2018 CityLit Festival, April 14
March 27, 2018
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
The 2018 CityLit Festival, featuring globally recognized authors, publishers, editors and more in a day-long celebration of literature, will take place at the University of Baltimore on Saturday, April 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center, 11 W. Mt. Royal Ave. This partnership with UB's Klein Family School of Communications Design will feature more than 75 writers in 20 sessions, all free and open to the public.
Philip Gourevitch, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories of Rwanda, will serve as this year's keynote speaker. Poet-turned-novelist Elizabeth Acevedo is this year's featured poet. Noted poets Joanne Gabbin, Abdul Ali, Lauren K. Alleyne and Tony Medina from the Furious Flower Poetry Center will provide a lively poetry experience from the nation's first academic center for black poetry.
The complete schedule (as of March 27) is as follows:
Keynote: Philip Gourevitch in Conversation with Chic Dambach: Reading, Conversation and Book Signing
Philip Gourevitch is the author of We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories of Rwanda. His new work, You Hide That You Hate Me, I Hide That I Know is forthcoming in 2019. Twenty-five years after the genocide in Rwanda, Gourevitch returns to the scene of the crime to investigate Rwanda's unique and profoundly thought-provoking experiment in national reconstruction, grappling with the burdens of betrayed humanity and forgiveness—of memory and forgetting. Gourevitch's stories from Rwanda are charged with the sort of stark dramatic intensity and moral extremity of Biblical parables, and in a time of intensifying social and political polarization across much of the globe, they present an essential reckoning with what it takes not only for individuals but also for societies to chose between annihilation and survival.
90-Minute Master Class: 'The Way Things Feel'
Yrsa Daley-Ward is a writer and poet of mixed West Indian and West African heritage, a model who turned her pain into poetry. After self-publishing her poetry collection bone to major success in 2014, the collection was re-released with Penguin Books in 2017. Fans of Warsan Shire and nayyirah waheed will appreciate her. Her memoir, THE TERRIBLE: A Storyteller's Memoir, will be published this summer. Daley-Ward will read and teach "The Way Things Feel," a class on how to bring real-life experiences to the page without freezing. The session includes handouts and a Q&A for $10.
Featured Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Poet-turned-novelist Elizabeth Acevedo debuts one of the most anticipated young adult novels of 2018 with her first work of fiction, Poet X. Already receiving rave reviews, the book is about 15-year-old Xiomara Batista, an Afro-Dominican teenager growing up in Harlem under some strict parental guidelines.
Featured Poets: Joanne Gabbin, Poet and Founder of the Furious Flower Poetry Center, Celebrates the Rhythm of Language with Abdul Ali, Lauren K. Alleyne, and Tony Medina
The nation's first academic center for black poetry, the Furious Flower Poetry Center, has reached thousands of poets, educators, students, and poetry lovers around the world. With its genesis as a groundbreaking conference in 1994 that brought together renowned black poets from around the country, including legends like Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonya Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, and Nikki Giovanni, Furious Flower ushered in the first major resurgence of black poetry since the Black Arts Movement.
One-on-One 30-Minute Editorial Sessions
10 a.m. - noon
Five editors—Karen Houppert, Bret McCabe, celeste doaks, Betsy Boyd, and Laura Ballou—lead sessions in fiction, memoir, nonfiction, poetry and screenplay. There are 20 available slots in all, for $10 each.
A host of sessions and discussions, including:40 or more exhibitors (37 available in the atrium), plus an additional 10 on the first floor. Includes:
- Funding & Advocacy for Literary Artists: Maryland State Arts Council, MSAC, Steven Skerritt-Davis, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, GBCA, Sonja Cendak, National Endowment for the Arts, NEA, Mohamed Sheriff, Creative Capital, Marianna Schaffer, and Maryland Citizens for the Arts, MCA, Nicholas Cohen, highlight funding opportunities and arts advocacy in Maryland. *9:30-10:30 a.m.
- We Wear the Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing In America, co-edited by Lisa Page and Brando Skyhorse: For some, "passing" means opportunity, access, or safety in this collection of essays. Others don't willingly pass but are "passed" in situations as someone else. The book includes racial and socioeconomic passing, gender, and religious passing. Page will discuss the book with two contributors, Teresa Wiltz and Sergio Troncoso who tell their own stories of mistaken identity.
