Sunday, November 5, 2017

November 18th Readings: Lindsay Fleming, Michelle Junot, Jill Coupe, and Christoper K. Doyle

Lindsay Fleming's column "Little Magic"  appears monthly in the Baltimore Fishbowl.  Her personal essays are informed by animals, dreams, mythology, alchemy, depth psychology, Tantra, the Tarot, and a funky family history.

Michelle Junot is the author Notes From My Phone* a self-portrait in her twenties, and of and the floor was always lava, a collection of essays exploring childhood and memory. Her writing has been published in BmoreArt, Welter, Industry Night, The Avenue, Reject,  and Baltimore STYLE. Michelle earned her M.F.A in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts from University of Baltimore and her B.A. in Communication and Dance from Centenary College of Louisiana.

Jill McCroskey Coupe’s debut novel, True Stories at the Smoky View (She Writes Press, 2016), won the 2017 IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Awards) Gold Medal for Regional Fiction–South. Her short fiction has been published in Warren Wilson Review, Pebble Lake Review, Against the Grain, and The Summerset Review. JMWW recently published one of her essays, and another essay is forthcoming in Chapter 16. A former librarian, Jill lives in Baltimore. Visit her online at

Christopher Kritwise Doyle grew up in Brunswick, Maryland, a small town nestled on the banks of the Potomac River and Blue Ridge Mountains. After receiving his MFA from the University of Baltimore, he has written about the origins of country music, an embattled elementary school principal in urban America, and the C&O Canal. He lives in Baltimore with his wife, daughter, and bluetick coonhound all in a cramped row house. Purchase is his first novel.

Monday, October 2, 2017

October 21st Readings: Betsy Boyd, A.G. Harmon, Garinè B. Isassi, and Karen Smythe, A.G

Karen Smythe's short-story collection Stubborn Bones was published by an imprint of Raincoast Books in British Columbia in 2001. Before that, PhD in English from the University of Toronto in hand, Karen published scholarly criticism and taught Canadian literature at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. Several moves across Canada later--for stints including Continuing Education Director  in Nova Scotia, University Registrar in Prince Edward Island, and Policy Analyst in Ontario--Karen retired and enrolled in the Humber School of Writing correspondence program, where she completed an early draft of her first novel, This Side of Sad, under the mentorship of Governor General Award-winning author Diane Schoemperlen. Karen currently lives in Guelph, Ontario, where she is working on novel #2 from her fabulous writing shed. 

Garinè B. Isassi is the award–winning author of the novel Start with the Backbeat. She grew up with one foot in Texas and the other in New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she is a lover of music, chocolate, and altruistic sarcasm; a writer of post-punk humor; and the illustrious founder of Helicopter Moms Anonymous. She currently lives in Maryland with her family, where she works full-time, writes most of the time, and is the Workshops Chair for the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

A.G. Harmon’s fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in Triquarterly, the Antioch Review, Shenandoah, the Bellingham Review, St. Katherine Review, Image, and Commonweal, among others. His fiction won the 2001 Peter Taylor Prize (A House All Stilled, University of Tennessee Press, 2002) and was the runner-up for the 2007 William Faulkner Prize for the Novel. His academic work, Eternal Bonds, True Contracts: Law and Nature in Shakespeare’s Problem Plays was published by SUNY Press. He was a 2003 Walter Dakin fellow at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He grew up on horse-and-cattle farms in Mississippi and Tennessee. Currently, he teaches at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

Betsy Boyd is a fiction writer and journalist. She is a faculty member in the Creative Writing and Publishing Arts MFA program at the University of Baltimore, and is the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council award, an Elliot Coleman Writing Fellowship, a James A. Michener Fellowship and residencies through Fundación Valparaíso, the Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Betsy’s fiction has been published most recently in SententiaShenandoahDel Sol Review, Eclectica and Loch Raven Review. Her short story "Scarecrow" received a Pushcart Prize. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Stars Here! at Baltimore Book Festival: Jaime Fountaine, Dave K, Malka older, Justin Sanders, Sarah Sweeney

Starts Here! is excited to participate in the 2017 Baltimore Book Festival! Stop by the Ivy Bookshop Tent on Saturday, September 23rd, at 4 pm to hear Jaime Fountaine, Dave K, Malka Older, Justin Sanders, and Sarah Sweeney! (For more information about the festival lineups, parking, and maps, please check our the official site here.)

