You caused a stir a while back when you gave up an advance for one of your novels to publish instead with the Black Classic Press, which is based here in Baltimore. Do you anticipate further collaborations with them?

I have no plans to do it, but Paul [Coates] and I are good friends. If I ever want to publish another book with them, I think Paul will do it.

Literature is one of the vertebrae in the spine of culture. If you don't control your own curating of culture, at least to some degree, then you don't exist inside the literary canon. Black publishers in general, and the Black Classic Press specifically, are very important for that reason.

An exhibit of your artwork, "Alien Script" opens Monday at the Kimmel Center in New York. Do drawing and writing express different parts of you?

I've been drawing for 49 years, and I have thousands of drawings. I was showing them to a curator one day, and she said, "We could do a show."

I used to draw first thing in the morning. Then, when I started to write, that pushed the drawing aside. Now, I write first thing in the morning.

Writing to me is very realistic. It's like painting the world: what things look like, how people move, where are people in the world. My drawing is completely fanciful. I have no talent and no interest in the human body or in rendering a three-dimensional perspective.

If you go

Author Walter Mosley will read from his new book at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the central Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St. Free. Call 410-396-5430 or go to

About the book

"Little Green" was released May 14 by the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. $25.95, 306 pages.