Erika Dickerson-Despenza

Erika Dickerson-Despenza is a Blk, queer feminist poet-playwright and cultural-memory worker from Chicago, Illinois. Awards: Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (2021), Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award (2020), Thom Thomas Award (2020), Lilly Award (2020), Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award (2020), Grist 50 Fixer (2020), Princess Grace Playwriting Award (2019). Residencies & Fellowships: Tow Playwright-in-Residence at The Public Theater (2019-2020), U.S. Water Alliance National Arts & Culture Delegate (2019), New York Stage and Film Fellow-in-Residence (2019), New Harmony Project Writer-in Residence (2019), Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow (2018-2019), The Lark Van Lier New Voices Fellow (2018). Communities: Ars Nova Play Group (2019-2021), Youngblood Collective (EST). Commissions: Climate Change Theatre Action, The Public Theater, Studio Theatre & Williamstown Theatre Festival. Productions: CULLUD WATTAH (The Public Theater, 2021; Victory Gardens Theater, 2022), [HIEROGLYPH] (San Francisco Playhouse/Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 2021). Currently, Erika is developing a 10-play Katrina Cycle, including [HIEROGLYPH] and SHADOW/LAND, focused on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and its state-sanctioned, man-made disaster rippling in & beyond New Orleans.

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