“The Mysteries of Baltimore! Tom DiVenti is a man of many hats: Editor of Apathy Press; gravel voiced lead singer of the Bum Rush Band; oyster shucker of the Williamsburg waterfront; bard of the Mount Royal Tavern; Punk Rock Virgil of the Tinytown Inferno. The singular voice of this Charm City Raconteur gets it done: From Aunt Helen’s house to Hollins Market, from Scallios Tavern to Fell’s Point, from Brooklyn’s Right Bank Café to the tables of Martick’s Restarurant Francais, DiVenti delivers “the world, the oyster, the bowl of cherries and the slice of pie.” So grab yourself a six pack of Natty Bo and let The Baltimore Kid take you on its own unique brand of literary bar crawl. Just be careful- You might end up sleeping under a blanket of newspapers in some stranger’s van in a Sowebo alley. . . because all the doors will be locked by the time you get home.”
CARL WATSON, POET, AUTHOR OF BENEATH THE EMPIRE OF THE BIRDS
The wonderfully talented Tom DiVenti is Baby Boomer/punk/poet who has, thankfully, traversed decades of hard living, spectacular and outrageous performance art and emerged as an apt example for younger, and like-minded individuals. His many stories, really exquisite prose poems, capture the now-downtrodden Baltimore from a more glorious era.
Whether he’s reminiscing about Martick’s restaurant, growing up in northeast Baltimore in a rough and tumble neighborhood and his mischievous pranks in Catholic school, or hanging out with John Waters’ crew in Fells Point, the humor and sincerity of his voice is singular. He speaks authoritatively on figures as diverse as Hank Williams, Captain Beefheart and Charles Bukowski with his unique spin. What a pleasure to see a collection of his work in print.
RUSS SMITH, EDITOR SPLICE TODAY
When Tommy Diventi and I first crossed paths decades ago, I’m pretty sure we thought the same of each other: Why doesn’t this guy just go away? I was a fairly post-modern formalist as a poet & publisher, and Tommy, well, he seemed everything else. But it soon dawned on me that, while I & mine were publishing a book or two a year, he was publishing a book or two a month. Clearly, there was something there. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I’m deep enough now to “get it” and to realize what a true power he was in this town he called his own; not just on the scene but necessary to the scene. Tommy isn’t from Baltimore; Tommy Diventi is Baltimore.
JAMES TAYLOR, PUBLISHER, SHOCKED AND AMAZED!