Jaime Fountaine was raised by "wolves." Her work has appeared in Paper Darts, JMWW, and Knee-Jerk Magzines. She lives in Philadelphia, where she hosts the Tire Fire reading series at Tattooed Mom and, Excuse My Dust, a "weirdo literature variety hour" at the Good Good Comedy Theater.
Dave K's fiction/essays/poetry have appeared in Front Porch Journal, Cobalt, Queen Mob's Tea House, The Avenue, Welter, TRUCK, and on the LED billboard in the Station North neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. He is the author of stone a pig (2012), MY NAME IS HATE (2014) and The Bong-Ripping Brides of Count Drogado (2017). He is also a rotating tray placed on a table or countertop to aid in distributing food.
Malka Older is a writer, aid worker, and PhD candidate. Her science fiction political thriller Infomocracy was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus, Book Riot, and the Washington Post, and the sequel Null States will comes out in September 2017. She was nominated for the 2016 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Named Senior Fellow for Technology and Risk at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs for 2015, she has more than a decade of experience in humanitarian aid and development. Her doctoral work on the sociology of organizations at the Institut d’Études Politques de Paris (Sciences Po) explores the dynamics of multi-level governance and disaster response using the cases of Hurricane Katrina and the Japan tsunami of 2011.
Justin Sanders is a ghost from Baltimore. His words have appeared most recently in his book, for all the other ghosts, and on the city's walls.
Sarah Sweeney's essay collection Tell Me If You're Lying debuted from Barrelhouse Books in fall 2016. Her essays have appeared in Salon, Catapult, The Washington Post, and more. She is also the author of a collaborative chapbook, The Dark Length Home, co-written with Anne Champion. She works as a writer in Boston, where she's polishing a new memoir about men, Mexico, and Dirty Dancing. Visit her at

Monday, July 24, 2017

Best of Baltimore 2017: Starts Here Reading Series

We're so stoked to win a "Best of Baltimore" in Baltimore Magazine's "2017 Best of" issue for "Best Author Appearances." Thanks to the editors at Baltimore Magazine, our fantastic readers, and the best audience in the world!

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 22nd Readings: Melissa Scholes Young, Paula Bomer, Temim Fruchter

Paula Bomer is the author of the collection, Inside Madeleine (Soho Press, May 2014), the novel Nine Months (Soho Press, August 2012), which received exuberant reviews inThe Atlantic, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The Minneapolis Star Tribune and elsewhere. Her collection, Baby and Other Stories (Word Riot Press, December 2010), received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, calling it a “lacerating take on marriage and motherhood…not one to share with the Mommy and Me group”, Kirkus Review deemed it “a worthy, if challenging, entry into the genre of transgressional fiction”, and O Magazine referred to it as a “brilliant, brutally raw debut.” Her collection of essays, Mystery and Mortality, was just released by Publishing Genius.

Temim Fruchter is a writer who lives in Washington, DC. She believes in magic and in queer possibility. She is co-founder of the Mount Pleasant Poetry Project, and her chapbook, I Wanted Just To Be Soft, came out on Anomalous Press in April 2016. Her work has appeared in [PANK], Tupelo Quarterly, The Washington City Paper, New South, jmww The Account, and the Tishman Review, among others. More at

Melissa Scholes Young was born and raised in Hannibal, Missouri and proudly claims it her hometown. Her writing has appeared in the Atlantic, Washington Post, Narrative, Ploughshares, Poet Lore, and Poets & Writers. She’s a Contributing Editor for Fiction Writers Review and Editor of the Grace & Gravity anthology. She teaches at American University in Washington, D.C. is the author of the novel Flood.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 10th Readings; Dave Housley, David Hicks, and Tom McAllister

Dave Housley is the author of the story collections Massive Cleansing Fire (Outpost 19), If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home (Dzanc Books), Commercial Fiction (Outpost 19), and Ryan Seacrest is Famous (Impetus Press). His work has appeared in Hobart, Mid-American Review, Quarterly West, Wigleaf, and other online and print magazines. He is a founding editor of Barrelhouse magazine and a co-founder of the annual Conversations and Connections writing conference.
David Hicks grew up in New York, moved to Colorado in his thirties, and is now a professor at Regis University in Denver, where he co-directs the Mile-High MFA in Creative Writing. He has published stories in such fine journals as Glimmer Train, Colorado Review, and Saranac Review. White Plains, his first novel, has been called “a gorgeous and unforgettable debut” by Kathy Fish, “an extraordinary novel” by David Lazar, and “a captivating debut” by Leni Zumas. David, who also plays saxophone for a rock band called the Plagiarists, lives with his wife Cynthia in Colorado, and his two grown children live nearby.

Tom McAllister's debut novel, The Young Widower's Handbook, was included on Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers list for Spring 2017. He is also the author of a memoir, Bury Me in My Jersey, and his shorter work has been published widely, including in Best American Nonrequired Reading. He is the nonfiction editor at Barrelhouse and co-host of the Book Fight podcast. He lives in New Jersey and teaches at Temple University.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 13th Reading: Madison Smartt Bell

Madison Smartt Bell is best known for his trilogy of novels about Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, including All Souls' Rising, which was a finalist for the 1995 National Book Award and the 1996 PEN/Faulkner Award. It also won the 1996 Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best book of the year dealing with matters of race. Bell is a Professor of English at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, where he was Director of the Creative Writing Program from 1998 to 2004. In addition to many books of fiction and non-fiction, he has published essays and reviews in Harper's, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, and The Village Voice. His latest book is Behind the Moon (City Lights Publisher).

