The Literary Salon hosts nationally recognized headlining authors from across the publishing spectrum.

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Literary Salon

Nationally recognized headlining authors from across the publishing spectrum visit the Literary Salon for readings and audience Q&As. Additionally, the Literary Salon presents the Maryland Humanities Council’s 2015 One Maryland One Book selection.

Stage: Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Rash Field, along Key Highway

Friday, September 25


PEN/Faulkner Foundation Writers in Schools Program

Since 1989, PEN/Faulkner has brought hundreds of authors into high school classrooms to meet with students through its Writers in Schools (WiS) program. This year, the WiS program comes to the Baltimore Book Festival, where students and authors will discuss works by Baltimore authors. Everyone can join in and participate.

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Tobias Buckell, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Guest of Honor

Called “Violent, poetic and compulsively readable” by Maclean’s, science fiction author Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling writer born in the Caribbean. He grew up in Grenada and spent time in the British and US Virgin Islands, and the islands he lived on influence much of his work. His novels and over 50 stories have been translated into 18 different languages. His work has been nominated for awards like the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author.

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Ladies Night Happy Hour with Jessica Knoll, Luckiest Girl Alive

Baltimore toasts Jessica Knolls success with her instant NYT bestseller, Luckiest Girl Alive. Enjoy one complimentary glass of wine as part of the celebration!

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Saturday, September 26


Wes Moore, The Work: My Search for a Life That Matters

A follow up to his bestselling memoir, THE OTHER WES MOORE, this new book continues a remarkable quest to find a meaningful life. From the streets of Baltimore and the Bronx to Oxford University and Afghanistan to Wall Street and the White House, Wes Moore has been at the center of many defining moments in our country’s recent history.

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Greg Proops, The Smartest Book in The World: A Lexicon of Literacy, A Rancorous Reportage, A Concise Curriculum of Cool

Greg Proops is an internationally renowned comedian, best known for starring on the hit improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? and for his popular award-winning podcast, “The Smartest Man in the World,” which Rolling Stone called “some of the boldest comedy on the podcasting frontier right now.” The Smartest Book in the World is based on Proops’s sensational, iTunes Top 10 podcast that has been downloaded more than nine million times, in which his “bold, never-boring voice takes center stage” (The New York Times). The book is a rollicking reference guide to the most essential areas of knowledge in Proops’s universe, from the noteworthy names of the ancient world and baseball, to the movies you must see and the albums you must hear.

Moderated by: Mike Finazzo

A Baltimore native, Finazzo has performed as far north as Canada and as far west as California, opening for the likes of Dennis Miller, Drew Carey, Brian Posehn, Nick Dipaolo, Godfrey, Judah Friedlander, Kevin Pollack, Hal Sparks and many others.

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Baltimore: The Path Forward

A very special panel discussion on the future of Baltimore’s diverse communities, and what it takes to unify a city.  Featuring:
D Watkins, The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America. D Watkins is a columnist for Salon. His work has been published in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Aeon, AlterNet, The Guardian and other magazines. He holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is a college professor and has also been the recipient of numerous awards including a BMe fellowship, Baltimore Magazine’s “Best Writer,” award for 2015, and The Baltimore Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list.

Tim Wise, Dear White People: Letter to a New Minority. Wise is the author of six books, including his highly-acclaimed memoir, “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son,” as well as “Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority,” and “Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity.” His next book, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Jeopardizing the Future of America, will be released in early 2015. He has contributed chapters or essays to over 25 additional books and his writings are taught in colleges and universities across the nation. His essays have appeared on Alternet, Salon, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, The Root, Black Commentator, BK Nation and Z Magazine among others.

Stephen Janis, Why Do We Kill?: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore. Stephen Janis is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work has won acclaim in both print and television. As the Senior Investigative Reporter for the now defunct Baltimore Examiner he won two Maryland DC Delaware Press Association Awards for his work on the number of unsolved murders in Baltimore and the killings of prostitutes. As an Investigative Producer for WBFF/Fox 45 he has won three successive Capital Emmys for Best Investigative Series.  He is currently an Investigative Journalist for The Real News Network, a non-profit news service based in Baltimore.

Sheri Parks, Fierce Angels: The Strong Black Woman in American Life And Culture. Sheri Parks’ research focuses on public aesthetics, with particular concern for popular culture as public mythology and its effect upon individuals, families and minority cultures. She is an active public intellectual, appearing in national and local media, and is in demand as a public speaker. Dr. Parks is active in the University of Maryland’s civic engagement initiatives, as a steering committee member of the Coalition for Civic Engagement and as an instructor whose classes often include projects that benefit non-profit associations. In 2008 she was recognized by the campus as the Outstanding Woman of Color and as Faculty of the Year in the University Honors Program.

Lester Spence, Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics. Lester Spence is Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He specializes in the study of black, racial, and urban politics in the wake of the neoliberal turn. An award winning scholar (in 2013 he received the W.E.B. DuBois Distinguished Book Award for his book Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics) and teacher (in 2009 he received an Excellence in Teaching Award), Spence can regularly be heard on National Public Radio and the Marc Steiner Show.


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Sunday, September 27


Issa Rae, Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae’s content has garnered over 25 million views and close to 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list twice and winning the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show for her hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae has worked on web content for Pharrell Williams, Tracey Edmonds and numerous others. She developed a TV series with Shonda Rhimes for ABC and is currently developing a half-hour comedy, “Insecure” for HBO.

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Daniel James Brown, The Boys in The Boat

The Boys in the Boat celebrates the 1936 U.S. men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team—nine working class boys who stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans. Against the grim backdrop of the Great Depression, they reaffirmed the American notion that merit, in the end, outweighs birthright. They reminded the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together. And they provided hope that in the titanic struggle that lay just ahead, the ruthless might of the Nazis would not prevail over American grit, determination, and optimism.

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Laura Lippman, Hush Hush

Join New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman, celebrating the paperback release of her most recent book, which plunges Baltimore private investigator Tess Monaghan into a twisted and disturbing case.

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Senator John McCain, 13 Soldiers

As a veteran himself, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a long-time student of history, John McCain brings a distinctive perspective to this subject. Thirteen Soldiers tells the stories of real soldiers who personify valor, obedience, enterprise, and love. You’ll meet Joseph Plumb Martin, who at the tender age of fifteen fought in the Revolutionary War; Charles Black, a freeborn African American sailor in the War of 1812; and Sam Chamberlain, of the Mexican American War, whose life inspired novelist Cormac McCarthy. Then there’s Oliver Wendell Holmes, an aristocratic idealist disillusioned by the Civil War, and Littleton “Tony” Waller, court-martialed for refusing to massacre Filipino civilians. From their acts of self-sacrifice to their astonishing bravery, these thirteen soldiers embody the best America has to offer.

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View Full Bookfest Schedule

Special Events


Sept 25-27, 2015
Fri-Sun: llam - 7pm


Baltimore Inner Harbor

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