CityLit Festival – Reimagined II: How We Break Free
Tuesday, March 1
Presented by CityLit Project
CityLit Project presents the annual 19th CityLit Festival, a live and virtual, fully reimagined signature event. The celebration for readers and writers extends its partnership with Enoch Pratt Free Library, Maryland Centers for Creative Classrooms, Maryland Humanities, Arts Education in Maryland Schools, Motor House, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, Busboys and Poets-Baltimore, and BmoreArt magazine in an ongoing design to elevate the literary arts in this region. How We Break Free: Confronting Hard Truths is the underlying theme of the month-long event that boasts three live gatherings. The Festival begins with a virtual event March 1, 2022, daylong programming on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at the Pratt Central Library, and ending on April 1, 2022, at Busboys and Poets, as a nod and declaration of National Poetry Month.
This year’s Festival highlights creator and Pulitzer Prize-winning, investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones of The 1619 Project: The New Origin Story and Born On The Water, which was introduced in 2019 in a major multimedia initiative in The New York Times Magazine to
commemorate the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery. Hannah-Jones brings this national, invigorating conversation about the contributions of Black Americans and how the legacy of slavery informs our lives, to Baltimore with author and historian Martha S. Jones from Johns Hopkins University. This partnership event is designed to engage and bring educators, community leaders, students and creatives into a mission of discovery, embarking on conversations during and beyond the Festival.
Kiese Laymon, author of the novel Long Division, whose work Heavy, NYT named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the past 50 years, will teach the Master Class “Keeping It In The House,” the art and necessity of exploring virtue and villainy in our writings about home, exploring harms committed and harms caused through readings and writing prompts.
Independent bookseller, The Ivy Bookshop joins us this year with Festival books for purchase online and at two live events.
The Festival theme centers around confronting hard truths throughout the month, signifying ways to break strongholds, to plant seeds of possibility and signal ways we grow to seek change through understanding our behaviors, past and present. What better way to do that than through books, poetry, song and in-depth conversations with you in the room.