Thursday, March 30, 2017

April 15th Readings: Emily Cementina, Carys Davies, Meghan Kenny, and Elise Levine

Emily Cementina received her M.F.A. in fiction from The New School. She teaches first-year writing and literature at CUNY and is a co-host of Sunday Salon, a monthly reading series in New York City. Having finished the most recent draft of her novel, she has taken a break to receive her teaching certification in vinyasa yoga. She looks forward to revising with a new perspective. You can find her work online at fwriction: review.
Carys Davies is the author of two collections of short stories, The Redemption of Galen Pike and Some New Ambush. She is the winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, the Royal Society of Literature’s V.S. Pritchett Memorial Prize, the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Short Story Award, a Northern Writers’ Award, and is currently a 2016-2017 Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library. The Redemption of Galen Pike is an IndieNext pick for April 2017. Born in Wales, she usually lives in north-west England
Meghan Kenny is the author of the debut short story collection Love Is No Small Thing (LSU Press, 2017). Her debut novel, The Driest Season, is forthcoming with W.W. Norton in 2018. She has won The Iowa Review Award, has been a scholar at the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, and held the Tickner Writing Fellowship in Baltimore. She lives and teaches in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Elise Levine is the author of the story collection Driving Men Mad, and the novels Requests and Dedications and Blue Field. Her work has also appeared in Ploughshares, Blackbird, PANK, The Journey Prize Anthology, the Toronto Star, and Best Canadian Stories, among other publications. She is the recipient of a Canadian National Magazine Award for fiction; awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council; and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, among others. She currently lives in Baltimore, MD, where she directs the MA in Writing program at Johns Hopkins University.

Readings begin at 7:30 pm, Bird in Hand Coffee Shop, 11 E. 33rd Street, Baltimore. 410-243-0757

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 25th Readings: Angie Chuang, J. M. Tyree, and Sara Lautman

Angie Chuang is an author and educator from Washington, D.C. Her debut memoir, The Four Words for Home, was published by Willow Books in 2014 as the winner of the Willow Books Literature Awards Grand Prize in Prose. The book won the Independent Publishers Award Bronze Medal for Multicultural Nonfiction and was short-listed for the William Saroyan Prize and the International Rubery Award. Angie's literary nonfiction has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, The Asian American Literary Review, Vela, and several editions of The Best Women's Travel Writing. She is an associate professor of journalism at the American University School of Communication.

J. M. Tyree is the author of Vanishing Streets: Journeys in London (Stanford University Press) and Our Secret Life in the Movies (coauthor Michael McGriff, A Strange Object), which was selected as a Best Book of 2014 by NPR. He is the Nonfiction Editor of New England Review and Distinguished Visiting Professor at VCUarts.

Sara Lautman's drawings have been published by The New Yorker, Jezebel, The Awl, Tablet, Mad Magazine, and The Pitchfork Review, and featured by The Believer and NPR. Her second most recent book of comics essays and stories, The Ultimate Laugh, was published by Tinto Press in 2016 and nominated for an Ignatz award. She is currently at work on a new collection, to be published by Birdcage Bottom Books in Spring 2017. Lautman is comics editor at Okey-Panky, the flash and experimental arm of Electric Literature, and a faculty member at The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January 28th Readings: Jason Diamond, Rion Amilcar Scott, and Katharine Noel

Jason Diamond founded the site Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Vol 1. has since launched Julius Singer Press and curates regular free literary events, including the popular 3-Minute Stories series. He was the editor of the Jewish pop culture website, the literary editor at, a former associate editor at Men's Journal, and currently the sports editor at Rolling Stone. He has written for The New York Times, The Paris Review, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal, New Republic, Vice, Bookforum, Tablet, The Awl, Pitchfork, McSweeny's, NPR, The Rumpus, and many other fine outlets. His memoir, Searching For John Hughes (William Morrow/HarperCollins), was released in November 2016.

Rion Amilcar Scott’s work has been published in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Rumpus, Fiction International, The Washington City Paper, The Toast, Akashic Books, Melville House and Confrontation, among others. He earned an MFA from George Mason University where he won both the Mary Roberts Rinehart award and a Completion Fellowship. He is a Kimbilio fellow. His short story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky) was published in August 2016 and was chosen for The Rumpus's Book Club and also the longlist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Wolf Tickets is forthcoming from Tiny Hardcore Press. Presently, he teaches English at Bowie State University.

Katharine Noel currently teaches at the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. She has been the Writer in Residence at Claremont McKenna College and the Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where she held Wallace Stegner and Truman Capote fellowships. Noel’s first novel, Halfway House, was a New York Times Editors' Choice and winner of a Ken/NAMI Award for "outstanding literary contributions to a better understanding of mental illness," and the 2006 Kate Chopin prize for fiction. She lives with her husband, the writer Eric Puchner, and their children in Baltimore, Maryland. Her second novel, Meantime, was just released by Grove Press.