Erika Dickerson-Despenza

Erika Dickerson-Despenza is a Blk feminist Pushcart Prize nominated poet-turned-playwright, educator and grassroots organizer from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a 2018-2019 Dramatists Guild Foundation Playwriting Fellow and The Lark’s 2018 Van Lier New Voices Fellow. She is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Obie-winning Youngblood collective and a New Georges affiliated artist. Her work has been developed at The Lark, New York Stage and Film and Jackalope Theatre and is currently being developed at The Public Theater. Select stage plays include: a water tetralogy examining water as a reflection of Blk women’s bodies as sites of consciousness development and exile during key events in Black History: ocean’s lip/ heaven’s shore (the Middle Passage), took/tied hung/split (Jim Crow), shadow/land (Hurricane Katrina) and cullud wattah (Flint Water Crisis). In addition to this fourfold work, she is currently developing a 10-play Katrina Cycle, focused on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and its state-sanctioned man-made disaster.

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