Author Archives: Michael B. Tager

New Year, New Readers

Happy New Year, one and all. If your New Year resolution was to get in shape, then watch this, but if your resolution was to see more amazing literary readings in 2016, then come to Charmington’s on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 7 PM.

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This month, we are proud to present:

Derick Ebert (Poetry)
Derick Ebert is Baltimore’s first ever Youth Poet Laureate. Ebert attends the University of Baltimore, and currently studies English. As a writer, he focuses on issues that impact the African American community. Derick has performed and traveled with the Baltimore City Youth Poetry Team, taking their tour from Baltimore, all the way to New Orleans. Derick’s priority as a poet is to reach youth, and show that their voice matters.

Cija Jefferson (Non-Fiction)
Cija (pronounced Kia) is a writer and blogger who can be found online at Cija’s Quips covering everything from social commentary—we are not in a post-racial society to her TV addiction and love of girl pop and “trapped in the nineties” hip hop.

Molly Margulies (Wildcard)
Molly Margulies is an actor, artist, and latke-maker living in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a lover of poorly crafted taxidermy and perfectly baked almond croissants, both of which she enjoys with a cup of strong black coffee.

Benjamin Warner (Fiction)
Benjamin Warner teaches creative writing at Towson University. He holds an M.F.A. from Cornell University. His first novel, Thirst—an ecological thriller about the disappearance of a community’s water supply–is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. His work has also appeared in The Washington Post Magazine, Salon.com, and the Guernica/PEN Flash Series. A native of Annapolis, he now lives in Baltimore.

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December Recap

We would like to thank everyone who came out on Tuesday, Dec. 8, to Writers & Words. We were at standing-room-only capacity, which always astonishes and humbles us, so thank you a thousand times over. With such a great crowd, the readers needed to bring their A game, and they did not disappoint. Elizabeth Dahl kicked off the night with a wonderful story about the trials and small victories that come with adolescence. Pantea Tofangchi followed that up with beautifully haunting poems about growing up in the midst of war. After the break, Dylan Kinnett continued the night with spoken word poems of mystery, wonder, and travels through Japan. Abby Higgs finished the night with a tale detailing her enlightening sobriety and woes of using Zip Cars.

It was a wonderful night all around. For that, we are grateful to our readers, our audience, and our hosts at Charmingtons–we couldn’t do any of this without the continuing support of all these people. Below are some pictures from the reading. Please take a look and leave us a comment.

Winter Greetings And December Reading

We invite you to join us for our last reading of the calendar year at Charmington’s on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 7 PM. Ugly sweaters optional.

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This month, we are proud to present:

Abby Higgs (Non-fiction)
Abby Higgs is a graduate of University of Baltimore’s MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts program. Her work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, The Guardian, Salon, The Rumpus, Freerange Nonfiction, The Huffington Post, Bustle, VICE, The Barely South Review, and Autostraddle. She is the Assistant Editor of Queen Mob’s Teahouse–an international, online literary journal based in London; she is also the Social Commentary Editor for Baltimore’s What Weekly. More of her words can be found at slowclapabby.com.

Dylan Kinnett (Wildcard)
Dylan Kinnett is a writer, critic, and spoken word performance artist. His work seeks to alter traditional literary forms with the use of media, hypertext, and performance. Dylan is the Founding Editor of Infinities Kitchen, a literary journal. He is also a member of the Second Land audio-visual collective, where he performs improvisational spoken word along with concrete music. He has work published with/or performed by Industry Night, Otoliths, The Annex Theater, University of Baltimore, and others. Dylan lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Pantea Tofangchi (Poetry)
Pantea Tofangchi is an Iranian-American Writer and Graphic Designer living in Ellicot City.

Elisabeth Dahl  (Fiction)
Elisabeth Dahl is a Baltimore-based writer whose essays, short stories, and poems have appeared at NPR.org, The Rumpus, OZY, Johns Hopkins Magazine, and elsewhere. Her first book, a middle-grade novel with line drawings entitled Genie Wishes, was published by Abrams Books in 2013. She’s a graduate of Johns Hopkins and Georgetown universities.

Cold November Rain, Hot Poetry and Prose

Thank you to all of you who showed up on a cold, rainy Tuesday this past week to join in another night of Writers and Words. Our readers were fantastic, and the crowd equally so. Kate Gillespie (who it turns out is actually related to Dizzy Gillespie) led us off with a strangely wonderful story about the microbes that inhabit all of us. Dave Housley followed it up with a coming of age story of family, fun, and McDonald’s cheeseburgers. For those of you that were there and curious, the commercial in question for Dave’s story can be found here. If that link doesn’t make any sense, you really should make sure you make it to all our readings.

The second half of our reading featured two poets whose personal stories couldn’t be more different, but share an equal beauty of spirit and way with words. Tyler Vile shared her personal truths about gender, family, and love. Seola Lee closed us out for the night with her own poetry about growing up in Korea and coming to our little city to study creative writing at Johns Hopkins. As usual, we closed the night out at the Ottobar watching Mad Max with subtitles for about the 10th time.

Be sure to check out a few of the photos from the Tuesday night below, and come back to our website in a week or two for our December preview. So long as you beautiful people keep coming out, we’ll continue to do our best to showcase the best established and up-and-coming writers that the Greater Baltimore Area has to offer.

A Recap and Preview For The Price of One

Hello True Beliebers,

As the seasons transition, so do we. Michelle has decided to take a well deserved break from our little thread on the web, and so you’re stuck with me. While you can still expect recaps and previews, I also promise to try and figure out how to inject these posts with cat gifs and almost assuredly more typeos.

As for our recap: October marked our one-year anniversary, and you all continue to come out and support our series. We love you from the bottom of our bookish hearts. Dave K, Adina Ferguson, Bernard Haske, and Analysis The Poet crushed it, dust it, and put it on a shelf for you admire on your coffee break. I don’t know what happened to that sentence. Check out the photos below, and the November preview after.

We’ll be back at Charmington’s on Howard for another wonderful night of Writers & Words on November 10 at 7 pm. Our featured readers are:

Dave Housley

Dave Housley’s third collection of short fiction, If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home, was published by Dzanc Books in 2015. He is the author of Commercial Fiction (Outpost 19), and Ryan Seacrest is Famous (Impetus Press, Dzanc Books eBook Reprint). He is one of the founding editors of Barrelhouse magazine, and a co-founder of the Conversations and Connections writer’s conference. Sometimes he drinks boxed wine and tweets about the things on his television at @housleydave.

Seola Lee

Seola Lee is a writer and an illustrator who lives in Baltimore, MD. Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, she moved to Baltimore in 2011 to pursue a degree in creative writing. She writes poems, short stories, reviews, and essays in both Korean and English. Her work has appeared in Baltimore City Paper, The Baltimore Ekphrasis Project, and BmoreArt. You can check out her writings at http://seola-lee.tumblr.com/ and her doodles at http://plasticmarmalade.tumblr.com/.

Kate Gillespie

Kate Gillespie is a microbiologist getting her mojo on, who has recently became a poetic Ph.D.  An active participant in Baltimore’s literary arts community, Kate has written and performed with the city’s cultural groups like the  EMP Collective, “Smile hon! you’re in Baltimore”, One Minute Play festival, and Poets in the Park.  Her  scientific poems have been featured in Silver Blade,  The light  Ekphrastic, and  Sygyzy Poetry Journal, and upcoming in Gargoyle Magazine

Here’s to another year of Writer, Words, and you. Okay, play us out Keyboard Cat!

-Ian Anderson