Category Archives: Face Out

September 29- (H)afrocentric Book Author Talk & Signing

(H)afrocentric Volumes 1-4 is a new trade paperback gathering the first 4 comics volumes of Glyph Award winning Juliana “Jewels” Smith’s and illustrator Ronald Nelson’s unflinching visual and literary tour-de-force on the most pressing issues of the day. With a foreword to the book by Kiese Laymon, (H)afrocentric tackles racism, patriarchy, gentrification, police violence, and the housing crisis, and popular culture head-on—with humor and biting satire. Unapologetic and unabashed, (H)afrocentric introduces us to strong yet vulnerable students of color, as well as an aesthetic that connects current Black pop culture to an organic re-appropriation of hip hop fashion circa the early 90s.

We start the journey when gentrification strikes the neighborhood surrounding Ronald Reagan University. Naima Pepper recruits a group of disgruntled undergrads of color to combat the onslaught by creating and launching the first and only anti-gentrification social networking site, mydiaspora.com. The motley crew is poised to fight back against expensive avocado toast, muted Prius cars, exorbitant rent, and cultural appropriation.

Whether Naima and the gang are transforming social media, leading protests, fighting rent hikes, or working as “Racial Translators,” the students at Ronald Reagan University take movements to a new level by combining their tech-savvy, Black Millennial sensibilities with their individual backgrounds, goals, and aspirations.

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS:
Juliana “Jewels” Smith
is a writer, educator, and speaker. She is the Glyph Award winner for Best Writer on (H)afrocentric: Volume 4 and the honoree of the first annual Excellence in Comics and Graphic Novels Award from the African American Library and Museum at Oakland. With humor and sharp wit, Smith connects comic books, politics, and popular culture.

Ronald Nelson is an illustrator originally from New York City. He studied at School of Visual Arts, the Art Students League, and Cooper Union. Ronald’s areas of expertise are in the fields of portrait drawing and sequential art. He is also proficient as a storyboard artist and cartoonist.

Mike Hampton
has been a self-published comic book artist and writer for over fifteen years and the colorist and letterist of (H)afrocentric for over five years. As a freelance graphic designer he has created logos, album covers, business cards, and fliers.

Kiese Laymon is an award-winning black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon is the author of the novel Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.

PRAISE:
“Smith’s comics ooze with originality.”—AFROPUNK

“(H)afrocentric is a book that is incredibly contemporary and fits the progressive minds of today’s readers. It tackles issues of intersectionality and gentrification in ways that are not only informative but also entertaining. It’s unlike any comic book I’ve ever read.” —Jamie Broadnax, founder and managing editor of Blackgirlnerds.com

“(H)afrocentric is fully dope, artistic, brilliantly drawn, styled, and wonderfully radical with an awesomely fiery heroine! Juliana Smith and her team are to be commended for this desperately needed political and cultural contribution. Get into it and grab your soapboxes!” —Jared A. Ball, author of I Mix What I Like! A Mixtape Manifesto

(H)afrocentric Book Author Talk & Signing
Friday, September 29, 2017
6:30–8:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Avenue @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

 

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July 14: Reading: Spanish Coffee Black, No Sugar

In 2015, A.B. Lugo, award winning actor and playwright, suffered through the deaths of his parents only months apart. To cope with his grief, he dedicated himself to writing a poem for each week of 2016. Little did he know he would be chronicling an historic year, one of social strife and tragedy that would culminate in the election of a man whose movement brings new awareness and fear to A.B. as an Afro-Puerto Rican. Spanish Coffee: Black, No Sugar, much like its title, is a bitter experience, as life can be, but also one that gives us the energy and power to make it through each day. More worn, for sure, but also stronger, and hopefully, wiser. A collection of poems influenced by history and inspired by the depths of the soul, Spanish Coffee: Black, No Sugar is as unforgettable as the year it chronicles.”

A.B. Lugo is a writer and performer. Some of his poetry can be found in the anthology Me No Habla With Acento (Rebel Satori Press). This is his first published collection of poetry.

Reading: Spanish Coffee Black, No Sugar
Friday, July 14, 2017
7–8:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Avenue. (at 165 St.)
New York NY 10032

