In this first comprehensive literary history of Baltimore and Maryland (with tes on Washington writers), Frank R. Shivers, Jr., explores the region's long-overlooked but substantial contribution to American letters. In picture and story, Shivers's lively account ranges from the colonial satire of Ebenezer Cook, to the National Anthem of Francis Scott Key, to the acclaimed works of Poe, Mencken, and Fitzgerald. Here are surprising stories of Frederick Douglass, Walt Whitman, Dashiel Hammett, Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, and other writers influenced by Chesapeake culture-an influence still fresh in the work of such contemporary writers as John Barth, Anne Tyler, and Russell Baker. Nothing, wrote Gertrude Stein, really can stop anyone living and feeling as they do in Baltimore. As entertaining as it is informative, Maryland Wits and Baltimore Bards shows us why.
Frank R. Shivers, Jr. teaches in the School of Continuing Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Bolton Hill: Baltimore Classic and Walking in Baltimore, the latter available from Johns Hopkins.