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CityLit Festival - Reimagined: A Virtual Celebration of the Literary Arts

Join CityLit Project and the Enoch Pratt Free Library for a day of celebrating local and national literature. Click on the time for each session for the full description.

Featured festival event: A Reading and Audience Q & A with Nikky Finney

10:00 am - 12:00 pm
One-on-One 30-Minute Editorial Critique Sessions: Rosalia Scalia, Karen Houppert, Bret McCabe, Rebekah Kirkman, Laura Ballou, & Chelsea Fetzer ($10)
-A Zoom meeting, a phone call session, an email session or an in-person mask session. Click here to register.

10:00 am - 11:00 am
The Wolf You Feed: Join novelists Brandon Hobson, National Book Award Finalist (Where the Dead Sit Talking) and Kelli Jo Ford, debut novel-in-stories, Crooked Hallelujah in a conversation about their accomplished works, and learn the strife of stricken families and bonds that form between generations, mother and daughter, and the legacy of family. Brandon’s novel The Removed is steeped in Cherokee myth and history, a story of “calcified grief”, a fractured family reckoning with the tragedy of a son’s death from police violence. Kelli Jo’s debut novel-in-stories where a young Cherokee woman tries to break a generational cycle of broken families while finding strength in an enduring bond with her mother. The session title* is based on an old Cherokee saying about the battle between two wolves that exists inside each of us. A grandson asks his grandfather which wolf wins. The elder gently replies, “The one you feed.” Tyrese Coleman, author of How We Sit  will moderate.

11:00 am - 12:30 pm 
ReThinking How We Do Story: Real Talk About Craft and the Changing/Unchanging Landscape of Writing & Publishing
A 90-minute craft intensive about the changing dynamics of craft as we’ve been taught - from structure to plot to point of view. Learn from authors who dare you to revisit the elements of fiction; to unlearn and relearn how to reimagine the story you mean to tell. What does it mean to boldly examine your own work which may exist outside of the cultural norms, and who does that norm serve anyway? The year 2020 may have further exposed racial inequities and upended our sense of normalcy but it also cast a closer look at who gets to tell and own the story.  Tune in to a conversation that will awaken and challenge you. This session includes the changing/unchanging landscape of the publishing industry, what it means for people not readily represented in the profession, and how to prepare a manuscript so it gets 'seen'. Panelists include Jennifer Baker, Matthew Salesses, Felicia Rose Chavez,  and Courtney Maum with Susan Muaddi Darraj moderating.

THE MATTERING OF WORDS with  Nikky Finney: A Reading and Talk from 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Nikky Finney reflects on the past year, the necessity of poetry, the importance of historical context and a reckoning in understanding the world we live in. Poet Saida Agostini will moderate this session. A reading, commentary, and audience Q & A. 

The Writer’s Room: Poet to Poet with Nikky Finney from 3:00 - 4:15 pm

A special The Writer’s Room designed to engage and address Black poets, how to be a poet of this time, how to champion history and correction in a time of upheaval and uncertainty. Registration required, click here to register.

2:00 - 3:00 pm 
Who’s Missing? & Who’s Here Now? Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Four authors shed light on the many stories framed either around a historical context or referencing omission from the literary landscape. Join Randi Pink ​​(Angel in Greenwood)​, Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan​ (A Place at the Table)in a discussion about writing as activism; the importance of representation; why it’s important to tell this story; and what other stories we need to see in the world. LaTrisha Milton to introduce, ask questions and handle Q & A.

4:15  - 5:30 pm 
The ‘State’ of Baltimore: Brandon Soderberg, I’ve Got a Monster, Joshua Davis, Baltimore Revisited, author and cultural worker Alanah Nichole Davis with moderator - Nneka N’Namdi
Panelists discuss critical issues in Baltimore with the intention of shedding light, along with a broader view of justice, equality, art, and dignity in today’s Baltimore. Expect a lively discussion with co-editor JOSHUA DAVIS (Baltimore Revisited, Stories of Inequality and Resistance in a U.S. City), reporter BRANDON SODERBERG (I Got A Monster: The Rise and Fall of America's Most Corrupt Police Squad - co-written with Baynard Woods), author and cultural worker ALANAH NICHOLE DAVIS, with moderator NNEKA N’NAMDI, whose lived experience gave birth to Fight Blight Bmore, a social and environmental justice tool for residents to identify, report and track blight.

Do not miss CityLit Festival events throughout the month:
March 2Emily St. John Mandel & Jenny Offill 
March 9Terrance Hayes
March 17, George Saunders
March 24The Joy of Grief: Finding Life in Death with Gayle Danley & Kimberley Lynne (3 week workshop series)
March 31Somewhere in the Reflection: A Visual Presentation curated by Nia June & APoetNamedNate

Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 10:00am to 5:30pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Writers LIVE!, Virtual Event

Age Group

Adults, Seniors

Compass Category

Writers LIVE at the Library

Event Publisher

Emily Levine, Manager of Adult Services

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