“Thomas Wolfe and the Writers Who Came Before”

Royal Sonesta Hotel
Baltimore, Maryland

May 26-27, 2023

Once again, the Thomas Wolfe Society is returning to Charm City where we met in May 1995.  And what better choice than a city once home to important American writers like Edgar Allan Poe, F. Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, Gertrude Stein, and H.L. Mencken?

Today Baltimore is home to John Barth, Madison Smartt Bell, Stephen Dixon, Laura Lippman, Alice McDermott, and Anne Tyler. There is no shortage of historic sites and literary attractions in “The City That Reads.”  

And who can forget the city’s associations with the Wolfe family? Leaving his family home in southern Pennsylvania after the Civil War, Thomas Wolfe’s father W.O. went first to Baltimore before continuing south to North Carolina.  

He would return to Baltimore near the end of his life for several cancer treatments at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Thomas Wolfe would also be hospitalized at Johns Hopkins where he died in September 1938. During our 1995 meeting, the TWS dedicated a plaque in honor of Wolfe at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.      

Last year, our Asheville conference had as its main theme an examination of the influence of Thomas Wolfe on selected writers who were inspired by and followed his literary path. Wolfe’s worldview was certainly affected by many writers and literary genres. 

This year we will focus on writers who called Baltimore home at different points of their lives, as well as influencing Wolfe and his fictional narratives. We look forward to productive discussions of history—recorded, remembered or in the making—as subject, backdrop or concern in Wolfe’s writing. Those who wish to present papers are invited to submit proposals on any aspect of Wolfe’s writing on the past and its influence on the struggles of individuals to contend with events and forces that shape their times and lives.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Please send a 250-word proposal (e-mail or e-mail attachment) to Steve Rogers at derholzer@aol.com by February 15, 2023. Please advise whether any audio-visual equipment will be required. Notification will be sent out by the end of February at the latest. 

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