Heralding the springtime: poems, stories, history


Spring: still several weeks away, but how impatiently a Marylander awaits it. Spring: the foretaste of big books, in the publishers' spring catalogs; the season of book-and-author sessions for readers; the promise of poetry, journeys, shows, races, home runs . . .

There are poems by Joe Bomba, Charles Carter and Minerva Gail Hawkins in the new Story Co. publication (paperback, $4, P.O. Box 38176, Baltimore 21231), edited by Rafael Alvarez and Tyrone Crawley. And, naturally, short stories -- by Barbara Lockhart, Tom Nugent and Franklin Mason.

The "world's first mail-order short story company" has published and sold "more than 600 stories by unknown writers" in its three years so far, and helped the Learning Bank from proceeds.

Mary Corddry, her book on Ocean City finished, has moved away from the Eastern Shore. She's high and dry now in Harford County. Did the author of "City on the Sand," while looking into beach erosion and building foundations, learn something unsettling?

I'm teasing. Her book, not out yet but due from Tidewater Publishers at swimsuit time, is a balanced chronicle, from 1875's first hotel to 1991's newest condos. Mrs. Corddry, from Bel Air to begin with, was The Sun's Shore correspondent for 17 years.

You may ask, is it just the sands that shift? What of the developer financing? Now, now: Let's be respectful of Downyocean, which once spring yields to summer will yet again be Maryland's second-largest city.

"The Writer in Maryland" is an all-day seminar March 23 by, and the Maryland Historical Society, starting at 9:15 a.m. Subjects will include Edgar A. Poe, Frederick Douglass ("A Voice From the Fire"), "the impossible" H. L. Mencken, other writers past and writers today. The speaker list features Mary Markey, Ralph Reckley Sr., Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, Frank Shivers Jr. and Clarinda Harriss Raymond.

Admission is free at this Maryland Day observance, but reservation must be made to Public Programs, Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore 21201. Brown-bag lunch available.

This is to honor J. Winfree Smith, author, St. John's College tutor emeritus and Episcopal clergyman, who died last month in Annapolis at the age of 76. His 1984 book, "A Search for the Liberal College," stands as the best one-volume account of the 1937 Stringfellow Barr-Scott Buchanan New Program that has given St. John's a new and very different life. Joining the faculty in 1941, Win Smith was noted for his ability to run seminars on almost any Great Books subject, from classical Greek to modern science.

The college will hold a memorial service April 20 at 5 p.m. Douglas Allanbrook and Robert Smith are assembling written recollections, toward a memorial publication.

Ruthe N. and Walter W. Wolverton of Severna Park don't just send

back postcards when they head out into the wild. They write books, so friends and strangers too will know the lure -- in 1988, "The National Seashores: The Complete Guide to America's Scenic Coastal Parks."

Now they are the authors of "13 National Parks With Room to Roam" (Mills & Sanderson, 442 Marrett Road, Lexington, Mass. 02173; paperback, $9.95 plus $1 handling). The parks, all visited by the Wolvertons, range from Big Bend in Texas to Lake Superior's Apostle Islands.

There is at last a life of Maryland's greatest right-handed batter: Double X: Jimmie Foxx, Baseball's Forgotten Slugger," by Bob Gorman of the Society for American Baseball Research. "Double X" (Bill Goff Inc., Box 502 Gracie Station, N.Y. 10028; paperback, $12) follows Foxx (1907-1967) from Sudlersville (Queen Anne's County) farm upbringing to teen-age arrival in the majors; from his 534 homers to his Florida retirement. Admiring, detailed, for readers of box scores rather than biographies, "Double X" is nonetheless honest about this quiet hero's mournful fade-out.

In the winter of 1919-1920, the Canadian-Californian evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson held "divine healing" services at the Lyric Theater. Is anyone still alive who was there, and remembers the experience?

The question is from Daniel Mark Epstein, poet and essayist. He is writing a biography of Sister Aimee, and may be addressed in care of the English Department, Towson State University, Towson 21204.

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