Books

Summer Of The Slam: How two fearless Baltimore poetry slam teams took over the nation
  • In her new book, Mike Brown's mother writes about the life of her slain son

    In her new book, Mike Brown's mother writes about the life of her slain son

    Lezley McSpadden is not here to bullshit you. McSpadden is the mother of Missouri teen Mike Brown, who was gunned down in August of 2014 by police officer Darren Wilson, and whose death arguably sparked the Black Lives Matter movement. In her new book "Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil: The Life,...

  • Three Beach Reads For Convention Season

    Three Beach Reads For Convention Season

    Norman Mailer, “Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968” (Random House) Random House couldn’t have chosen a better time to reprint Norman Mailer’s account of 1968’s political conventions than in the current 2016 election season. We’re...

  • City Paper's Summer Beach Reads

    City Paper's Summer Beach Reads

    Alice Munro, “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories” (Alfred A. Knopf) My requirement for a good summer vacation read is tricky. I like to fall into a book, the way you stand backwards on the edge of a pool and free fall. And down under the water, as you plummet, everything...

  • Zine Roundup: Reviews of recent DIY publications around Baltimore

    Zine Roundup: Reviews of recent DIY publications around Baltimore

    I spent too much money at this year's Publications and Multiples Fair—on art, poetry zines, and ceramic pieces—and then even more at Red Emma's more recently, and then I said a little prayer and dug into my savings so I could buy a couple things from Bookish, the bookshop-on-wheels that made its...

  • Three Poems

    Three Poems

    Every Rib You Eat is A Consequence google search "latex forearm" and then google search "the soft vulnerable part" every poem I write is actually a better subtweet than maybe anything I would actually subtweet And every subtweet is just like me wanting you to give me all of your attention until...

  • A chat with activist and poet Tariq Touré

    A chat with activist and poet Tariq Touré

    On April 27, in front of the CVS Pharmacy at Pennsylvania Avenue and North Avenue, poet/writer/activist (and City Paper contributor) Tariq Touré read his poem, 'April 27th.' With its sobering refrain of, "I looked Freddie in the eyes today," and a series of novelistic details building up a character...

  • April 27th

    April 27th

    I looked Freddie in the eye today and watched infants drenched in the placenta of revolution stream down from his tear ducts, cascade onto the cement, and roll in the crevices of the sidewalk I watched puffs of dirt bike smoke swim across his pupils as the two-wheeled Lords of concrete swam through...

  • Raymond Carver meets Raymond Chandler in reissued romantic noir "Black Wings Has My Angel"

    Raymond Carver meets Raymond Chandler in reissued romantic noir "Black Wings Has My Angel"

    There is a curious (and admittedly, mostly made-up) film noir subgenre I've taken to calling "picaresque noir." It consists of crime stories that don't stay in one place for too long and feel more episodic and stitched together than short and sweet. Plug novels such as Jean-Patrick Manchette's...

  • Dear Diary: Emily Lindin's 'Unslut' exposes slut-shaming

    Dear Diary: Emily Lindin's 'Unslut' exposes slut-shaming

    Emily Lindin’s middle school diary is not so much an emotional rollercoaster as a runaway train speeding through a nightmarish Boschian hellscape, frequently interrupted by sparkling yet anxiety-inducing preteen fantasies and ‘90s pop-inspired poems. Published in the book “UnSlut: A Diary and Memoir”...

  • James Franco is not a Queer Poet

    James Franco is not a Queer Poet

    I want to believe in James Franco. For those readers who are new to the figure of Franco the artist, the actor-cum-poet has been part of the literary conversation since his collection of short stories, “Palo Alto,” was published by Scribner in 2010. Much of this conversation has been skepticism,...

  • Lester K. Spence's 'Knocking The Hustle' diagnoses the neoliberal nightmare

    Lester K. Spence's 'Knocking The Hustle' diagnoses the neoliberal nightmare

    No other book out right now so expertly describes what it's like to live and work in the United States as Lester K. Spence's "Knocking The Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics." A cogent rundown of the ways this country has been crippled by its embrace of neoliberalism, the book...

  • 'Shout Outs,' a poem by Claudia Speck

    'Shout Outs,' a poem by Claudia Speck

    s/o to the smudging sage at the office of the therapist who made me give a detailed list of my sexual history as a teenage girl then invited me to take peyote with him in oklahoma as long as i didn't tell my parents s/o to the lavender scented candle i roasted a hot link over one of the times my...

  • The Anthropologist: Sidney Mintz, 1922-2015

    The Anthropologist: Sidney Mintz, 1922-2015

    I'm in the middle of cashiering a transaction, during the lunch rush, and on the verge of being profoundly annoyed when this weird old man appears behind my counter. "Please, finish whatever you need to. I just had a question," he says. He says he would like to put the bill for a group of Johns...

