Baltimore Book Festival

Calling all nerds! If you’re anything like me, you’re more than thrilled for the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend. Not only will 2014 be the 19th year of the festival, but it is in a brand new location! If you’ve never been or don’t know what I’m talking about, listen up! You won’t want to miss out.

The Baltimore Book Festival features hundreds of author appearances and book signings, 100+ exhibitors and booksellers, non-stop readings on multiple stages, cooking demos by celebrity chefs, poetry readings and workshops, a variety of food, beer and wine, and much more!

The festival has usually taken place in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, but due to the restoration of the historic Washington Monument, the festival will take place in the Inner Harbor this year! I, for one, am excited about this change. What’s better than listening to some poetry, sipping some wine, and being right on the harbor?

The festival will begin on Friday and Saturday at noon and run until 8 p.m. On Sunday, it will begin at noon and run until 6 p.m.

Some exciting guests:

  • Jessica Merchant, Friday at 5:30 p.m., Food for Thought Stage – I am personally EXTREMELY excited for Merchant’s arrival! I have followed the five-year food blogger for a few years, and she has introduced me to everything from pumpkin fettuccine alfredo to fudgy avocado brownies to banana bread, Brie and chocolate grilled cheese. She’s incredible and just came out with a book, Seriously Delish. She’s pretty funny throughout her blogs, so you won’t want to miss her speak!
  • Kathy Wakile, Sunday at 12:30 p.m., Food for Thought Stage – You heard right, Real Housewives fans! The Real Housewives of New Jersey star came out with a book earlier this month called Indulge: Delicious Little Desserts that Keep Life Real Sweet, with over 75 yummy treats!
  • Mark Mazzetti, Friday at 6 p.m., Ivy Bookshop Stage – The New York Times national security correspondent discusses the War on Terror and the CIA’s secret army.
  • Brian Stelter, Saturday at 2 p.m., Ivy Bookshop Stage – The former Towson tiger and current CNN anchor exposes the cutthroat world of morning television and his 2013 book Top of the Morning.

  • Bill T. Barry, Sunday at 1pm, Radical Book fair Pavilion – Local labor educator and organizer Bill Barry will be discussing his extensive research on the first national railroad strike in the U.S. that began in Baltimore in 1877.

Some new things for 2014:

  • #EpicBookFest: Geared towards children and young adults, this new component will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, and includes author presentations and discussions, such as The Storybook Parade and Superhero Figure Drawing Demo!
  • Charm City Comic Book Pavilion: Comic fans rejoice! You can come and browse through thousands of books and collectibles, chat with professional comic book creators and game designers, and participate in an informative panel!
  • National Aquarium Ocean Exploration Stage: A full weekend of free programming at the Aquarium for ocean and conservation fans! The programming includes author appearances, special animal encounters, live music, interactive eco-programs and more.

Getting there:

Before you go:

Check out the map to make sure you know where you’re going!

Let us know what you think of the festival! Tweet us at @baltcollegetown or write on our Facebook wall, Baltimore Collegetown Network. Enjoy the festivities and refer to the festival’s website for further information! Have a great weekend!

Emily Dutt, Marketing Intern


Shuttle Spotlight: Sherman Alexie at Goucher College

(Google Images)

It was in my first English class in college that I was introduced to Sherman Alexie. The class was assigned to read of few of his short stories and then mimic his writing style.

I always had trouble copying someone’s writing voice. It always takes drafts and drafts until I really think I do that author’s style some justice. Sherman Alexie’s witty writing style caught my attention and for the first time, I was excited for this sort of writing assignment.

Alexie has a way to make the most uncomfortable and awkward situations hilarious. He writes with sincerity and honesty that makes his characters relatable (even if you weren’t raised on a Reservation in Washington).

Last night, Alexie spoke at Goucher College. I had never been to the school before and was amazed by the packed auditorium. In typical Alexie fashion, he filled the room with laughter. He shared stories of his childhood and now being a husband and father.  He told anecdotes relating to current issues and stories that took some wild and weird turns.

If you’re looking for a laugh, Alexie will be at the Baltimore Book Festival this weekend with other nationally acclaimed writers.

How do you get to the festival you ask? Just hop on the free Collegetown Shuttle down to Penn Station. From Penn Station jump on no-cost Charm City Cirulator Purple Route to Stop 314 Madison Street. Just walk a few blocks down and you will be in book wonderland. All you need is your Student ID and you’re ready to roll.

Looking for an event at Goucher? The Collegetown Shuttle will take you there!
Oct. 5 author Wes Moore will be in town.

Getting a card for the Enoch Pratt Library

So now that I’ve transitioned to Baltimore City and am living life as a full-fledged city resident, it was only time for me to get my card for the Enoch Pratt Library.  While working at Collegetown, I”ve heard lots of events happening about the library and driven past the numerous branches, but never stepped inside.    Well, that all changed last Friday!  I got out of work early and had some time before the Central Branch on Cathedral St was going to shut down, so I thought I’d rush over and sign up for a library card and do a little exploring.

As soon as I walked in the branch, I was just in awe of how beautiful the library was.  The architecture of the building was in true Baltimore form – it had a historical style, but with a modern feel to it.  Honestly, it just feels like you enter this portal of knowledge and you just want to grab anything you can find and start learning new things.  The staff member who helped me sign up for my library card was  extremely courteous and super helpful in helping me navigate the branch.

In addition to checking out books, you can check out CDs for free, DVDs and VHS for a nominal price, experience Free Wi-Fi, and get 5 free printouts per day at the library.  Enoch Pratt Library even has a relationship with the Baltimore County Public Library system.  Let’s say you checked out a book at one of the county branches and you need to return it ASAP.   If the Enoch Pratt Library branch is a little closer to you, then you can surely return the book at one of their numerous branches.  They told me that they do shipments between the county and city branches several times a day – I’m pretty impressed!

In addition to having a great facility and great materials to check out, they have events going on throughout the year.  I remember during the “Year of the Poe”  they had events pretty much on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  Last week I went to the Charles Theater and I saw a flyer on their desk for “Films at the Pratt”.   I was really excited to see they are playing “The Hangover”  on March 20th at 7:30 PM at the Central Branch (ahem, ahem….yes I know shameless plug!).

So “branch” out (haha… PUN INTENDED!) and stop in to see what the Enoch Pratt Library has to offer you.  I have the luxury of working from home once a week and I usually head on over to Barnes and Noble or Panera, but I think the Enoch Pratt might be my new working spot!

For more information about the Enoch Pratt Library and all its glory, visit

That’s all for now…until next time…this is Ankur…

Signing off!