“Racial wallpaper” and the power of mapping

Originally posted on City of Print:
In response to Dylann Roof’s killing of nine people in Charleston this past week, Jon Stewart commented what he called the state’s “racial wallpaper” of white supremacy: “The confederate flag flies over South Carolina. And the roads are named for confederate generals.” To test the truth of Stewart’s statement, Laura Newman Eckstein, a…

You’re Off to Great Places! A tour of gay Baltimore

Over the weekend, I went on a tour, organized by the historic preservation organization Baltimore Heritage, of LGBTQ Mount Vernon, the Baltimore neighborhood that is just south of where I live. Illuminating, fun, and hot! But totally worth it. My “co-blogger internet friend” (her descriptor) Kate Drabinski, whom I physically met for the first time on this tour, was […]


From the hive mind: “print culture” and beyond

The term “print culture” is being bandied about a lot among grad-student types these days. I heard it used a lot when we were interviewing candidates for jobs, I hear it when I go to conferences, I see it all over the place in CFPs (calls for papers) and conference announcements. Most of the time, […]


Weekly Poem Project: listening, and the listeners

I’ve heard so much about Evie Shockley. “She’s amazing,” one of my colleagues recently gushed. I’d never read any of her poems– or read any of her scholarly work about poetics and African American poetry. So when I saw that she was receiving the Stephen Henderson Award for “outstanding achievement in poetry” from the African American Lit […]


West Baltimore, Sunday morning

I drove through West Baltimore today, and was really struck by how “normal” everything was. It was the usual scene: spiffily dressed people heading to church, the Baltimore Sun vendors on the street corners, dogwoods blooming, lawnmowers, even a yard sale. The Shoppers grocery store at Mondawmin Mall has reopened (the header photo shows what […]

Night falls, Wednesday

I hear no helicopters. I hear no sirens. Even though the curfew is not beginning for another 12 minutes, I’m oddly serene, not anxious at all about what will happen, as I’ve been for the past few days. Maybe it was today’s wonderful, youthful, peaceful demonstrations that have given me hope that perhaps we are […]