The Baltimore Book Festival to the Inner Harbor Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25, 2016 from 11am to 7pm daily. Events take place along the Inner Harbor Promenade from the Maryland Science Center to the Inner Harbor Amphitheater. This year’s Baltimore Book Festival features more than 200 local, regional and national presenting authors, 12 stages, more than 100 literary exhibitors, a 100% local Maryland food and beverage program, live music, children’s activities and more. The Baltimore Book Festival is produced by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts with the Ivy Bookshop as the festival’s official bookseller.
Highlights for 2016 include appearances by Terry McMillan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back; award-winning author Carl Hiaasen; Luvvie Ajayi, mastermind behind the humor blog AwesomelyLuvvie.com; a new Paws & Pages stage with animal-focused programming and adoptable pets from the Maryland SPCA, a Sustainable Seafood Panel presented by the National Aquarium featuring Spike Gjerde, John Shields and oyster expert Patrick Hudson, a Pop Culture Parade presented by Geppi’s Entertainment Museum that encourages attendees to dress up in costume and join in with their pets, and a special edition of The Stoop Storytelling Series featuring true, personal tales from seven local Baltimore writers.
Appearing on the Literary Salon, the festival’s main author stage are Thomas Dolby with his memoir The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology; Terry McMillan with her new novel I Almost Forgot About You; Carl Hiaasen with his newest book Razor Girl; Luvvie Ajayi with her first book I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual and winners of the 2016 Maryland Humanities One Maryland One Book Prize Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely with their novel All American Boys. There will be an American Sign Language interpreter present for Terry McMillan, Carl Hiaasen, and the Stoop Storytelling Series at the Literary Salon.
Inside the Baltimore Visitor Center on the Inner Harbor Stage presented by Towson University is MICA Professor Mikita Brottman, Maximum Security Book Club; Editor-in-chief of TheShadowLeague.com Alejandro Danois, The Boys of Dunbar; Stefany Shaheen, Elle & Coach; Sarah Gray, A Life Everlasting and Gary Vikan, former director of the Walters Art Museum.
On the newly created Paws & Pages Stage, award-winning author Bronwen Dickey speaks about her most recent book, Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon. National Aquarium Animal Encounters take place every day at 2:30pm where festival-goers have a chance to get up close and personal and learn about different animals. Adoptable pets from the Maryland SPCA will be visiting for attendees to meet potential new “furever” friends.
For the second year in a row, the Baltimore Book Festival’s food and beverage program will be 100% local with all-Maryland restaurateurs and craft breweries as the vendors. Festival-goers can enjoy a variety of cuisines such as wood-fired pizza from All Fired Up Pizza, empanadas from El Tenedor de Nacho, falafel wraps from Farm to Face, Asian fusion favorite Ekiben, Indian street food from Indigma, classic BBQ from Smokin’ Joes BBQ and oysters from The Local Oyster. Beverage vendors include Boordy Vineyards, Heavy Seas Beer, Blackwater Distilling, Union Craft Brewing, the Brewers Art, Zeke’s Coffee and Charm City Beverage.
On the Food for Thought Stage, renowned chefs and authors showcase their talents by preparing delicious samples for the audience to enjoy. This year, the Food for Thought Stage includes demonstrations from Baltimore’s own Chef Egg; Melanie Underwood, author of Making Artisan Cheesecake; queen of gluten-free cooking Heather Christo, Pure Delicious and Allison and Matt Robicelli of Robicelli’s: A Love Story, with Cupcakes: With 50 Decidedly Grown-Up Recipes. Also on the Food for Thought Stage is a Sustainable Seafood Panel presented by the National Aquarium where James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde, renowned Chesapeake chef John Shields and founder of the True Chesapeake Oyster Co. Patrick Hudson will discuss sustainability and its relationship to economic and ecological Bay health. The panel is moderated by photographer Jay Fleming while sharing insights from his new book Working the Water. The panel concludes with an oyster shucking demonstration and tasting by Patrick Hudson.
The Baltimore Book Festival’s programming partners continue to offer a diverse and robust schedule of activities all weekend long. On the Enoch Pratt Free Library Children’s Stage, award-winning picture book author Susan Stockdale presents from her books Fabulous Fishes and Bring on the Birds, along with National Book Award nominee Becky Albertalli, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Also on the Enoch Pratt Stage is therapeutic drummer Jordan Goodman, a puppet show entitled “The Girl Who Swallowed the Sun” and a hands-on science class by teacher and author Velya Janez-Urban that teaches kids about the complex interactions between organisms and the physical environment. The Geppi’s Entertainment Museum Comic Pavilion, curated by Artway Alliance, offers a weekend full of workshops and panels including an appearance by Glen Weldon with his new book The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture. Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse continues to host authors discussing topics from sex and gender to race and civil rights in the Red Emma’s Radical Books Pavilion. The Maryland Romance Writers and Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America present a full schedule of readings and panel discussions on their respective genres.
Also returning, the CityLit Project offers writer feedback, readings and panel discussions with regional and national authors such as Susan Muaddi-Darraj, Charles Bock and Leslie Jamison, among others on the CityLit Stage. The festival’s official bookseller, The Ivy Bookshop welcomes local and national bestselling authors to its stage along with writing workshops coordinated in partnership with Baltimore’s colleges and the Pen Faulkner Foundation. Also on the Ivy Bookshop Stage, award-winning Baltimore author D. Watkins hosts a panel where he presents several emerging writers, introducing the audience to the newest generation of Baltimore voices.
In addition to the hundreds of author appearances, panel discussions, readings, workshops and cooking demonstrations, the Baltimore Book Festival features more than 75 literary exhibitors, including authors, bookstores, independent presses and cultural organizations. The Music Stage at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater also offers a full schedule of local and regional musicians as Bond Street District, Sly45, DBS, Tropik Sol, Aztec Sun and The Palovations. Also new this year is The Story Share, a space dedicated to bringing people together to share their favorite stories and hear others, or relax and curl up with a newly-purchased book. The Story Share features “Goodnight Moonlight Nightlight,” an art installation by Stewart Watson that doubles as a cozy reading space.
Beyond the Baltimore Book Festival, Inner Harbor businesses and attractions offer special deals and promotions to attendees during the festival weekend. The Top of the World Observation Level, located on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center, offers free admission all weekend and special programming including making art from book pages with artist Carol Mauer and visits from Pets on Wheels.
For a complete list of schedules or more information, visit www.baltimorebookfestival.org. Stay connected by following the Baltimore Book Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. During the festival, attendees are encouraged to interact with authors via social media using the hashtag #BmoreBookFest.