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

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' 2016 One Maryland One Book selection.

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

Friday, September 23


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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Rock the Podium: Powerful Youth Poets Unite

Baltimore’s Brave New Voices 2016 Youth Slam Champions will come together on one stage to bring their championship-winning poetic showcase to the Baltimore Book Festival! Hosted by Shelly Says So, the co-host of ‘BE FREE Fridays,’ Baltimore’s longest running monthly open mic.

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Rock the Podium: Champions of Slam

Baltimore’s 2016 National Slam Champions: Lady Brion, Slangston Hughes, Black Chakra and Kenneth Something will bring their championship stylings to the Baltimore Book Festival! Special guest poet Terrance “Duke the Rude” Porter also joins the team for an amazing showcase of talent. Hosted by Shelly Says So, the co-host of ‘BE FREE Fridays,’ Baltimore’s longest running monthly open mic.

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Rock the Podium: Open Mic Time!

The stage has been set and now it’s time to open it up for the super talented poets that love Baltimore! Join us for what will be one dynamic showcase. Hosted by LOVE the poet and Shelly Says So, the hosts of ‘BE FREE Fridays,’ Baltimore’s longest running monthly open mic.

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Saturday, September 24


Thomas Dolby, "THE SPEED OF SOUND: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology"

Melding the world of rock and roll with the high-energy and high-stake technology boom of the 1990s, THE SPEED OF SOUND is the sensational story of a man who stood at the vanguard of it all. From early appearances on MTV to tough negotiations with the biggest names in Silicon Valley, Dolby’s memoir takes readers through the voracious devotion of one man and his insatiable passion for music. New! The Baltimore Book Festival is a partner of Baltimore Innovation Week (September 23-October 1).

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Terry McMillan, "I Almost Forgot About You"

Multimillion copy and New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Terry McMillan fell in love with books as a teenager while working at the local library. She studied journalism at UC Berkeley and screenwriting at Columbia before making her fiction debut with Mama, which won both the Doubleday New Voices in Fiction Award and the American Book Award. She lives in Pasadena, California.

*Sign interpreter available

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The Stoop Storytelling Series

The Stoop Storytelling Series presents “The Story Behind the Story: Adventures with Baltimore Writers," a live show at the 2016 Baltimore Book Festival featuring 7 local scribes telling true, personal tales about researching, reporting, and writing that never make it onto the page.


Dan Fesperman contributed to the financial woes of five daily newspapers, including the Baltimore Sun, before mercifully leaving journalism in 2005 to write novels full-time. His travels have taken him to three war zones and more than thirty countries. His tenth novel, The Letter Writer, was published earlier this year, and he is also working on a TV project with the creators of "The Wire."

Lauren Francis-Sharma's acclaimed first novel, Til the Well Runs Dry, has been short-listed for the William Soroyan International Prize, chosen as an Honor Fiction Award winner by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and a Summer Reading Pick in O, The Oprah Magazine 2014. A former corporate attorney, she lives with her husband and two children in Kensington, Md.

Robert Marbury is a co-founder of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists, sits on the advisory board of the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, and co-curates events in Baltimore with his wife Alix, under the name "Wonder Commons." Taxidermy Art: A Rogue's Guide to the Work, the Culture, and How to Do It Yourself is Robert's first book.

Erika Blount Danois is a reformed class clown whose influences were Nancy Drew, Richard Wright, Judy Blume, Malcolm X -- and the teacher who made her best friend and her create a comic strip during class in order to stay out of trouble. An award-winning journalist, writer, editor, and professor, she is the author of Love, Peace, and Soul, which tells the story of the television phenomenon known as "Soul Train."

Wil S. Hylton is a writer for The New York Times Magazine and the author of Vanished. He lives in Baltimore, is writing a book about Cuba, and in any location responds favorably to whiskey.

Nik Korpon is a dad, husband, Buddhist, land-locked surfer, and taco enthusiast. His crime and science fiction novels include Stay God, Old Ghosts, By the Nails of the Warpriest, and Bar Scars: Stories.

Rachel Anne Warren is a musician and award-winning writer based in Baltimore. She has written essays and features for half a dozen publications including VICE and Baltimore City Paper. Her debut book, about running away to join a circus when she was 19, will be published in 2017 by Bleeding Heart Publications.

The Stoop Storytelling Series is a popular Baltimore-based live event and podcast that features "ordinary" people telling the extraordinary true, tales of their lives. Since its founding in 2006, The Stoop has presented the stories of nearly 1,000 people. There are no notes, no scripts -- just real people sharing the stories that matter to them. The Stoop presents its mainstage shows at The Senator Theatre and offers storytelling workshops, special events, and an open mic series called Second Stoop. Visit stoopstorytelling.com to learn more, join the mailing list, and subscribe to The Stoop podcast.

*Sign interpreter available

Event Details

Sunday, September 25


Carl Hiaasen, "Razor Girl"

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of thirteen previous novels, including the best-selling Bad Monkey, Star Island, Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Lucky You, and four best-selling children's books, Chomp, Hoot, Flush, and Scat. His most recent work of nonfiction is The Downhill Lie: A Hacker's Return to a Ruinous Sport. He also writes a weekly column for The Miami Herald.

*Sign interpreter available

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Maryland Humanities Presents Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

Jason Reynold and Brendan Kiely, the 2016 One Maryland One Book authors, will speak about their unforgettable novel, All American Boys. The book weaves a story from the perspective of two teens—one black, one white—who grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

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Luvvie Ajayi: I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual

A thirteen-year blogging veteran, she is the voice behind Awesomely Luvvie, a respected entertainment and humor blog that covers everything pop culture – from TV, movies and technology to travel, race and life’s random adventures. Her first book, titled, I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do Better Manual, will be released in September 2016 by Henry Holt and Company.

Luvvie is passionate about social justice and is equally addicted to shoes. She combined these loves in 2009 when she, along with Karyn Brianne Lee, founded The Red Pump Project. Red Pump is a nonprofit that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls.  Their work has earned them a Congressional Record from the U.S. House of Representatives and Resolutions by the Illinois State Senate as well as the City Council of Chicago.

Her latest site, Awesomely Techie (launched April 2014), is a resource for writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and everyday people who want to use technology to make their work and personal lives more efficient.  Luvvie is a contributing editor and columnist for TheGrio, writes Scandal recaps for Vulture, and has written for XOJane, Essence, EBONY, Huffington Post, Clutch Magazine and Uptown Magazine. She has been featured by the Chicago Sun-Times, Africa.com, Essence, AOL.com, Black Enterprise, The Root, BET  and more.

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View Full Bookfest Schedule

Special Events

Sept 22-24, 2017
Fri - Sun: 11am - 7pm
Baltimore Inner Harbor

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