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One of my favorite yearly outdoor events is the Baltimore Book Festival, a weekend-long celebration of all things literary held each September in the lovely downtown neighborhood of Mount Vernon. This year I had the pleasure of attending events on both Friday and Saturday.

On Friday evening I headed to the City Lit Stage for Literary Happy Hour, complete with locally crafted Brewer’s Art beers and a chat about the history of the festival.  Later, I indulged my Bravo TV addiction with a reading by The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice, who was promoting her newest cookbook, Fabulicious: Fast and Fit. Really, it was thirty minutes of her squirming awkwardly on a barstool while dodging questions about her bankruptcy and whether or not her husband really called her “the c word” on television.

Saturday was a wonderful day full of readings and musical entertainment, booths upon booths of authors and literary magazines, sales, and street performers. I enjoyed a morning full of Waxing Moon masks and puppets, spoken word poetry, roaming characters from children’s books, and a productive book swap (traded some Philip Roth for some Marilyn Robinson). I even discovered–and subscribed to–a new literary “magazine”: Hoot, a postcard review of [mini] poetry and prose, which deserves a post of its own. Aaaand, though I was ineligible to win because I wasn’t able to return on Sunday, I entered the Maryland Writers Association’s drabble contest. A drabble, in case you’re curious, is a short story that is exactly one hundred words long. I’ll share mine in this week’s Sunday poem!

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