Last week The Triangle paid a visit to LitMore, a non-profit organization working to connect and encourage literary endeavors in Baltimore, MD. Housed in a beautiful old rectory next to a church-turned-school, LitMore hosts a Community Poetry Library, literary workshops and readings, an office co-op, writers studios, internships and multi-media performance space.
One of our favorite parts of the space was the Community Poetry Library, where Doug Mowbray (of twentythreebooks) and Christophe Casamassima (of Furniture Press Books) have been collecting small press titles including full-length books, chapbooks, pamphlets, broadsides, ephemera, and hand-made objects. With over 3,000 titles (and growing—we had to move piles of lit in order to sit down on the in-library loveseat), the collection is the largest of its kind in the state of Maryland. Casamassima hopes to catalog the collection by the end of the summer, a process which will require no small amount of effort, as many of these one-of-a-kind items do not have barcodes containing publisher information. This requires a volunteer to input data (publisher/press, date of publication, number of pages, author info, etc) by hand for each individual item. However, once the collection is cataloged, LitMore visitors will be able to search for particular authors and easily locate their works on the shelves or within archival boxes.
We were invited to record some collaborative poems (“You Can Do It All Yourself But You Don’t Have To: The Ikea Poems”) for Casamassima’s project Onthology/audio. During our visit, Casamassima also introduced us to Normals Bookstore, a collectively-run mecca featuring used books (including tons of local, indie, and small press lit), records, and more. After a quick lunch at The Blue Moon Cafe and walk around Fell’s Point, we headed back to Lancaster filled with inspiration and admiration for Charm City. If you’re going to be in Baltimore, be sure to check out LitMore—we promise you won’t regret it.