September 28 – Story Time with Eric Velasquez

Award-winning Afro-Latino artist Eric Velasquez visits Word Up for a special story time with his new picture book, Octopus Stew. Recommended for ages 4–8.

What do you do when an octopus captures Grandma? Put on your superhero cape and rescue her! The octopus Grandma is cooking has grown to titanic proportions. “¡Tenga cuidado!” Ramsey shouts. “Be careful!” But it’s too late. The octopus traps Grandma! Ramsey uses both art and intellect to free his beloved abuela. . . . This beautifully illustrated picture book, drawn from the author’s childhood memories, celebrates creativity, heroism, family, grandmothers, grandsons, Puerto Rican food, Latinx culture and more.

The son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents who encouraged music and storytelling, Eric Velasquez grew up in Spanish Harlem, New York. As a child, he loved superheroes, comics and drawing, much like the boy in Octopus Stew.

Story Time with Eric Velasquez
Saturday, September 28, 2019
11am–12pm
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
RSVP
Can’t make it to the event? Order the book here.

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September 22 – Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin

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In America, Mother = White. That’s what Nefertiti, a single African American woman, discovered when she decided she wanted to adopt a Black baby boy out of the foster care system. Eager to finally join the motherhood ranks, Nefertiti was shocked when people started asking her why she wanted to adopt a “crack baby” or said that she would never be able to raise a Black son on her own. She realized that American society saw motherhood through a white lens, and that there would be no easy understanding or acceptance of the kind of family she hoped to build.


Motherhood So White is the story of Nefertiti Austin‘s fight to create the family she always knew she was meant to have and the story of motherhood that all American families need now. In this unflinching account of her parenting journey, Nefertiti examines the history of adoption in the African American community, faces off against stereotypes of single, Black motherhood, and confronts the reality of raising children of color in racially charged, modern-day America.

Nefertiti will be conversation with Retha Powers, a local uptown parent to Isa and August, the assistant director of City College’s Publishing Certificate Program, and co-director of the annual Langston Hughes Festival.

Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin
Sunday, September 22, 2019
4–5:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

RSVP here
Can’t make it to the event? Order the book here: https://www.wordupbooks.com/book/9781492679011.

September 21 – Poetry Reading w/ Dante Di Stefano & Nkosi Nkululeko

Join poets Dante Di Stefano and Nkosi Nkululeko in conversation at Word Up Community Bookshop. Dante’s books will be available for sale.

Dante Di Stefano is the author of Ill Angels and Love Is a Stone Endlessly in Flight. His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared inAmerican Life in Poetry, Best American Poetry 2018, Poem-a-Day, Prairie Schooner, The Sewanee Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, and elsewhere. Along with María Isabel Álvarez, he co-edited the anthology Misrepresented People: Poetic Responses to Trump’s America. He holds a PhD in English Literature from Binghamton University and is the poetry editor for the DIALOGIST. He teaches high school English in Endicott, NY and lives in upstate New York with his wife, Christina, their daughter, Luciana, and their dog, Sunny.

Nkosi Nkululeko, writer, chess instructor, and musician, is a 2017 Poets House fellow. His poetry can be found in Callaloo, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Offing, Ploughshares, Third Coast, and elsewhere. Nkosi is a recipient of the 2019 Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts
fellowship, and is the winner of the 2018 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets. His poem “Skin Deep,” formerly published by The Adroit Journal, was selected for The Best American Poetry 2018 anthology (Scribner, 2018). Nkosi Nkululeko lives in Harlem, New York.

Poetry Reading w/ Dante Di Stefano and Nkosi Nkululeko
Saturday, September 21,
4-5:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

September 20 – Paco Ignacio Taibo II, in conversation with Mariana Romo-Carmona

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Paco Ignacio Taibo II, a distinguished historian and essayist from Mexico, was part of massive student protest in Mexico City in 1968 during which 200 people were killed by government troops, and many more arrested. The massacre has been omitted from textbooks and formal histories, still to this day denied by the Mexican government.

Taibo will talk with activist and scholar Mariana Romo-Carmona about his experience, taking the long view of the student protests around the world, and the way history is told, repressed, manipulated. An updated edition of his book, ’68: The Mexican Autumn of the Tlatelolco Massacre (español: El otoño Mexicano de la masacre de Tlatelolco) will be available for sale in English and Spanish.

Historian and essayist Paco Ignacio Taibo II, author of more than fifty books, is also renowned worldwide for his detective novels. His numerous literary honors include three Hammett Prizes, a Planeta prize for the best historical novel, and the Bancarella Prize for his biography of Che Guevara. In December 2018, Taibo was named director of the Mexican government’s national publishing house, Fondo de Cultura Economica, by the new Obrador administration.

Mariana Romo-Carmona (@piedrambar) is the author of Living at Night, Speaking Like An Immigrant, and Sobrevivir y otros complejos: Poems in Englillano. A longtime activist in the Latinx and Queer fronts, she produced and hosted the Connecticut LGBT radio program, “There is Another Alternative,” and co-founded Latina lesbian groups in Boston and New York City. She was an editor with Kitchen Table Press and co-edited Cuentos: Stories by Latinas; co-founder and editor, COLORLife! Magazine; editor-translator of Conversaciones; and founder-editor and translator of Escritorial Press. She has taught in the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at CUNY, and in the MFA in Writing Program at Goddard College, for many years.

THIS IS AN OFFICIAL 2019 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL BOOKENDS EVENT.

Paco Ignacio Taibo II, in conversation with Mariana Romo-Carmona
Friday, September 20, 2019
6:30–8:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

September 13 – Anonymous by Scott Jacobs

Manhattan-based photojournalist Scott Jacobs’s new book of photographs, Anonymous, captures the raw, vulnerable, and intricate lives on the streets of New York City. Anonymous is Scott’s first book of photographs. He currently working on his second, as well as short avant-garde film.

Anonymous by Scott Jacobs
Friday, September 13, 2019
6:30–8:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032