Jun 29 2012

Seltzer Speaksy, Take 1

I’ve written about Baltimore literary events before, and I think this city has an amazing arts community. The 510 Readings focus on fiction, and the H.L. Mencken-inspired New Mercury Readings bring non-fiction to the forefront (this Saturday’s line-up features my travel writing professor from last semester, Sue Eisenfeld, among others – check it!). And now, Baltimore has a new reading series on the scene: Seltzer Speaksy.

Peter Cardamone and Mike Shattuck

Seltzer Speaksy was started by the editors of Seltzer, a new online zine that publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. (One of my essays was published in the first issue – yep, that’s both some shameless self-promotion and my full disclosure statement.) Last night, the first reading was held at Midtown BBQ & Brew in Mount Vernon, and it was a great mix of talented people.

Featured readers included Steven Leyva, who shared poems about New Orleans and Baltimore from his book Low Parish; Garvi Sheth, who read an excerpt from her young adult novel that combined a one night stand with pancakes; Lauren Flax, who gave a date the writers’ workshop treatment – harsh, honest, and oh-so-hilarious; Shagrila Willy, whose lyrical poems included musings on fireflies; and Dario DiBattista, who shared a memoir piece with a hint of vampires.

Lauren Flax

The open mic portion yielded some great surprises, including an experimental mix of Mick Jagger and Gertrude Stein by Dylan Kinnett.

The night was inspiring, energizing, and fun. Check out the Seltzer Facebook page for updates on the next event.

Shangrila Willy