- Listen To Your Mother, curated by co-founder Taya Johnson, will hold a LTYM reunion as participants from a compilation of three years of Baltimore’s LTYM take to the stage. Every LTYM production takes the audience on a well-crafted journey of diverse true stories about motherhood—being a mom, having a mom, losing a mom, finding a mom—as many interpretations on the theme of mothering as you can imagine. From hilarious and heartwarming, to emotionally intense and profound, LTYM entertains, energizes, brings community together and leaves everyone feeling a little less alone and a little more understood.
- Spotlight on FICTION: New releases by regional authors: Marion Winik talks fiction and books with novelists, Leslie Pietryzk, Katia Ulysse, Melissa Scholes Young, Jane Delury and Joyce Abell.
- Find A Way: A quote adopted from the op-ed piece by Diana Nyad, "My Life After Sexual Assault." and a provocative session in the wake of the #MeToo Movement created by Tarana Burke. "It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible." The renewed awareness of relationships of power, in general, exploring the ways in which men and women writers have been confronted with issues of sexism, sexual abuse, race, body image, and disability is more important than ever. This session, curated by novelist Jen Michalski, includes authors Susi Wyss, Kenneth Rogers, Laura Bogart, Allison McCarthy, and Hannah J. Sawyerr.
- Writing From the Margins: Uncovering Our Hidden Narratives Through Creative Nonfiction: How do we access and tell stories outside the mainstream? How do we get our true selves down on the page? In this creative nonfiction panel, Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson hosts four Baltimore writers who are challenging notions of race, class, gender, ethnicity, family, and identity through their storytelling. Representing a range of forms—poetry, memoir, journalism, essay—they will read from their work, and discuss the craft of research and writing creative nonfiction in order to illuminate how each of us can better mine for our own stories and bring them to life. This session is ideal for those who enjoy reading creative nonfiction, as well as those who hope to learn more about the writing process. Includes writers celeste doaks, Saida Agostini, and Anthony Moll. This program was made possible, in part, by a Rubys Artist Project Grant. The Rubys were conceived and initiated with start-up funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation and are a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.
- Roundtable Straight Talk with Publishing Professionals: Join CityLit Press publisher Gregg Wilhelm to discuss the publishing industry and perspectives of national and regional presses with Ian Anderson, editor in chief at Mason Jar Press, Kimi Hanauer at Press Press Baltimore, and Truth Thomas, from Cherry Castle Publishing, and publicist and owner of the new independent bookstore Greedy Reads' Julia Fleischaker, on a frank industry talk.
- Sipping From a Jar: A Sampling From a Local Press: Mason Jar Press editor Michael Tager joins memoirists Tyrese Coleman and Michelle Junot, novelist Dave K., and poet Stephen Zerance as they read from their works.
- Spotlight on POETRY: New Releases: Poet Chelsea Fetzer moderates a panel of poets who will read and discuss their latest work, including National Book Award Finalist Leslie Harrison, Gerry LaFemina, Mecca Morphosis, and Jennifer Wallace.
- Playwriting 101: Area playwrights speak truth to theater. Playwrights Annalisa Dias and Miranda Rose Hall join Mai Sennaar in a conversation about playwriting, the craft, the process, the industry, and writing as women and as transnational representation at the intersect of change.
- **Screenwriting 101: Screenwriters Jocquelyn Downs, LaTasha Kennedy discuss craft, process and writing in a TimesUp industry.
- **Round Table: Theater Producers Discuss How to Get Your Play Noticed: Industry update and talk with Annalisa Dias, Olney Theater's Deborah Ellinghaus.
- Always Loaded, Never Safe: Guns on the Page & In the Streets: Join contributors of Lock & Load: Armed Fiction, a collection of literary fiction in which guns play a compelling role, edited by Deirdra McAfee and BettyJoyce Nash, with contributors Patricia Schultheis and Daniel Cox. "… the fatal result of a gathering of armed protesters in Charlottesville offer further evidence of the damage that insult, injustice, and silence do—and further demonstrate why we have to talk. Literature gives us words. Stories give us ways." This session encourages an open exchange with community members on this relevant subject matter.
- **Inheriting the War - Poetry & Prose of Descendants of Vietnam Veterans & Refugees - edited by poet Laren McClung: The PBS series The Vietnam War sparked engaged and lengthy conversations about this topic, with many people addressing how the war affected families and individuals.
*Due to its relevancy, this is the only session scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
**This particular session has to be confirmed with all panelists on board.
For more information about the 2018 CityLit Festival, visit their website.