February 7, 2000
The Maryland Center for the Book has named Sun staff writer Rafael Alvarez the winner of its first Rising Star Award. The award, which honors a Maryland writer showing exceptional literary promise, will be presented May 12 at the Maryland Library Association's annual conference in Towson. Alvarez, a lifelong resident of Baltimore, is the author of "The Fountain of Highlandtown," a collection of short stories, and "Hometown Boy," a collection of his articles for The Sun. His latest book, "Orlo and Leini," is the six-story saga of a Baltimore junkman and his tormented Greek lover.
April 12, 2012
Make sure you take a break Saturday from your weeding, planting and other household chores to stop by the CityLit Festival at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. It's one of Baltimore's best literary events, and the schedule is always packed with an entertaining list of speakers. The headliner this year is Walter Isaacson, biographer Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO. At noon, I'll moderate a panel called In the Service of Short Stories, with authors Rafael Alvarez, ("Orlo and Leini")
May 12, 2014
When Baltimore writer Rafael Alvarez was driving around the country peddling his books, he sold a collection of his newspaper articles and short stories to a drunken farmer in a men's room outside Memphis, Tenn. He's spent countless nights sleeping in his truck. He's traded a book for a meal. A good day is when he ekes out just enough money to buy enough gas to get him to the next town - and that's assuming he doesn't run into an ice storm. So what would Alvarez consider to be a not-so-good day on the road?
July 2, 1995
"Carry Me Like Water," by Benjamin Alire Saenz. 448 pages, Hyperion. $22.95Back in the days when George Minot and I ran fiction workshops out of Miss Bonnie's Elvis Bar, George would hold up a manuscript and ask: "Who's story is this?"It was not a question of authorship. George sought to excise and exhibit the heart of narrative: Who's story is being told?In poet Ben Senz's first novel "Carry Me Like Water" - a book about miracles that falls short of becoming a miraculous book - the story belongs to a small crowd of characters vexed by identity: their real ones, their assumed ones, and the one that results from carrying both around for too long.
January 22, 1995
DRINKING AND TOWINGEditor: Re: "A Thanksgiving Duck," by Rafael Alvarez [Nov. 20] -- two things gnawed at me about Mr. Alvarez's story.First, while I spent six years working on tugs -- both ocean and inland Chesapeake -- I never saw the drinking he rests the story's outcome on. There wasn't that kind of tolerance for it in the "old days" and, recent legislation . . . and the general attitude have diminished the tolerance to zero.Second, hawsers are not "coiled fore and aft." Decklines are. The hawser is the line that attaches to the barge for towing.
September 11, 2014
Paul Blair doesn't have a statue behind center field at Camden Yards, and he wasn't honored by the Orioles with a uniform patch this season after he passed away last December. But he does have a legion of fans in Baltimore who plan to honor him with signs and cheers when the Orioles and the New York Yankees play a doubleheader at Camden Yards on Friday. The grassroots tribute to a guy who was arguably the greatest defensive center fielder in club history began earlier in the week when Baltimore City Council Chairman Bernard C. “Jack” Young introduced a resolution honoring Blair, who made his major league debut with the Orioles 50 years ago this past Tuesday.