The Klein Family School of Communications Design is the new home of the Baltimore Poetry Library, and on Saturday, March 5, the school hosted an opening of the collection. The Baltimore Poetry Library is a compilation of thousands of volumes of poetry in various formats that constitutes the single largest collection of poetry in the mid-Atlantic region. The collection’s curators Douglas Mowbray and Christophe Casamassima have been accumulating the materials since 2003. They decided to house the collection at UB because of the reputation of the School of Communications Design—specifically the School’s MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts as a welcoming place for Baltimore writers.
According to Casamassima, “The goal of the Baltimore Poetry Library is to document and archive the full history of Baltimore’s various literary communities, to acquire every piece of literature ever published in Baltimore, by Baltimore writers, and by Baltimore publishers, and to make that collection available to students, scholars and lovers of poetry.”
Mowbray hopes that the community will see the collection “not as a museum to showcase poetry books, but rather a petting zoo that encourages the tactile experience.”
Over the next several months, Casamassima, Mowbray, and School of Communications Design faculty will develop policies for community access to the collection.