LAF 2023: Share this now!

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You’re invited to the 2023 City Tech Literary Arts Festival on Thursday, April 27, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the Academic Complex Theater, 285 Jay Street.

Please register now!

Poster with rainbow heart and LGBTQIA+ flag 
City Tech's 42nd annual
Literary Arts Festival
Free & Open To The Public
Featuring Akwaeke Emezi [includes photo]
and City Tech Students
For more info: Megan Behrent
Thursday April 27
The Theater at City Tech
285 Jay Street
Sponsored by: Coordinated Undergraduate Education (CUE), New York City College of Technology
This event is made possible through the generous support of LaGuardia Community College and the New York City Council LGBT and Queer Caucus
LAF 2023 Poster

This year’s event features acclaimed multidisciplinary artist, writer, and a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree Akwaeke Emezi, author of Freshwater and the bestsellers You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty and The Death of Vivek Oji.

the book covers of Akwaeke Emezi's seven books
Akwaeke Emezi, Books 2018-2022, via

Akwaeke Emezi’s website is a great way to get to know their work in many different genres.

See you there!

Reading Akwaeke Emezi

June 2021 cover of TIME Magazine, via

Akwaeke Emezi’s website offers us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in their writing–plus images and video, too.

A quick browse takes me to a short list of their poems, a list of their fiction, and a lengthy list of non-fiction pieces.

The first piece I read, a poem entitled “self portrait as a god who is loved,” moves me to print it and share it on a bulletin board near the English Department.

The next text I chose to read, “Writers Of Color Are Making Their Own Canon,” is familiar to me. I realize that I’ve read it already as the essay entitled “Writing into the Unknown” included at the end of Freshwater. It’s an essay that gives us insight into Emezi’s life as a reader as much as their development as a writer.

Next, I decide to watch one of the videos Emezi includes in the shorts section, called “Hey Celestial.”

HEY CELESTIAL | Pantin, France | 2014, by Akwaeke Emezi

Browse through these titles and choose a few to read or watch, too–and feel free to leave a list of recommendations in the comments!

Akwaeke Emezi interview

Before Thursday’s Literary Arts Festival (have you registered yet?!), you might take some time to get familiar with the featured speaker. Here’s a quick way, through a nine-minute conversation Akwaeke Emezi had with Trevor Noah when they were a guest on The Daily Show.

Have you watched other videos featuring Emezi that you want to share with the City Tech community? Leave a link in the comments!

Spring 2023 LAF Writing Competition

Attention all City Tech Students!

The Literary Arts Festival organizers want to hear your voice, your story, your words! Read more to learn about the 2023 City Tech Literary Arts Festival Writing Competition and to get the link to the Submission Form.

All City Tech students are welcome to submit creative work for the following awards:

  • Adolphus Lee Poetry Award
  • Charles Matusik Fiction Award
  • Kay-Hirsch Literary Criticism Award
  • Michele Forsten Advocacy Award
  • Walter-Scanlon Creative Non-Fiction Award
  • Aaron Barlow Journalism Award
  • Mary Nilles Award for City Tech/CUNY Spirit (any genre).

Questions? Reach out to

Winners will receive monetary awards and may be invited to read from their winning work at the Literary Arts Festival on April 27th at 4:00 p.m!



A Big Congratulations #LAF22

Nothing Says Fun’…” by Kim via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

What a fantastic event the 41st Annual Literary Arts Festival was! Last Thursday afternoon, we were transported into different worlds through each others’ words, both from student award-winners and from the featured writer, Layli Long Soldier.

Thanks to all involved: the presenters, the participants, everyone who submitted writing, everyone who served as judges, the student volunteers, the hosts for the event, and the event organizers.

It would be great if anyone who participated or attended would leave a comment here to share what stood out to you, what you loved, what moved you, what the event motivated you to write, or anything else that you took away with you from the event.

Ends today: LAF 2022 Creative Writing Contest

City Tech’s 41st Annual Literary Arts Festival Writing Competition

Submission Deadline: TODAY, March 4th, 2022

Submit any genre of creative writing for a chance to read your work and other prizes. Submission information is detailed below. The submission link is here:

City Tech Students:

We want to hear your voice, your story, your words!

Please submit writing in any genre: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, speeches, journalism, multimodal work, photo essays, videos, animation, spoken-word performances, and more. All creative work is welcome!

Submission Guidelines

  • Written Work: 1,000 words maximum; Videos/Performance Art should be between 10 seconds and 5 minutes.
  • To submit your work, please visit the City Tech Literary Arts Festival OpenLab Website Submissions Guidelines page
  • You will be asked to fill out a form and upload your written work. Do not include your name in the submission attachment.
  • For large files or videos, please include a URL link or send your work to
  • Award categories include: the Adolphus Lee Poetry Award, the Charles Matusik Fiction Award, the Kay-Hirsch Literary Criticism Award, the Michele Forsten Advocacy Award, the Walter-Scanlon Creative Non-Fiction Award, the Aaron Barlow Journalism Award, and the Mary Nilles Multimodal Writing Award.
  • Competition winners receive monetary awards and a possible reading at the Literary Arts Festival, a virtual event to be held on on March 24th at 4:30 p.m.

For more information: Megan Behrent:

Tweeting #LAF15

If you have a Twitter account, please consider tweeting about your experience at tonight’s Literary Arts Festival. You can use the hashtag #LAF15, or #DinawMengestu more generally, or mention our Twitter handle, @CityTechLitFest. Not yet comfortable live-tweeting? Follow along by reading the #LAF15 tweets! Let’s share with the larger community the experience of participating in the Literary Arts Festival!