A home for authors in Washington Heights

Endless thanks to all of you who have supported our fundraising campaign, on Indiegogo or otherwise! Support for Word Up is in turn support for a number of authors who live in the area, whether they be early on in their careers, well-known in other corners of the city, or crazy famous around the globe.

Sheila Maldonado at her book launch for one-bedroom solo.
Photo: Art By Dj Boy

Poet and neighbor Sheila Maldonado celebrated her book launch a year ago at Word Up. We checked in with her recently:

This week marks one year since the first reading for my first book, one-bedroom solo, at Word Up Community Bookshop. I was too lucky to have a book released the same year my ‘hood got a bookstore for once, a round-the-way community place, just blocks from me. It was perfect for my idea of a book launch, a place like home where neighbors and friends could listen and read and support and meet. It was a cold November night but I remember it so warm inside Word Up, so much love for a project that meant so much to me in a space just right.

My book is from a small press downtown, Fly by Night, part of A Gathering of the Tribes, another small place that has supported artists for so long. It is in need and worthy of much support itself, threatened as many art organizations are in this city, a story getting retold too often nowadays. There was a launch there as well, and I was happy that the book came from the East Village/Lower East Side, a site of so much inspiration and art-making. I was happier still to help spread inspiration uptown and have the first reading at Word Up, in an area where I can actually afford to live and breathe, where I wander and imagine everyday.

I miss the round-the-way pop-up bookstore that could, that lasted longer than it was expected to and deserves to be for as long as there are cities and artists. Please support bringing it back home to Washington Heights.

Heed Sheila’s words and gogo to our Indiegogo!


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