CityLit Studio VII: Writers on Craft, Creativity & Community

CityLit Studio VII: Writers on Craft, Creativity & Community


CityLit Project presents Studio VII: Writers on Craft, Creativity & Community presented as a part of Free Fall Baltimore, is a unique opportunity for writers to experience readings/lectures by two authors in different genres. Participants engage in deep-dive discussions on craft and the writing process.

This event is FREE but attendees must register.


ADA CALHOUN, Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me

THE STORIES THAT ONE MUST TELL: Identifying the memoir you’re destined to write.

James Salter wrote, “There are stories that one must tell and years that one must tell them.” In this studio, writers will determine the stories they need to tell now and explore how to tell them. We will discuss characters, narrative arcs, research, and style; and we will talk practically about the editorial and proposal process. Telling the stories you are here to tell is a potential gift for you and for the world. Joy Harjo says, “I believe that if you do not answer the noise and urgency of your gifts, they will turn on you, or drag you down with their immense sadness at being abandoned.” A memoir done well is the best kind of service journalism – it helps other people think about their own lives, and to reflect on how they want to be human beings in the world.

Ada Calhoun is the author of Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me. In a rave, the New York Times called it a “grand-slam of a memoir.” Vogue and Oprah Daily have both named it one of the best books of 2022 so far. Previous books include the New York Times bestseller Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis, about the plight of Generation X women; a collection of essays on marriage (three of which appeared in the New York Times Modern Love column), Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give; and a four-hundred-year history of the street she grew up on, St. Marks Is Dead, chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2015 by Kirkus Reviews and the Boston Globe.
Instagram: @Adacalhoun
Twitter: @Adacalhoun

REMICA BINGHAM-RISHER, Soul Culture: Black Poets, Books, and Questions That Grew Me Up

WHAT WE’RE COMING TO: Cultivation, Artful Tending, Regeneration, and Sustainability

As we share the space of Lucille Clifton, one of the greatest American poets writing in the last century, we’ll defer to her wisdom and seek to answer: How do you become “care/full” for and with yourself and your art? How do you keep moving? What strategies are there for cultivating a writing life that does not stall and suffer in the wake of all your other living? In this session, we’ll focus on sustaining a creative life with generative reading and writing activities, techniques for crafting poetry or prose, holding on to community in the absence of community, and finding ways to move your work into the wider world of publishing.

Remica Bingham-Risher, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, is a Cave Canem fellow and Affrilachian Poet. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Writer’s Chronicle, Callaloo, and Essence. She is the author of Conversion, winner of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, What We Ask of Flesh, shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Starlight & Error, winner of the Diode Editions Book Award and a finalist for the Library of Virginia Book Award. Her memoir, Soul Culture: Black Poets, Books, and Questions That Grew Me Up, was published by Beacon Press. She is the Director of Quality Enhancement Plan Initiatives at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where she resides with her husband and children.
Twitter: @remicawriter

The Studio is an information and discussion session on key aspects of craft to improve writing and learn the importance of finding artistic communities. Emerging and serious writers, along with the interested general public, get a unique look behind the writing process of two esteemed literary stars. A writer-to-writer craft series to help writers and poets envision their art. In addition to offering significant craft instruction, it gives support and insight into preparing writers for the business of publishing. The session includes a Q& A and book signing. Books provided by Greedy Reads.

*This year CityLit introduces a special edition of the Studio where Studio guest authors also spend time with participants of the Write Like a Mother Retreat in partnership with Scribente Maternum and The Clifton House. The first in-person and Baltimore-focused event where mothers who write are front and center in the care and feeding of an artist, a retreat located in the home where renowned poet Lucille Clifton penned a few poems. The retreat is a fee-based event with limited funding opportunities. Please visit: