The 21st CityLit Festival arrives this year with poetry at the center of the launch with this year’s theme, Dismantling the Culture of Literature. CityLit features performance poet, curator, MAHOGANY L. BROWNE,musical artist BLACK ASSETS, and an assembly of poets.The start of the three-day festival returns to Chesapeake Shakespeare Company for an evening of poetry, music, and connection. In the past, this standing-room-only event served as a finale but this year’s gathering begs for poets to reflect on the reality of this moment, where listening becomes a way of being. Mahogany’s recent works include Vinyl Moon, Chlorine Sky (optioned for Steppenwolf Theater), Black Girl Magic, and banned books: Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, and Woke Baby. She’s the Executive Director of JustMedia, an initiative designed to support the groundwork of criminal justice leaders and community members through an open-access archive. Queen of the soulful bounce, Ashley Lakayla Yates, aka Black Assets, originally from Itta Bena, Mississippi, is a Baltimore treasure. This queer international recording artist leaves you with an unforgettable musical experience.

Featured artists will be joined by the following creatives:
A’niya Taylor is a Spoken word artist, community advocate, and Baltimore’s (2022-23) Youth Poet Laureate. Through her poetry, she aims to highlight the intersection between art, individual healing, and community healing. Wordsmith is a proliferate creator in the world of performance, including songwriter, poet, actor, and playwright. He is an artistic partner with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and was selected by the Baltimore Sun as one of 25 Black Marylanders to watch in 2024. Nancy Murray is a poet, memoirist, playwright, and storyteller, who recently published her first collection of poetry, The Colors of Fear. Ryan Jafar Artes (he/she/they) is an activist, memoirist, and poet whose work calls for a re-imagination of culture via cultural renaissance from the perspective of lived experience as a transracial transnational South Asian Indian American adoptee. Poet and editor Matt Hohner has an international reach. In his new collection, At the Edge of a Thousand Years, winner of the 2023 Jacar Press Poetry Book Contest, poet Carolyn Forche, says “This is a poet unafraid of risk…” Amazon Kindle best-selling author Dr. Latorial Faison from Virginia, is the powerhouse author of over a dozen poetry books. She is well known for her poem, “What is Black History?” Vocalist and Cave Canem fellow Alexa Patrick, with a poetry collection called Remedies for Disappearing, whose stage production debut as Un/Sung in the opera We Shall Not Be Moved was directed by Bill T. Jones, will moderate. A reception will follow. Spirits will flow.

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Add to Calendar 20240412 America/New_York CityLit Festival presents Praising the Mouth That Speaks