard Adult Programming Fund.
Baltimore Vote! with Michael J. Wilson
Join us for a talk by Michael J. Wilson in honor of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 22. The right to vote has been a continuing journey of expanding civic rights. In the beginning, the only people who could vote were white male land-owners (even in Maryland you had to own at least fifty acres of land). This journey has been led by movements (women’s suffrage, civil rights, labor unions, etc.) by political parties (Democratic, Republican, and independent parties like the Communists, Socialists and Greens) and often by candidates. At times, the government itself has led efforts for enfranchising voters. In Michael J. Wilson's collection, he has focused on the movements, parties, and government--not on candidates. The reasons why people register and vote has been as wide-ranging as anti-smoking to tenants’ rights to marriage equality. It’s about using pop art, fine art, and celebrities. The history of voting rights in United States is also the story of growing diversity, inclusion, and democratizing political power. Join us for a conversation about this history. A member of the American Political Items Collectors, Michael J. Wilson has participated in voter registration campaigns for Planned Parenthood, the NAACP and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and led registration and get-out-vote campaigns in many states, including Florida, New Hampshire, and Michigan. He is a registered voter in Baltimore City.
Brown Lecture Series: Dapper Dan, Made in Harlem: A Memoir
Dapper Dan is in conversation with Mykel Hunter of WEAA about his life and work. With his eponymous store on 125th Street, Dapper Dan pioneered streetwear in the early 1980s, co-opting luxury branding to design original garments with high-end detail. Known for using exquisite leathers, furs, and other fine materials, he first drew powerful New York City hustlers as clientele, who all came due to his strong street reputation as a legendary professional gambler and dandy. He then went on to outfit entertainers and other celebrities, including Eric B. & Rakim, LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, Mike Tyson, Missy Elliott, JAY-Z, Beyonce, Aaliyah, P. Diddy, Floyd Mayweather, and many more. Dapper Dan has been featured on platforms including The New York Times, Elle, Vogue, W, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, CNN, and Netflix. His works have been on display at The Smithsonian, The Museum at FIT, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. Dapper Dan’s boutique reopened in 2017 in a major partnership with Gucci. His memoir, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem is a New York Times Bestseller. Thank you to our program supporters: The Ruth Enlow Library, Carroll County Public Library, Prince George's County Memorial Library System. The Brown Lecture Series is supported by the Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Foundation.
Ray Bradbury and the Future of Speculative Fiction
Happy 100th birthday, Ray Bradbury! Bring your own dandelion wine to this virtual celebration. Justina Ireland, Michael Swanwick, Sam Weller, and David Wright share readings of Bradbury and join in a discussion of his legacy moderated by Sarah Pinsker. Justina Ireland lives with her husband, kid, cats, and dog in Maryland. She is the author of both full-length books and short fiction and considers words to be her best friends. She has written a number of books, including Star Wars books for children. You can find her books Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows, as well as the New York Times best seller Dread Nation and its sequel Deathless Divide, wherever books are sold. You can visit her at her website: justinaireland.com. Sarah Pinsker’s fiction has won the Nebula, Sturgeon, and Philip K. Dick Awards, and her 50-plus published stories include finalists for the Hugo, World Fantasy, and other awards. Her first collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea (Small Beer Press), and her first novel, Song For A New Day (Berkley), were published in 2019. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums and another forthcoming. Michael Swanwick is one of the most acclaimed and prolific science fiction and fantasy writers of his generation. He is the recipient of the Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards as well as five Hugo Awards. His most recent novel, The Iron Dragon's Mother, completes a trilogy begun 25 years before with The Iron Dragon's Daughter. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Marianne Porter. Photo credit: Mikey Mongol. Sam Weller is the two-time Bram Stoker Award-winning biographer of Ray Bradbury. He worked with the legendary author for 12 years on four books and a graphic novel. Weller's The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury was a national best seller. Weller's latest book, Dark Black, a collection of new American Gothic short fiction, is available now. Weller is a professor in the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. You can follow him on twitter @Sam__Weller. David Wright is a librarian with the Reader Services department at The Seattle Public Library, working out of the big downtown branch, where for over 15 years he has presented—and now podcasts—the library's Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Grownups. Ray Bradbury is among his very favorite writers, and he has enjoyed sharing his tales in senior centers, shelters, bookstores, bars, and libraries. He will be presenting two segments of Fahrenheit 451 for the Bradbury Center's Centennial Read-A-Thon, which begins streaming on August 22nd. Pictured clockwise from top left: Justina Ireland, Sarah Pinsker, Michael Swanwick, Sam Weller, David Wright.
Visions of the Future Panel Discussion
Featuring artists Valeria Fuentes, Phaan Howng, and Kate Reed Petty. Moderated by Sheri Parks.Celebrate the Year of the Women with a conversation looking to the future of women’s lives and work. Sheri Parks will lead a panel exploring Apocalyptic/Utopic narratives. The panel brings together multidisciplinary artists in conversation to share how they interpret their experiences the world. Presented in partnership with MICA.Valeria Fuentes was born in Bolivia but raised in Baltimore. She is a multidisciplinary artist and designer, cultural producer, and arts educator. She now runs a platform for immigrants called Roots & Raíces which aims to highlight, support, and celebrate immigrants through the arts in Baltimore. She received both a BFA in Architectural Design and an MA in Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Art. As part of the board of Baltimore Votes she also engages on work around civic engagement and voting in Baltimore City. She is committed to helping Baltimore and communities of color achieve equity and justice through her role as an artist, designer, and catalyst.Phaan Howng is a Baltimore based Taiwanese American multi-disciplinary art practice centers around creating various narratives and landscapes that reflect nature thriving in a utopian post-human planet, or what she terms an “optimistic post-apocalypse.” She received her MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at MICA in 2015, and her BFA in Painting from Boston University in 2004. Howng has exhibited her work at various places such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Arts and Industry Museum, and the Spring Break Art Show in New York City.Kate Reed Petty is a writer, feminist, and environmentalist. Her first novel, entitled TRUE STORY, is coming Aug 4, 2020 from Viking Books. Her fiction and essays have been published online by Electric Literature, American Short Fiction, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, and she was awarded a "30 Below" prize by Narrative Magazine. Kate's work has been supported by the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Bloedel Reserve, The Mount, and the Rubys Artist Grants. She lives in Baltimore. This program is part of ongoing 2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative conversations at the Pratt Library.Re-opening activities are made possible in part by a generous gift from Sandra R. Berman.
An Evening with Evelyn from the Internets
Join us for an evening with Evelyn from the Internets: humor writer, digital storyteller, and host of Say It Loud, a PBS Digital Studios series that celebrates Black culture, context, and history. She is in conversation with Mykel Hunter of WEAA.Re-opening activities are made possible in part by a generous gift from Sandra R. Berman.