by Ann Hendon
ACCORDING TO Reading Local, there’s a new literary reading series in Baltimore that honors the spirit of H.L. Mencken and The American Mercury. They say:
The second installment of the New Mercury Reading Series was held at Jordan Faye Contemporary Gallery, featuring Charles Cohen, Steve Luxenberg, and Melissa Hale. Their mission statement is a re-envisioning of H. L. Mencken and George Nathan’s goals for The American Mercury, founded in 1924 and revived recently online as a compendium of vintage articles and new. The New Mercury Reading Series is a venture after my own heart, as they plan to “feature mostly writers with a Baltimore connection of some kind, even if they are no longer living here,” according to organizer (and author of Roots of Steel, which I discussed here) Deborah Rudacille. Their goal is to showcase authors of all types of non-fiction: memoir, journalism, essays, reporting, criticism: anyone “who fits under the big tent of real-life storytelling.”
Check out this 1923 announcement in Time for the initial publication of The American Mercury.
More than ever, the spirit of intelligence, free thinking, creativity, and reason that Mencken exemplified is needed today, and we hope that this reading series — and our own efforts, for that matter — are up to the standard set by our founder.