Sunday, April 03, 2011

Poetry Baltimore: poems about a city




Poetry Baltimore: poems about a city
Sam Schmidt and Virginia Crawford, editors
WordHouse
Baltimore, MD
©1997

The backstory here is this : I was attending a poetry reading in Annapolis the same week that a reading had taken place in Baltimore for the 10 year anniversary anthology of Beltway Poetry Journal, edited by Kim Roberts. I had met Kim three years previously and we had exchanged infrequent emails during most of that period, until she contacted me about the possibility of Plan B Press publishing an anthology. Our meetings turned into a series of proposals and counter-proposals leading to the creation of Full Moon on K Street: poems about Washington D.C. (Plan B Press, 2010)

It became obvious to me that the anthology was going to hit the space in Washington, D.C. when an article on Kim and her anthology appeared in the February 7, 2010 edition of the Washington Post. Moreover, Kim had researched earlier anthologies of Washington DC poetry and had posted her findings in an incredible entry on her website - Kim Roberts on DC Poetry Anthology

I had never attended a reading in Annapolis but there were a few featured poets that night I wanted to hear, so I went. Earlier that same week, a piece appeared in the Baltimore City Paper about the tie-in reading occurring in Baltimore for Full Moon. In the piece the reporter bemoaned the fact that there was nothing like Kim’s anthology for Baltimore. I mentioned what this reporter had said to a couple I had met that evening, and they got very dejected. It turned out that the couple I was saying this to was the couple who had put together Poetry Baltimore : poems about a city in 1997. They were understandably a bit upset by the exchange and I offered them a copy of Full Moon…

A few weeks later I received a very nice copy of Poetry Baltimore in the mail. This handsome book contained 30 poems by poets with a connection to Baltimore including Lucille Clinton, Barbara DeCesare, A. V. Christie, Linda Pastan, and Kim Roberts – wait, that Kim Roberts? Yes, it turns out that Kim was friends with Sam and Virginia. Had attended their wedding.

This anthology is 36 pages long, in the universe of chapbooks, but perfect bound. The publisher, WordHouse, Inc. was a new organization in 1997 when this anthology came out. It was one of a handful of books that were brought out by WordHouse. However, there are faint traces of them on the internet. Like so many good ideas, things happened.

I am glad that Virginia Crawford was able to track down a copy of this great little collection. Copies are scarce. But isn’t collecting at least half the search? It’s worth the find!

1 comment:

UDP said...

Hey Steve,

We got some mail we sent to you returned. We'd love to send you some books. Did you change your address?

Thanks,

Ugly Duckling Presse
(udpintern (at) gmail.com)