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).