  • In 'Mama Tried,' Emily Flake embraces the foibles of parenting

    In 'Mama Tried,' Emily Flake embraces the foibles of parenting

    For many years, our three offspring requested an addition to the family clan, a fourth child to love (or so they claimed. It's possible that they only craved equality: even sides for dinner arguments and rounds of Mario Kart.). While my husband and I did not relent, we marveled at their worrisome...

  • Ian F. Svenonius' 'Censorship Now!!' offers a smarter, more precise model of the D.C. punk hero's shtick

    Ian F. Svenonius' 'Censorship Now!!' offers a smarter, more precise model of the D.C. punk hero's shtick

    To remix an old saw for the Internet age: Familiarity breeds a particularly nasty, exhausted sort of apathy—the burnout of overexposure to a brand, whether it be Hulu's fusillade of unchanging ads, Upworthy's smug click bait, or an artist's monomaniacal shtick. For a longtime devotee, the first...

  • Artist Lu Zhang spends a year in the George Peabody Library

    Artist Lu Zhang spends a year in the George Peabody Library

    With its profound collection of books and prints dating as far back as the Renaissance, as well as its history and Neo-Grec architecture and ornamentation, the George Peabody Library is as much a museum as the Walters across the street. But for the past year, it has been at once a library, a museum,...

  • Three Poems By Tariq Touré

    Three Poems By Tariq Touré

    "Yasiin" Beyond the 24-hour news cycle There is a place Where politicians eat the dreams of children And men die for mineral wealth Where Slavery is the order of the day And peace is an ancient idea Where men become obese from the flesh of Nations And lies come bundled in tight-eyed smiles Where...

  • In his memoir 'I Feel Like Going On,' Ray Lewis talks about (among other things) the Bible, butterflies, and police brutality

    In his memoir 'I Feel Like Going On,' Ray Lewis talks about (among other things) the Bible, butterflies, and police brutality

    To get a sense of how Ray Lewis writes in his expressive, tangent-filled, hyper-sincere memoir "I Feel Like Going On," it's best to get a sense of how he talks. On Jan. 12, 2013, following the Baltimore Ravens' victory over the Denver Broncos which got the team one game closer to the Super Bowl,...

  • 'Slapped Up,' a short story by Abdu Mongo Ali

    'Slapped Up,' a short story by Abdu Mongo Ali

    This better be some good stuff. I'm out voyaging in girl looks. Roaming from club to bar, looking for scandals, eyeing for some peacocks. Colorful ones. Nice build, thick, pleasantly stout, and big eyed. Why? Ask my scabs. My punctuation marks on my skin. They cover my left arm like leprosy, following...

  • Aspiring to Dew More: Kenneth Morrison uses spoken-word poetry to empower young people and create social change

    Aspiring to Dew More: Kenneth Morrison uses spoken-word poetry to empower young people and create social change

    Kenneth Morrison steps out in front of the small group. He raises his arms and eyes to the ceiling and, with a preacher's inflection, says, "Scriptures suggest that the return of Jesus was near. But what if Jesus was already here? What if Jesus was a prostitute?" The small audience of MICA graduate...

  • Table Tennis Nemesis

    Table Tennis Nemesis

    Geoff Dyer releases three books, kicks my ass at pingpong

  • Leonardo Padura Fuentes' new novel details the exile and death of Trotsky and the remnants of totalitarian fear

    The Man Who Loved Dogs Leonardo Padura Fuentes Farrar, Straus, and Giroux On August 20, 1940, Ramón Mercader, a Soviet secret agent originally from Spain, pierced Leon Trotsky's skull with an ice axe. Trotsky, one of the most important figures in the Bolshevik Revolution, had been driven into exile...

  • New bio of Big Star's Alex Chilton reveals multifaceted and tragic life

    One morning in 1977, Alex Chilton, 26, former lead singer of the Box Tops and of Big Star, very likely hungover or still drunk, appeared before an American studies class at the University of Texas to discuss his career in music and his thoughts on the present state of rock and roll. "Rock and roll...

  • An interview with Lia Purpura

    Essayist and poet Lia Purpura teaches the craft of writing across the U.S., including at the Rainier Writing Workshop in Washington, and, this fall, at Columbia University. But she has called Baltimore home for more than 20 years, and right now serves as writer in residence at the University of...

  • Associative journeys through the nightmares of American writers

    American Smoke: Journeys to the End of the Light Iain Sinclair Faber and Faber Eleanor Roosevelt seems like she was generally pretty cool. But that famous, perhaps apocryphal sentence "Great minds discuss ideas, mediocre minds discuss events, small minds discuss people" attributed to her seems...

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