Another evening at Jordan Faye Block’s gallery left us with three great readings. Subject matters sprawled across the universe, literally and metaphorically.
The evening began, in alphabetical order, with local veteran writer David Belz, who created a sort of mosaic of columns and writings, in which he: (1) noted that Americans need to Europeanize their handlanguage, (2) noted that some things cost more than others, and (a) are made out of gopherwood and (b) transform into wedding presents, and (3) talked a little about how the phrase “just sayin’ “ means a lot more than that. His read work was gathered from his latest collection, White Asaparagus, which was selling like hotcakes during the intermission.
That was followed by Ann Finkbeiner, chronicling the foundation of the Universe and the origins of dark matter in twenty intense and dramatic minutes which made the opaque translucent, while giving us a peek at what drives not just the cosmos, but astro-physicists. And she reminded us why we need science writers.
And then, after the break, Lizzie Skurnick, poet, blogger, and journalist, reminded us that freelancing is — despite what they say — a job with one benefit. It allows you to write about the people who fired you without ever having to ask them for recommendations. Water under the bridge, perhaps, and Lizzie doesn’t use names but…if you fired her before she took up the lance, there could be a book. Just sayin’.
Well, as promised, on October 23 (tomorrow) a new New Mercury Reading will take place, at the usual venue, with three of Baltimore’s voices. They include Lizzie Skurnick (see below), Dave Belz (see below), and Ann Finkbeiner (see below).
Beer and Wine served, and donations accepted gratefully (five bucks, if you can spare it), to meet the utility bills and expenses for the Jordan Faye Gallery.
The gallery is located at 1401 Light Street. Parking is nearby, and, these days, the Charm City Circulator can help you get there.
We hope to see you there, to continue the tradition, and to celebrate the truth!
On October 23rd, we have one more reader: David Belz, familiar to many Baltimoreans as a columnist and essayist. His latest gig was at the Examiner, where he authored a column, at least until the paper itself folded. Most recently, he is celebrating the publication of his first (and latest) collection of essays, entitled White Asparagus.
D.R. Belz has been writing professionally for more than thirty years. His essays, poetry, and fiction have appeared in such publications as The Baltimore Examiner, The Baltimore Sun, The Evening Sun, The City Paper, The Southern Literary Messenger, The Oregon Review, The Antietam Review, The MacGuffin, and The Cynic. He graduated from Loyola College with a B.A. degree in English and Creative Writing and earned a master’s degree in the Great Books from St. John’s College in Annapolis. He has taught writing since 1977. An anthology of his work, White Asparagus, was published by Apprentice House.
Lizzie, who will be reading on the 23rd, emigrated from Baltimore a couple (okay, more than a couple) of years ago to the North, but because Baltimore doesn’t give up its pride of ownership all that easily, we’re proud to include her as a local voice.
Lizzie Skurnick is the author of “Shelf Discovery,” a memoir of teen reading that Publishers’ Weekly called “wildly entertaining”. She writes for NPR, Politics Daily, the Daily Beast, Bookforum, and many other publications. A former Vice President of the National Book Critic’s Circle, she lives in Jersey City. Her blog, Old Hag, is a Forbes Best of the Web pick.
Ann will be reading for us on October 23rd. She’s a science writer and heads the science writing department at the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. When asked, she offered this introduction:
Since 1983, I have been a free lance science writer. I have written feature articles regularly for Science, Sky & Telescope, Astronomy, Mosaic, The Sciences — that are usually about astronomy and its grand subfield, cosmology. I’ve been a columnist for USA Today, where I wrote about looking at science from the outside, and for Defense Technology Internation, where I wrote about the science behind defense technologies. I have regularly reviewed books for The New York Times Book Review, Discover, The Wilson Quarterly, and The Wall Street Journal. These days I mostly write books. I co-authored The Guide to Living with HIV Infection (Johns Hopkins University Press) , which is now in its 6th edition. I wrote After the Death of a Child (Free Press, JHUP paperback) which is on the long-term effects of parental bereavement. My last book was The Jasons (Viking/Penguin) on a group of hotshot university scientists who solve problems for the Defense Department. Since 1988, I have been a visiting associate professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Writing Seminars, where, embedded in a department of fiction writers and poets, I run a small graduate program in science writing.
Charles Cohen’s piece on graffiti artist Clarence Robb, which he read in a primal form at our second reading, is now out on the racks, courtesy of Urbanite. Read and enjoy!