Category Archives: Face Out

May 14: Hair Love, with Matthew A. Cherry & Vashti Harrison

Matthew A. Cherry presents his new children’s picture book, Hair Love, an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. At this book launch at Word Up Community Bookshop, Matthew will read, with a drawing demonstration by New York Times–bestselling illustrator Vashti Harrison. Recommended for ages 4–8.

In Hair Love, Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her—and her hair—happy.
Preorder your book here:
About the author:
Chicago native Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver turned filmmaker who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and the Baltimore Ravens. Now, he directs music videos, web series, feature films, and shorts, including “Hair Love,” the animated short film on which this book is based. Matthew was named to Paste Magazine‘s list of Directors to Watch in 2016, and he works at Jordan Peele’s production company, Monkeypaw (UsGet OutTwilight Zone) as a film and television executive.
About the illustrator:
Originally from Onley, Virginia, Vashti Harrison is the author and illustrator of New York Times–bestselling Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (which is also an NAACP Image Award winner), Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World, and Dream Big, Little One. In addition to illustrating Matthew A. Cherry’s Hair Love, Vashti is the illustrator for Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal’s Festival of Colors, Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes’s Cece Loves Science! and Lupita Nyong’o’s forthcoming Sulwe.
Hair Love
a reading by Matthew A. Cherry & drawing demonstration by Vashti Harrison
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

April 26 – Lectura: Para adolescentes, premenopáusicas y especialistas de la salud, para Zaida Corniel

Zaida Corniel Cover-font

“Esta muy esperada colección de cuentos de la escritora y académica dominicana, residente en Nueva York, Zaida Corniel está destinada a convertirse en un clásico contemporáneo. Son doce historias narradas de forma magistral en las que se revela la compejidad y riqueza de la experiencia femenina en nuestra época” (Arte poética Press).

Dr. Zaida Corniel es lectora de español y literatura en el departamento de Hispanic Languages and Literature en Stony Brook University. También enseña en el Departamento de Latin American and Latin Studies (LALS) en Lehman College. Su trabajo de investigación se enfoca en literatura del Caribe hispánico, estudios latinos y teatro. Para adolescentes, premenopáusicas y especialistas de la salud (Arte Poética Press, 2019) es su primera colección de cuentos.


Join us for a book release and conversation with author Zaida Corniel.
“This long-awaited collection of short stories by New York-based Dominican author and scholar, Zaida Corniel is bound to become a contemporary classic. These twelve stories are simply masterful narrations representing the complexity and richness of the feminine experience in our times.” (Arte poética Press).

Dr. Zaida Corniel is a Lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University. She also teaches in the Department of Latin American and Latin Studies (LALS) at Lehman College. She specializes in Spanish Caribbean literature, Latino studies, and theater. Para adolescentes, premenopáusicas y especialistas de la salud (Arte Poética Press, 2019) is her first collection of short stories.

Books will be available for sale at the event, and available online below.

Books will be available for sale at the event, and available online

A Book Release: Para adolescentes, premenopáusicas y especialistas de la salud (cuentos) by Zaida Corniel
Presented by Casa de Las Américas Literary Prize winner, Sonia Rivera Valdés
Friday April 26th, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

April 18 – The Upper Manhatta(n) Project


The Upper Manhatta(n) Project is a how-to guide for preparing New York City for climate change. The book includes advanced research, artist renderings, case studies, and other information for how New York and other cities can take near and long-term action. Strategies included in The Upper Manhatta(n) Project range from independent to collective actions that New Yorkers can take to prepare their homes, neighborhoods, and even make large scale infrastructure changes. This book goes beyond advocating for governments to take action and calls for everyone to get involved in making NYC a sustainable city for everyone.

Aurash Khawarzad is an Artist, Educator, and Urban Planner who has been practicing in New York City since 2009. His work emphasizes the combination of art, scientific research, and social justice, in the process of urban development. Aurash believes that by collaborating across disciplines we can develop creative solutions that change society in fundamentally necessary ways.

The Upper Manhatta(n) Project
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

March 29 – Getting to Know Yourself for Better Sex & Relationships

Word Up Flyer

Join Nuyorican sexologist Yael Rosenstock, recent author of “An Introguide to a Sex Positive You: Lessons, Tales, and Tips” for an interactive discussion exploring sexual identity in all of its diversity. Sexual identity isn’t limited to the genders we date – it includes our dating styles, the roles we take in sexual encounters, what we like to do, and more! This conversation will invite you to think about those identities to help you identify what you could be seeking for your ideal sexual and/or romantic relationships.
Getting to Know Yourself for Better Sex & Relationships
Friday, March 29, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

March 7 – A Radical Faith: Author Eileen Markey in conversation with Elizabeth Castelli

Join Eileen Markey, a Bronx-based journalist, Lehman College CUNY professor, and author of A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura, in conversation with religion scholar and Word Up volunteer Elizabeth Castelli, for a reading and talk about the role of religious conviction in the Central American people’s movements of the 1970s and 80s and how they can inform our work today.

Drawing on archival research and hundreds of interviews with people usually ignored by historians, A Radical Faith tells a grassroots, woman-centered, poor people-centered story of Sr. Maura Clarke, MM, a Bronx-born, Queens-raised first generation North American woman who was killed in 1980 by the U.S.-trained military of El Salvador. The book traces Maura’s transformation from missionary to partner willing to take fundamental risks in the struggle for liberation. Inspired both by her religious faith and her father’s role in the anti-imperial Irish revolution, Maura dedicated herself to people’s movements in Nicaragua and El Salvador. The book explores topics deeply relevant for our current political moment: invested, committed allyship, models of community resistance, the disruptive powers of hope and personal relationships, and the root causes driving current Central American migration.

From Jacobin: “In this exhaustively researched and deeply loving biography, Markey ascribes radical agency to one of the victims of El Salvador’s civil war violence better known for her death than for her life’s work. In so doing, she reveals the key role played by people of faith, local and foreign, in the liberation movements that challenged both their domestic oppressors and their US backers…For Maura Clarke and so many others, the church was not the obstacle to their radicalization, but rather the vehicle. A Radical Faith charts the unlikely transformation of that most oppressive colonial emissary, the missionary, into an instrument of anti-imperialist solidarity.”

Free event; $5 suggested donation will go toward supporting Word Up’s programming in 2019. A Q&A will follow the book reading and conversation. Books will be available for sale at the event, or may be purchased on our website at

A Radical Faith: Solidarity in Time of Tyranny­—The Story of Maura Clarke
Book talk with author Eileen Markey, in conversation with Elizabeth Castelli
Thursday, March 7, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032