Monthly Archives: June 2011

Tres Poetas Peruanos en NYC

esta noche tres poetas peruanos presentarán sus libros…

Evgueni Bezzubikoff, autor de Crónica del Adiós
Mariela Dreyfus, autora de  Morir es un Arte 
Miguel Ildefonso, autor de libro Dantes 

*los tres titulos estarán de venta en la librería

introducción por Sandra A. García-Betancourt, Directora Ejecutiva de Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance


A just-added KIDS book-making workshop! Today @ 6pm!

Hey kids!

TONIGHT at Word Up (4157 Broadway @ 176 Street)—from 6 to 7pm—study how to make your own pocket book about BUGS with the author and illustrator of An Illustrated Guide to Cockroaches. In a one-hour workshop, Ekaterina Smirnova will show you how to make books out of ordinary materials that with a little imagination can become extraordinary. You will come out of the workshop with your own fun and graphical little book to amuse your friends and family. Ekaterina Smirnova is an artist and graphic designer from Novosibirsk, Russia.

Kids’ workshop: MONDAY, JUNE 27, 6–7pm
@ Word Up, 4157 Broadway @ 176 Street

Monday at Word Up

We’re excited for tonight, with Washington Heights Free Radio ringing in our first all-music performance. In the spirit of the station, and, for that matter, of our free-form instant bookshop, the evening will be entirely improvised.

7:00 Ball Governor
Russell Baker – Trumpet
Will Glass – Drums

7:30 $50 Trumpet
Brett Zweiman- Guitar
Marc Gaetani- Springolin, Lap Steel, horns
Ken Bradburd- Electronics

8:00 Open Jam
Bring your instrument!

*It’s a sign of these exciting cultural times in Upper Manhattan that there two great, simultaneous events just blocks apart on Broadway. Check out the closing reception of NoMAA’s Uptown Arts Stroll, then swing by and jam – or vice versa!*

Tonight, and the rest of June

Tonight we had a reading with internationally acclaimed poet and neighbour Meena Alexander, as well as emerging poet and NoMAA’s own Rebeca C. Rivera. They both read geographically appropriate poems, words rooted in being in our neighbourhood, jottings on NYC mass transit. You wouldn’t necessarily know that these were the paper results of bustling and settling here in the Heights, but it seemed just right that these poets revealed these secrets of geography in a bookshop that is a quick walk from where they live or work. Meena exclaimed in between poems that she could see all the people moving up and down Broadway while she was reading. 

Rebeca’s City Doodles chapbook is available at the shop, and  Meena’s books are for the moment on display—we hope to get copies in soon so you can take some home yourself.

———–> What’s coming up?

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 7–8pm: We’ll Never Have Paris reading with Andria Alefhi, Gus Iversen, Ed Lin, Cynthia Ball, and Josh Medsker. WNHP is an NYC-based nonfiction literary zine for all things that were never meant to be.

SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 12:30pm: Children’s story time with Mino Lora, artistic director of Washington Heights–based People’s Theatre Project. Bilingual program. 1pm: Reading by Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz, and a one-woman show of poetry+web comics with Rebecca Migdal, who is a graphic novelist and an interdisciplinary artist, performer, and writer working in new and traditional media. Rebecca’s work has recently been seen at Exit Art in New York City, and on the cover of World War 3 Illustrated magazine. Her adult comic Ear Fetish is featured in the upcoming edition of Last Gasp’s Best Erotic Comics 3 anthology, Sweet Meat, Strange Spice, along with Robert Crumb, Alison Bechdel, and a host of others.

SUNDAY, JUNE 2612–4pm: Comic book classes led by members of the World War 3 Illustrated collective, including WW3 co-founder Seth Tobocman and fellow WW3 radical comics artists Ethan Heitner and Sandy Jimenez of Inwood.

MONDAY, JUNE 27: Washington Heights Free Radio/ presents an evening of improvised music. 7pm—Ball Governor: A 7-years-and-running free jazz ensemble exploring time and non-time, bound by melody. Russell Baker (trumpet) is a robotics engineer, jazz historian and longtime WKCR DJ; Heights resident Will Glass (drums) has plays in a range of styles, with artists like Dirty Projectors, Shalabi Effect, Nat Baldwin, Baba Ola Jagun’s Ancestral Rhythms and many more. 7:30pm—$50 Trumpet: $50 Trumpet is an open-minded and far-ranging experimental ensemble conjoining traditional modal improvising and textural exploration. Marc Gaetani’s “Springolin” is a mandolin strung with springs. He and Brett Zweiman (guitar) have long helmed an inclusive free-form entity called Clutter, which has hosted an array of events where the audience is invited to join in the performance on pots, pans, drums, shakers, doohickeys or whatever they like, often erasing the line between performers and audience. With Ken Bradburd on electronics. 8pm—Open Jam: The evening concludes with—you! Bring your instrument, or play with what we have on hand. Electrical outlets are limited, so unamplified instruments are best, percussion of all kinds encouraged. All/no skill levels welcome.

