Sacred & Profane: The Alvarez Book Page

Every day writer Rafael Alvarez will deliver poetry, artist profiles, serialized chapters to a novel, book events and other content from the literary world in Baltimore and beyond.

Today, the Alvarez Book Page debuts on .

Our intention is to bring durable narrative—through poetry, essays, short fiction, art and anything else that tells a story—to a world polluted by an aggregation of “content.”

Wrote Roberto Bolano in his masterpiece, 2666: “Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people's ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach.” 

Like me and like you.

Though partial to work anchored in Crabtown, the Book Page will feature artists and writers from around the world.

Here, you will find interviews with authors; histories of literary movements and landmarks—memories of the Beatnik scene at Martick's and the Peabody Bookshop in Mount Vernon—and literary hand grenades.

The page will carry book reviews and observations on the world of letters from people living a life of letters.

Each day will feature a calendar event of readings, lectures, screenings of films based on novels, writing contests and links to literary websites of merit.

This weekend, in concert with the Baltimore Book Festival, we launch a novel—The Long Vietnam of My Soul—in serial form. Look for it every Friday as a Dickensian happy hour hors d'oeuvre.

By this time next year, you will have consumed a nine-course meal. 

The cherry on top?

Selections from the love letters of the poet David Franks.

Unsolicited material will not be accepted, but our scouts will be scouring writing tables, art studios and school composition books for material.

So please, spread the word to anyone who loves stories, books, discarded scraps of paper, colored pencils, postcards with canceled stamps, make-believe, magic, and the sacred and the profane living side-by-side in a single heart.

This is the place for a walk on the beach.


Original art by Nancy Lee Mitchell

Sean Tully September 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM
Good luck, Rafael. I have always said that the Sun should have made you the next Mike Olesker. Little did I know you'd both be on the Patch.
Nancy Mitchell September 24, 2011 at 03:04 PM
What a fantastic project! I am excited to have had the opportunity to create artwork for its debut. Thanks Ralphie!


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