Literary Heritage in Baltimore

By Baltimore Literary Heritage Committee

This tour is produced in partnership with CityLit, the Maryland Humanities Council, Maryland State Arts Council, and the University of Baltimore.

Locations for Tour

1. Karl Shapiro at the Enoch Pratt Free Library

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Karl Shapiro was a true Baltimorean. As a young man in the 1920s and 1930s, Shapiro fed his literary ambitions with the city's rich cultural history, for instance, writing love poems at Fort McHenry where Francis…

2. John Dos Passos at the Peabody Library

Heralded as "the greatest writer of our time" by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, John Dos Passos spent time in and out of Baltimore from his birth in 1896 and lived here from 1950 until his death in 1970. An acclaimed biographer and novelist,…

3. Gertrude Stein on East Biddle Street

A novelist, playwright, poet, and essayist, Gertrude Stein is remembered as a literary innovator who fearlessly experimented with language in the early twentieth century. Today, Gertrude Stein is still renowned as a magnet for those who would…

4. Carl Sandburg at the Old St. Paul's Rectory

In 1934, Carl Sandburg wrote to Sally Bruce Kinsolving, "The years go by and I don't forget ever the long evening of song with you...at your house and faces and stories and moments out of that visit to Baltimore. I'm hoping to drop in…

5. F. Scott Fitzgerald at 1307 Park Avenue

In August 1933, F. Scott Fitzgerald moved with his family to 1307 Park Avenue. Fitzgerald had been forced out of his previous home in Towson due to a house fire attributed to his mentally ill wife, Zelda. Their rowhouse, a ten minute walk from the…

6. Ottmar Mergenthaler at 159 West Lanvale Street

Ottmar Mergenthaler was only 18 years old when he immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1872 to work with his cousin August Hahl at his machine shop in Washington, D.C. Four years later, after Hahl moved his shop to Baltimore, inventor…

7. Edgar Allan Poe Statue

The Edgar Allan Poe statue sitting in the Gordon Plaza at University of Baltimore has a colorful past. The statue was commissioned in 1911 by the Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Association of Baltimore and was the last work of renowned American sculptor …

9. Edna St. Vincent Millay at Emmanuel Episcopal Church

Past the brick rowhomes that have come to define Baltimore, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, established in 1854, sits on the corner of Read and Cathedral Streets. At street level, only the abrupt appearance of rubble stone from brick indicates that there…

10. Ogden Nash at 4300 Rugby Road

After a brief stint in New York, Ogden Nash returned to Baltimore in 1934 and wrote: "I could have loved New York had I not loved Balti-more." Nash grew up in Rye, New York and first came to Baltimore for love. On a trip to the Elkridge…

11. John H.B. Latrobe House

The John H.B. Latrobe House is the only surviving site associated with the "Saturday Morning Visiter" writing contest that launched Edgar Allan Poe's literary career. On an evening in October, 1833, Latrobe, along with John Pendleton…