Baltimore is a weird place. Whether its quirk is distinct from that of other cities is often a topic of debate, but The White Rail, Clarinda Harriss' new collection of short stories, provides some compelling anecdotal evidence. The poet and author has published six volumes of poetry, and more than 350 of her poems have appeared in journals and magazines. She was a professor of English at Towson University for 40 years, and with this new collection, she ventures for the first time into the world of short stories.
“The White Rail” contains six stories that take place in and around Baltimore. Harriss introduces us to characters that include a scantily clad chef who displays herself in an abandoned department store window, a possibly homeless man who encounters a woman in her Guilford hot tub, two women with the same name, and a prisoner who becomes a big fan of Emily Dickinson. Clarinda Harriss joins Tom Hall in the studio to talk about her new book.