CityLit Project elevates enthusiasm for literary arts in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. CityLit builds and connects a community of avid readers and writers across Maryland through public events, workshops, publishing, and collaboration. CityLit opens opportunities for young and diverse audiences to embrace the literary arts.
Honoring the memory of and promoting the reading of the living works of Henry Louis Mencken (1880—1956), the “Sage of Baltimore”, American author, critic, newspaper man and iconoclast.
The purpose of the Friends of the H. L. Mencken House shall be educating the public about the life and legacy of H. L. Mencken, and acquiring Mencken’s lifelong residence at 1524 Hollins Street for the purpose of restoring, preserving and operating a nonprofit museum.
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by the local Vagabond Junior Players.
Celebrated novelist Madison Smartt Bell was one of the conference keynotes. Bell is the author of nearly two dozen books, including the highly praised novels The Washington Square Ensemble (1983), Doctor Sleep (1991), and All Souls' Rising (1995). His presentation was entitled "A Gilded Man in Nickel City."
In addition to academic panels, the conference included an extensive tour of Baltimore environs by local scholar Joan Hellman. The Fitzgerald graves in nearby Rockville, only 45-minute away by car were visited. There was a reception at the Hotel Belvedere, where Scottie Fitzgerald’s Sweet Sixteen Party was held and where Scott socialized with H. L. Mencken in the Owl Bar. A reception also took place at Johns Hopkins University, where local scholars made connections between the Fitzgeralds, the Menckens, and the city.
High School teachers and college professors participated in Workshops featuring Jackson R. Bryer, Kirk Curnutt, Peter L. Hays, Diane Isaacs, Linda Patterson Miller, Walter Raubicheck, Deborah Schlacks, Nancy VanArsdale and James L. W. West.
The conference hotel was the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore, the premiere hotel still in existence from the era in which Fitzgerald lived in the city. In addition to the many Fitzgerald-related sites still intact, Baltimore has many connections to American history, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 (when Fitzgerald's ancestor Francis Scott Key penned “The Star-Spangled Banner”), the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, and rich maritime, railroad, and sports histories. Along with its scenic location near the Chesapeake Bay, the city offered scholars and visitors a diverse array of research, touring, and leisure opportunities.
Papers and presentations illuminating Fitzgerald connections with Maryland and with other writers associated with the mid-Atlantic region—Mencken, Haardt, Poe, Lanier, Hammett—were presented, as well as others exploring notions of legacy.
If you are interested in the life and works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Society membership is for you!