Category Archives: Reading

November 20 – Nathalie Handal’s Life in a Country Album

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Join us to celebrate the launch of Nathalie Handal new poetry collection Life in a Country Album.

The book launch will have food and music inspired by the poetry book with appearances by the author Nathalie Handal for a night of celebration and festivities. Michael Archer (founder of Guernica Magazine) will introduce the book, and Nimmi Gowrinathan (professor/founder, Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative & Beyond Identity faculty, City College) will lead a Q & A.

A dynamic line-up of guest-writers, actors and students will read a poem from Life in a Country Album: Tina Chang (Hybrida); Ricky Maldonado (The Life Assignment); Najla Said (actor); Nivea Castro and Wendy Angulo (VONA – The Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation); Kathy Engel (The Lost Brother Alphabet); student writers, Nailah Garard (Beyond Identity fellow), Jasmine Hayden, Asia Lo Savio, and more…

With Arabic Latin live music by percussionist & oud player Zafer Tawil & Co.

Life in Country Album by Nathalie Handal: From migrations to pop culture, loss to la dérive, Life in a Country Album is a soundtrack of the global cultural landscape—borders and citizenship, hybrid identities and home, freedom and pleasure. It’s a vast and moving look at the world, at what home means, and the ways we coexist in an increasingly divided world. These poems are about the dialects of the heart—those we are incapable of parting from, and those that are largely forgotten. Life in a Country Album is a vital book for our times. With this beautiful, epic collection, Nathalie Handal affirms herself as one of our most diverse and important contemporary poets.

I love how the desire and longing running through these poems reaches me via the collection’s many voices and cityscapes, and–most poignantly–via the borders between bodies, nations and hearts. Absolutely gorgeous.
—Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the United States

NATHALIE HANDAL was raised in Latin America, France and the Middle East, and educated in Asia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Her recent poetry books include the flash collection The Republics, about the Dominican Republic and Haiti, winner of the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing, and the Arab American Book Award; Poet in Andalucía; and Love and Strange Horses, winner of the Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award. She is the author of eight plays, editor of two anthologies, and her poetry, essays and creative nonfiction have appeared in Vanity Fair, Guernica Magazine, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Nation, the Irish Times, among others. Handal is the recipient of awards from the Lannan Foundation, Centro Andaluz de las Letras, Fondazione di Venezia, Emily Harvey Foundation, among others. Her work brings her to audiences globally. She is a professor at Columbia University, and writes the literary travel column “The City and the Writer” for Words without Borders magazine.

Beyond Identity is a program that “trains young women of color from both immigrant and U.S.-based minority communities in identity-driven research, allowing them to draw on lived experiences of discrimination and violence to inform the research agendas and political writing that will be the foundation of distinctive political projects.*The category “women” is inclusive of cis-sexual, transgender, and non-binary forms of gendered identities. The Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative does not discriminate on gender or race. beyondidentity.org/about-us

Wednesday, November 20, 2019
6:30–8:30pm
Nathalie Handal’s Life in a Country Album
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
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Can’t make it to the event? Order the book here.

November 13 – ¡Pa’que tu lo sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico

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Celebrate the release of ¡PA’QUE TU LO SEPAS!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico. Proceeds will go to UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico. Contributing local authors Richie Narvaez, Christopher Novas, and Angel Luis Colón will read their stories and sign books.

Richie Narvaez (aka R. Narvaez) was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. His literary and crime fiction have been published in Mississippi Review, Murdaland, Pilgrimage, Indian Country Noir, Long Island Noir, and Tiny Crimes. His first collection of short stories, Roachkiller and Other Stories, received the 2013 Spinetingler Award for Best Anthology/Short Story Collection and was listed as one of BookRiot’s 100 Must-Read Works of Noir. His debut novel Hipster Death Rattle was published in 2019. http://www.richienarvaez.com

Christopher Novas is a Dominican-American writer living in New York. He’s a giant anime dork and loves mechas & cyberpunk. He recently graduated with a MFA from The New School. “La Baca” is his first published short story.

Angel Luis Colón is the Derringer and Anthony Award shortlisted author of Hell Chose Me, The Blacky Jaguar novella series, The Fantine Park novella series, and dozens of short stories that have appeared in web and print publications like Thuglit, Literary Orphans, and Great Jones Street. He also hosts the podcast the bastard title. http://www.angelluiscolon.com

For more information about the anthology: https://downandoutbooks.com/bookstore/colon-paque-sepas/

¡Pa’que tu lo sepas!: Stories to Benefit the People of Puerto Rico
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
6:30–8:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Avenue @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
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Can’t make it to the event? Order the book here.

