Erika Dickerson-Despenza is a Blk, queer feminist poet-playwright and cultural-memory worker. Awards: Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (2021), Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award (2020), Thom Thomas Award (2020), Lilly Award (2020), Steinberg Playwright 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). 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, 2022). 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. She lives in New Orleans with her toy poodle, Tootie Montana.