Monthly Archives: April 2014

Also Thursday: Decoding the Tablecloth by Gabriela Kohen

DecodingTheTableclothThis Thursday, down the street from Word Up, we’re presenting a show with People’s Theatre Project, in collaboration with Fort Tryon Jewish Center and the YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood, at the Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center. Check out a story about the show in the Manhattan Times (click here)!

Decoding the Tablecloth
Written and performed by Gabriela Kohen
Directed by Connie Grappo
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center
530 West 166th Street (between Audubon and Amsterdam Avenues)
A/C/1 trains to 168th Street

Performance followed by a Q and A with Gabriela Kohen

In this award winning, critically acclaimed, autobiographical one-woman show, Gabriela Kohen questions and explores Latina and Jewish identity. Forced to flee  Poland in 1938, Kohen’s grandmother found herself in Argentina with the one possession she took from home, a tablecloth. Years later, Gabriela finds herself growing up Latina and Jewish in New York with this same tablecloth. From 1970s Brooklyn, to the tango halls of Argentina, to the Warsaw ghetto of the 1940s, Kohen portrays over twenty characters in English, Spanish, and Yiddish in this poignant family story.

“A loving yet unflinching family portrait… Astonishing subtlety of gesture, expression and accent . . . an extraordinarily efficient and moving hour of entertainment”—New York Magazine

“Decoding the Tablecloth is bitter, forgiving and wise.”—Washington Post


People’s Theatre Project, Word Up Librería Comunitaria, Fort Tryon Jewish Center, y YM &YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood presentan:

Decoding the Tablecloth
Obra escrita y actuada por Gabriela Kohen
Dirigido por Connie Grappo
jueves, 24 de abril
Centro Cultural Alianza Dominicana
530 W. 166th Street (entre avenidas Audubon y Amsterdam)
Tómese el A/C/1 hasta la calle 168
Seguido por una conversación con Gabriela Kohen

En esta obra teatral premiada y autobiográfica, Gabriela Kohen interroga y explora su identidad latina y judía. En 1938, su abuela se vio obligada a escapar de Polonia y se regufió en Argentina con la  única posesión que rescató de su hogar: un mantel. Años después, Gabriela se encuentra creciendo en Nueva York, latina y judía, con ese mismo mantel. Desde Brooklyn en los años ’70 a las salas de tango en Argentina, al gueto de Varsovia de los años 1940s, Kohen actúa más de veinte personajes en inglés, español, e yídish en esta emocionante historia familiar.

“Un retrato familiar cariñoso pero audaz… Sutileza asombrosa de gestos, expresión, y acento… una hora extraordinariamente eficiente y conmovedora de entretenimiento.”—New York Magazine

“Decoding the Tablecloth es amargo, compasivo, y sabio.”—Washington Post


Thursday: Face Out: Judith Kerman and Yoseli Castillo Fuertes


Face Out: A night of poetry and short stories  
w/ Judith Kerman & Yoseli Castillo Fuertes
Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 7 PM
Word Up Community Bookshop, 2113 Amsterdam Ave.

Between Two Silences / Entre Dos Silencios is a book of remarkable short stories by the great Dominican writer Hilma Contreras (1913-2006), the first woman ever to win the Premio Nacional de la Literatura de la Republica Dominicana (National Prize in Literature of the Dominican Republic), the highest prize in Dominican literature, in 2002. Educated in Europe, Contreras often set her tales in a mysterious landscape, neither and both European and Caribbean.

This edition of Between Two Silences / Entre Dos Silencios by Mayapple Press is translated by Judith Kerman, a poet, performer, and artist who has published eight books or chapbooks of poetry, as well as two books of translations of Cuban and Dominican women poets (White Pine Press, BOA Editions). At Word Up, Judith will be presenting from Between Two Silences, as well as another poetry collection Praises & Offenses: Three Women Poets from the Dominican Republic.

Also reading with Judith this Thursday is Yoseli Castillo Fuertes, who was born in the Dominican Republic in 1972 and at 16 migrated to the United States. She holds a BA in Psychology and an MA in Spanish Literature. She is a bilingual-dominican-latina-lesbian poet-activist-teacher-aunt. Since August 2005 she has been organizing the Gay & Lesbian Bohemian Night, an LGBTQ Open Mic in Washington Heights. Her poems and short stories have appeared in various anthologies in New York, Madrid, Argentina and Santo Domingo. Her poetry book is De eso sí se habla/Of That, I Speak.

Face Out: Rosaura Breton, Isis Martínez, y Miriam Mejia

Lanzamiento en New York del libro Donde dije, digo
Jueves, 17 de abril, 2014
7–9 PM
Librería Comunitaria Word Up
2113 Avenida Amsterdam

Puesta en circulación en New York del libro Donde dije, digo, antología de aforismos y fragmentos producto de un taller literario en República Dominicana dirigido por el escritor Alexis Peña.

Lectura en las voces de Rosaura Bretón, Isis Martínez y Miriam Mejía.

Lonnie Holley at Word Up next Wednesday

The amazing and renowned sculptor and musician from Birmingham, Alabama, brings his improvised song world to Word Up, where he will be accompanied by Word Up volunteer Will Glass on drums.

w/ Will Glass
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 @ 7 PM
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Avenue @ 165th St.
$10 suggested donation at the door

Lonnie Holley was born on February 10, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. From the age of five, Holley worked various jobs: picking up trash at a drive-in movie theatre, washing dishes, and cooking. He lived in a whiskey house, on the state fairgrounds, and in several foster homes. His early life was chaotic and Holley was never afforded the pleasure of a real childhood.

Since 1979, Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle, hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, has manifested itself in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and sound. Holley’s sculptures are constructed from found materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. Objects, already imbued with cultural and artistic metaphor, are combined into narrative sculptures that commemorate places, people, and events.

Holley did not start making and performing music in a studio nor does his creative process mirror that of the typical musician. His music and lyrics are improvised on the spot and morph and evolve with every event, concert, and recording. In Holley’s original art environment, he would construct and deconstruct his visual works, repurposing their elements for new pieces. This often led to the transfer of individual narratives into the new work creating a cumulative composite image that has depth and purpose beyond its original singular meaning. The layers of sound in Holley’s music, likewise, are the result of decades of evolving experimentation. “Just Before Music” features Holley’s first studio recordings made in 2010 and 2011.

Lonnie and Will will also be performing at Baby’s All Right on April 15th, and at the Studio Museum in Harlem on April 19th. 

Emmanuel “Dj Boy” Abreu’s Gallery Show, Film Screening, and Party


Next Sunday, join Word Up for a fun day/night of photography, film, and music provided by Emmanuel “Dj Boy” Abreu. This event is a fundraiser for one of our founding volunteers, to send him off to an artist residency in Mexico, for which he was the first photographer ever accepted! We are joining together as a community to help him out with plane fare, extra travel expenses, and the opportunity to gear up so he can bring us back more awesome photos. See all the details of his Indiegogo campaign here.

Sunday, April 13 | 3–9pm
Gallery Exhibition Opening & Fundraiser featuring Word Up’s own Emmanuel “Dj Boy” Abreu
3–5:30pm: Gallery reception
5:30–6pm: Film screening (selected shorts)
6–9pm: Party with live DJ and refreshments

Admission: Gallery and screening are FREE to enter, though there is a $10 suggested donation for entry to the party starting at 6pm

Exclusive RSVP through Indiegogo: You can get a framed 4 x 6 print by paying $15 in advance on the Indiegogo page—choose the “Let’s Party!” perk.