November 16 – Innosanto Nagara & R. Zamora Linmark in conversation

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Join Innosanto Nagara (M is for Movement; A is for Activist) and R. Zamora Linmark (The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart; Rolling the Rs) in celebrating their new books, written for age groups that are new to each writer (ages 8–12, and teens, respectively).

Children’s book author and illustrator Innosanto Nagara’s books encourage children to grow up with confidence in themselves, and to be proactive citizens. Born and raised in Indonesia, Inno moved to the US in 1988. Inno lives in Oakland in a cohousing community with nine adults and eight kids.

Poet, novelist, and playwright R. Zamora Linmark was born in Manila and educated in Honolulu. He is the author of four poetry collections and the novels Leche (Coffee House Press) and Rolling the R’s (Kaya Press), which he adapted for the stage. He lives in Honolulu and Manila.

Innosanto Nagara has done it again—and how lucky we all are for that! M is for Movement is another bold, bright, powerful book that uses a relatable personal narrative to relay a complex political history—and a necessary lesson in how ordinary people can create extraordinary change. It’s a riveting, empowering, and visually stunning adventure.”—Kate Schatz, New York Times–bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z, Rad Women Worldwide, and Rad Girls Can

“[R. Zamora] Linmark’s [The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart] is definitely offbeat and wild(e)ly imaginative, inviting long thoughts about the uncertainty of love, with its wonderment and hummingbird heartbeats. Beautifully written, sad as a Wilde fairy tale, and home to highly empathic characters, the novel is a rich reading experience that would make the ineffable Oscar proud.”Booklist

Innosanto Nagara & R. Zamora Linmark in conversation
Saturday, November 16, 2019
3pm
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
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Can’t make the event? Order the books here  & here.

November 10 – Annecy Báez: Fiction and Therapeutic Impact of Writing for Healing

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Juggling professional life and the wish to be creative is a challenge; find out how one author and mental health professional struck a balance between the two in this reading and workshop by Annecy Báez.

Annecy Baez will read from her book My Daughter’s Eyes and Other Stories, winner of the Mármol Prize—a collection of fourteen interrelated stories about young Dominican women living in the Bronx as they deal with the choices they make in their everyday life. These stories span three decades, beginning in the 1970s, and their topics range from mother-daughter struggles, father-daughter betrayal, family, and child abuse, to emerging sexuality, love, loss, and healing.

After the reading, Annecy will present a short workshop on how she, as a psychotherapist, came to write it and what she learned in the process—with the hope that it inspires emerging writers to do the same.

Annecy Báez: Fiction and Therapeutic Impact of Writing for Healing
Sunday, November 10, 2019
4–5:30pm
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
Can’t make it to the event? Order the book here.

November 9 – What God Is Honored Here?

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Pregnancy loss is a most enigmatic human sorrow, unique to every woman who suffers it. These stories of resilience, grief, and restoration are essential, for to understand is to heal.
—Louise Erdrich

What God Is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss by and for Native Women and Women of Color—edited by Shannon Gibney and Kao Kalia Yang—is a literary collection of voices of Indigenous women and women of color who have undergone miscarriage and infant loss, experiences that disproportionately affect women who have often been cast toward the margins in the U.S. NYC-based contributors to the anthology—Jennifer N. Baker, Seema Reza, and Dania Rajendra—share their stories, writing about what it means to reclaim life in the face of death.

From the story of dashed cultural expectations in an interracial marriage to poems that speak of loss across generations, from harrowing accounts of misdiagnoses, ectopic pregnancies, and late-term stillbirths to the poignant chronicles of miscarriages and mysterious infant deaths, What God Is Honored Here? brings women together to speak to one another about the traumas and tragedies of womanhood. In its heartbreaking beauty, this book offers an integral perspective on how culture and religion, spirit and body, unite in the reproductive lives of women of color and Indigenous women as they bear witness to loss, search for what is not there, and claim for themselves and others their fundamental humanity. Powerfully and with brutal honesty, they write about what it means to reclaim life in the face of death.

Reading: What God Is Honored Here?
Saturday, November 9, 2019
3–5pm
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
Can’t make it to the event? Order the book here.