Well, that was exciting.

We went from this—

to this—

Yana Paskova for The New York Times

. . . in under four days.

But we’re open now, so please stop in!

Word Up visitors so far have been fantastically supportive, without even complaining (too loudly) as we’ve put them to work right away. As an all-volunteer community space, we spare no one the drudgery—and we hope that you don’t even want to be spared! Our ideas and hands coming together have made Word Up intensely rejuvenating during these first days.

And amid the gathering of neighbours, there have even been book sales(!) and giveaways, as well as a couple of great events for youth: during a story reading with Sam Guncler—a.k.a. Mr. Sam—on Monday, the kids spontaneously broke out into song; and during the People’s Theatre Project/Seven Stories Institute performance of Dig It! on Tuesday, the audience was treated to a special Q&A with our local teen writers/performers Sofia Arnold, Ben Edelman, Romy Garcia, Jelissa Hernandez, Angel Martinez, and Angel Suazo.

Next up is a reading on Thursday, June 23, 7pm, with acclaimed poet and Heights resident Meena Alexander and NoMAA’s own Rebeca C. Rivera. Check back for more events soon. (We’ll figure out this embed-a-calendar thing any minute now.)

You have just under a month to experience Word Up, so don’t dawdle. We’re open weekdays from 4 to 9pm, and weekends from 12 to 4pm, at 4157 Broadway at 176 Street. You can find out about our events via Twitter (@WordUpBooks) or Facebook (, and you can read more about the shop in the New York Timesin the Manhattan Times, and on the Uptown Collective site.

There’s one heckuva long list of people and organizations to thank for making this happen—and we shall hear from them one by one soon!

GRAND OPENING: Friday, June 17 @ 6pm (NOT TODAY)

Due to many unexpecteds, the shop is not opening today. Hopefully you have heard the news through numerous channels, as it appears the one place I forgot to update was this website. Sigh. Driving a 20-foot truck full of books around for two days will make you forget some things.

IF you would like to come help set up, drop off books, or donate bookcases, please stop in 4-9pm Wednesday and Thursday. But please be aware that the shop will be “in progress.”

That said, please DEFINITELY join is on Friday, June 17 @ 6pm for the GRAND OPENING PARTY. Details to come later very soon. . . .

Uptown is ripe for lit events

Four lit-related events are going on throughout Washington Heights and Inwood today—and Word Up doesn’t even open till this coming Tuesday! [NOTE: Though Word Up has pledged to open Tuesday, we’ll likely still be setting up because we won’t be able to get into the space till the day before(!). The big grand opening for the store will be Friday, June 17.]

Three of today’s events have been gathered into one big walking tour—From the Page to the Stage: A Literary Walking Tour of Northern Manhattan—while the other, Art in the Garden, lets you settle at the Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden (at the convergence of Riverside, Dyckman, and Broadway) to take in a whole afternoon of readings, music, and visual art followed by some potluck picnicking. More info is below about all these events, presented by the Uptown Collective, People’s Theatre Project, Bago Bunch, and the RING Garden. 



1PM: The Led Black Book Club featuring Jon Michaud, author of WHEN TITO LOVED CLARA at Apartment 78 (4447 Broadway)
For more info :

2PM: THE CHALKBOARD TRILOGY by Nancy Nevarez, a reading of three one-act plays at the Inwood Public Library (4790 Broadway)
For more info:

5PM: American PlaceTheatre’s Literature to Life Stage Adaptations of THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO by Junot Diaz, and of DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS by Piri Thomas at the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center (3940 Broadway)
For more info:



~in the garden where Riverside, Broadway, and Dyckman meet~
(take the A train to Dyckman)

JUNE 11, 12:30 TO 5PM

Performance schedule (subject to change):

12:30: Maggie Clarke (songs)

1:00: Arthur Sherry (songs/guitar)

1 :30: Karen Hudson (singer/songwriter)

2 :00: Greta Herron (singer)

2:30: Carla Lynne Hall (singer/songwriter)

3:00: Robin Glasser (readings)

3:30: Joy Leftow and DUBBLEX (words and music)

4:00 Don Rice & Russ Anixter (music)

4:30-5:45:Fred Arcoleo withAmy Soucy & Demetrius Daniels

. . . followed by Pot Luck Picnic!