June 15-My Babies Frankenstein:An Installation

My babies Frakenstein

This interdisciplinary event has two components: the exhibition of the installation My babies Frankenstein, by artist Dolores Zorreguieta, and a discussion between the artist and Psychoanalyst Katie Gentile based on her book The Business of Being Made: The temporalities of reproductive technologies, in psychoanalysis and culture (Genders & Sexualities in Minds & Cultures). The installation is compiled by nine life-size babies made entirely from different parts of recycled bottles with a light bulb attached to their bellybutton. This piece reexamines the traditional role of the woman as a “natural” procreating force and our desire to tailor our babies to enhance our sense of plenitude. The book, which features a photograph of one of these babies, is the first to critically analyze assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) from a transdisciplinary perspective integrating psychoanalytic and cultural theories. Gentile and Zorreguieta will discuss both the installation and the book, and how their work impacted each other’s practice. A Q&A will be conducted at the end of their conversation.This interdisciplinary event has two components: the exhibition of the installation My babies Frankenstein, by artist Dolores Zorreguieta, and a discussion between the artist and Psychoanalyst Katie Gentile based on her book The Business of Being Made: The temporalities of reproductive technologies, in psychoanalysis and culture (Genders & Sexualities in Minds & Cultures). The installation is compiled by nine life-size babies made entirely from different parts of recycled bottles with a light bulb attached to their bellybutton. This piece reexamines the traditional role of the woman as a “natural” procreating force and our desire to tailor our babies to enhance our sense of plenitude. The book, which features a photograph of one of these babies, is the first to critically analyze assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) from a transdisciplinary perspective integrating psychoanalytic and cultural theories. Gentile and Zorreguieta will discuss both the installation and the book, and how their work impacted each other’s practice. A Q&A will be conducted at the end of their conversation.

My Babies Frankenstein:An Installation
Thursday, June 15, 2017
7–9pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Avenue. (at 165 St.)
New York NY 10032

 

May 27: Book Launch: “El increíble, sorprendente violín que se encogía

Word Up is proud to present children’s book author Thornton Cline and Washington Heights-based translator Mary Escalante, and their new book, El increíble, sorprendente violín que se encogía–the Spanish-language edition of The Amazing Incredible Shrinking Violin (story by Thornton Cline, illustrations by Susan Oliver).

Thornton Cline is a teacher, songwriter, speaker, and author of nine children’s books, two novels, and three nonfiction books. His songs have received Grammy and Dove award nominations, and he was twice honored with Songwriter of the Year for his hit song, “Love is the Reason,” recorded by Engelbert Humperdinck and Gloria Gaynor. He lives in Tennessee with his wife Audrey.

Mary Escalante is a writer, translator, and community interpreter. She is co-translator of the book Home at Word Up/En Casa en Word Up, a children’s picture book about a bookshop in northern Manhattan where she oversees a weekly bilingual story time. In 2017, Ms. Escalante was awarded by local NYC TV station Channel 23 for her outstanding work as an advocate of early literacy and reading for both children and adults, particularly for the Spanish-speaking community.
Word Up se enorgullése en presentar al autor de libros infantiles Thornton Cline y a la traductora establecida en Washington Heights, Mary Escalante,y su nuevo libro “El increíble, sorprendente violín que se encogía”, la edición en español de “The Amazing, Incredible Shrinking Violin“ (una historia de Thornton Cline con ilustraciones de Susan Oliver).

Thornton Cline es un maestro, compositor, orador y autor de nueve libros infantiles, dos novelas y tres libros de no ficción. Sus canciones han sido nominadas para los premios Grammy y Dove y ha sido galardonado dos veces por su exitosa canción “Love is the Reason” como “Mejor canción del año”, grabada por Engelbert Humperdinck y Gloria Gaynor. Radica en Tennessee con su esposa Audrey.

Mary Escalante es una escritora, traductora e intérprete en la comunidad en la Cd. de Nueva York. Ella es cotraductora del libro “Home at Word Up/En Casa en Word Up”, un libro infantil sobre una librería en el norte de Manhattan, donde se encarga semanalmente del círculo de lectura infantil bilingüe. En el 2017, Escalante fue premiada por el Canal 23 de televisión por su destacada labor como partidaria de la alfabetización temprana y la lectura para ambos, niños y adultos, particularmente en la comunidad hispanoparlante.

Book Launch: “El increíble, sorprendente violín que se encogía
Saturday, May 27, 2017
2–4pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Avenue. (at 165 St.)
New York NY 10032

March 26 – Reading: Danielle Lazarin & Phillip Lopate

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A reading of recent work from current and former Washington Heights residents and writers Danielle Lazarin and Phillip Lopate.

DANIELLE LAZARIN’S debut short story collection, BACK TALK, is forthcoming from Penguin Books in 2018. Her fiction has appeared in Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Glimmer Train, Boston Review, and elsewhere. She’s a 2015 NYFA fellow in fiction and the recipient of multiple individual artists grants from NoMAA. She lives in her native New York, where she is at work on a novel.

PHILLIP LOPATE has written three personal essay collections; two novels, three poetry collections; and more works of criticism. Recent publications include Portrait Inside My Head (personal essays), To Show and to Tell: the Craft of Literary Nonfiction, and A Mother’s Tale (2017). He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a NYPL Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two NEA grants, and two NYFA grants. After working with children for twelve years as a writer in schools, he taught creative writing and literature at Fordham, Cooper Union, University of Houston, Hofstra University, New York University and Bennington College. He is the director of the nonfiction graduate program at Columbia University, where he also teaches writing.

Reading: Danielle Lazarin & Phillip Lopate
Sunday, March 26, 2017
3-5PM
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria.
2113 Amsterdam ave, (at 165 st)
New York, NY