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CityLit Festival Postponed Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak

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2016 CityLit Festival Expands, Adds Partners with Rankine to Headline

The thirteenth annual CityLit Festival takes place on the evening of April 15 and throughout the day April 16 at a new venue and with new partners.

Although Pratt Library remains a co-presenter, as it has since the festival's inception in 2004, the event is moving to the University of Baltimore due to renovations at the library's central branch. New partners include UB's MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program and the Maryland Institute College of Art. In addition, the presentation of CityLit Festival's very special headliner is made possible by a Humanities Fund for Baltimore grant from the Maryland Humanities Council.

A year ago, CityLit Festival was one of few events to not cancel the weekend after Baltimore's civil unrest, which spurred much needed conversations about race and social justice in Baltimore. USA Today reported from the event that "we at CityLit believe that poets will lead those conversations."

CityLit Project and Pratt Library reinforce that belief by presenting acclaimed poet Claudia Rankine as part of an expanded CityLit Festival. National Book Critics Circle Award winner and Forward Prize winner for Citizen: An American Lyric, Ms. Rankine will make two free appearances in a celebration of National Poetry Month and in reflection upon the anniversary of last April's demonstrations. Citizen--a mixture of poetry and essays on race and social justice--has been called a "brilliant, disabusing work that reminds us moving on is not synonymous with leaving behind" (The New Yorker).

Ms. Rankine will appear for reading and conversation on Friday evening April 15 at 7pm at the Maryland Institute College of Art's Brown Center, and again at Pratt Library's Pennsylvania Avenue Branch on Saturday morning April 16 at 10:30am with young writers from Dew More and host Reggie Harris of Poets House in New York.

Meanwhile, a diverse slate of programs will take place throughout Saturday April 16 from 11am to 6pm at the University of Baltimore. Authors include Johns Hopkins political scientist Lester Spence (Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics), poet-activist E. Ethelbert Miller (The Collected Poems), novelist and memoirist Paul Lisicky (The Narrow Door), D. Watkins (The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America), a conversation on Keats between Stanley Plumly (Maryland State Poet Laureate) and Sir Andrew Motion (former Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom), a conversation with children's book authors Elisabeth Dahl and Laura Shovan, a panel to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's Emma and Austen's relevance today (complete with an English Country Dancing session), and more. Plus Literary Marketplace, agent speed dating, lit mag speed dating, and writing critiques.

Check back soon for the full schedule.

Don't miss what Baltimore magazine called "a can't miss event on the city's cultural scene."


Friday, April 15 at 7pm
Claudia Rankine at MICA
Presented by CityLit Project, Enoch Pratt Free Library, and Maryland Institute College of Art

Saturday, April 16 at 10:30am
Claudia Rankine at Pennsylvania Avenue Branch
Presented by CityLit Project and Enoch Pratt Free Library

Saturday, April 16 from 11am-6pm
CityLit Festival main venue at University of Baltimore
Presented by CityLit Project, Enoch Pratt Free Library, and UB's MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts





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