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CITYLIT STUDIO VIII: Writers on Craft, Creativity & Community – Part Two

October 24, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


CityLit Project presents Studio VIII: Writers on Craft, Creativity & Community was created as part of Free Fall Baltimore. The Studio is a unique opportunity for writers to experience lectures by two authors in different genres. This year’s Studio includes Illuminate: How digital storytelling can amplify and shift your writing with creative Denise Kumani Gantt arranged in two parts, and National Book Award finalist poet Rio Cortez for an in person event at The Lyric.

This event is FREE but attendees should register.



Illuminate: How digital storytelling can amplify and shift your writing with DENISE KUMANI GANTT

The Lyric – Rehearsal Hall
140 W Mount Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202

Participants can expect to review, share, and complete their digital stories at the in-person Studio at The Lyric. View “Sycamore” by author Terry Tempest Williams, noted for her work Refuge: : An Unnatural History of Family and Place, a digital poem about a tree, memory, and washing dishes made in a workshop by the Center for Digital Storytelling and the Department of Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah.


DENISE KUMANI GANTT ’s plays and performance pieces include meditations/from the ash, winner of the Artscape Best Play Contest and voted Best New Play by The Baltimore Alternative and City Paper; Three Stories to the Ground, written with Gabriel Shanks and winner of the Theatre Project Outstanding Vision in Theatre award and anatomy/lessons selected as part of Penumbra Theater’s Cornerstone Project (MN). Her play, The Gift, a brief history of everything we have ever known, received staged readings at A Contemporary Theater (ACT-Seattle), The Drama League (New York), and Cape May Stage (NJ). In 2002, her poetry collection, conjuring the dead, received the Maryland Emerging Writers Award. Gantt has attended numerous artist residencies, including Hedgebrook, The MacDowell Colony, and Sangam House (India). She is the Director of Education at Lyric Baltimore, serves on the boards of Maryland Citizens for the Arts, and the Leadership Council of CityLit Project, and facilitates digital story workshops with the StoryCenter and the StoryCentre, CA.



Mining the Personal Archive with RIO CORTEZ

How can we use archival material to create new works and new meaning? What qualifies as an archive? Mining the personal archive is an exploration of how we can use family documents, ephemera, and photographs to create unexpected poems. We will examine a variety of writerly approaches to the personal archive and discuss prompts and tips to help writers generate new work.


RIO CORTEZ, is the New York Times bestselling author of picture books for children, including The ABCs of Black History, and the forthcoming The River is My Sea and The Blue Velvet Chair. Her debut poetry collection, Golden Ax, was longlisted for the 2022 National Book Award for Poetry, the PEN Open Book Award, and the Norma Farber First Book Award. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT, she now lives, works, and writes in Harlem, NY.
Instagram: @ohreallyrio
Twitter: @ohreallyrio



Past esteemed Studio authors have included Remica Bingham-Risher, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, David Yezzi, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Danielle Evans, Leslie Pietrzyk, Eugenia Kim, Donna Hemans, among others.

Registration is requested. A Zoom link will be sent with more information regarding participation.



Free Fall Baltimore is a program of The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. Funding for Free Fall Baltimore is made possible with the generous support of The Maryland State Arts Council and ATAPCO Properties.


October 24, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


The Lyric
140 W Mount Royal Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
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