Lit!Pop!Bang! is a Baltimore podcast that explores all things, well, lit, pop . . . and bang.
They chat about literature they’re reading, they banter about the latest in pop culture, and if you’re wondering what the “bang!” is in reference to, it’s that little something extra that gives listeners some insight into the personality of the host and guests, like asking what literary figure from the past they would most like to have dinner with.
The Baltimore podcast is hosted by writers and educators Anthony Moll and CeCe and produced by Mason Jar Press. It launched in December 2017 and has brought together area authors, poets, and other creatives for light conversations that sometimes integrate heavier topics and current issues. Without a designated studio, they’ve hosted Lit!Pop!Bang! at a number of unorthodox locations.
“We were once in an office closet,” CeCe says. “We’ve been everywhere from people’s bathrooms to—.” She cuts herself off and laughs. “I’m kidding. We have not recorded in a bathroom. But we’re very DIY.”
The upside of not having a studio is that it allows them to be very fluid.
Their second on-location podcast will be recorded live next weekend at the Baltimore Book Festival, where they’ll bring Maren Wright-Kerr, the Baltimore Youth Poet Laureate, and widely known poet, writer, and teacher Ailish Hopper to the CityLit Stage at 1 p.m. Sept. 30 to talk specifically about race in writing, publishing, and pop culture. The broader topic is about identity. They’ll ask things like who gets published? And why? And who are the gatekeepers?
“We want to have the conversations that can be hard to have,” Moll says. “We want to be our usual selves, too—from being very serious but also irreverent. We’re just putting on audio the conversations we’re already having.”
“We try to find out what’s ticking underneath the facade,” CeCe adds.
They also hope to include some audience participation in the form of a Q&A session, if time allows.
“The call-and-response is real, and it’s risky in that anything can happen,” says CityLit Project director Carla Du Pree, who organized a packed lineup over all three days of the CityLit Stage. “We applaud Lit!Pop!Bang! for standing up to this challenge and bringing it. I love it when people aren’t afraid to venture into new spaces.”
The Baltimore Book Festival, in its 23rd year, runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 28-30 at the Inner Harbor Promenade and is free and open to the public.
Moll, who holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts, is a longtime Book Fest goer, but this will be his first year presenting. CeCe has lived in Baltimore for about three years, and this is her third year being part of the festival. She’ll also be reading her own poetry.
“Baltimore Book Festival is a place where everybody can come—all ages, all races, all gender identities—and you can really find whatever it is you’re into,” CeCe says. “I’ve been to book fests across the country, and this is one of the best.”