Category Archives: Uncategorized

October 25- Reading: Jasminne Méndez, Yesenia Montilla, & Roberto Carlos Garcia

Join us in experiencing a special northeast visit from Jasminne Mendez, author of Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays & Poetry; Yesenia Montilla, author of The Pink Box; and Roberto Carlos Garcia, author of black/Maybe. It will be a night of Dominican poetry that audiences won’t soon forget!


Jasminne Mendez is a poet, educator, and award-winning author. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by or forthcoming in The Acentos Review, Crab Creek Review, Texas Review, La Galería, Label Me Latino/a, Gulf Coast, Bird’s Thumb, The Rumpus, and COG Magazine. She is a senior contributing editor at Queen Mob’s Teahouse and the author of two poetry/prose collections Island of Dreams (Floricanto Press, 2013; winner of an International Latino Book Award), and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry (Arte Publico Press, 2018). She is a 2017 Canto Mundo Fellow and an MFA candidate in the creative writing program at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.


Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina from New York City and a daughter of immigrants. She is a graduate of Drew University’s Poetry & Poetry in Translation MFA program, and a Canto Mundo Fellow. Her poetry has appeared in the Wide Shore, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, and other publications. Her first collection of poetry, The Pink Box (Willow Books) was long-listed for the PEN America Open Book Award. She lives in Harlem.


Roberto Carlos Garcia is the author of black / Maybe (Willow Books) and Melancolía (Červená Barva Press). His poems and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in The Root, Those People, Rigorous, Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, The New Engagement, Public Pool, Stillwater Review, Gawker, Barrelhouse, Tuesday; An Art Project, The Acentos Review, Lunch Ticket, and many others. ​He is founder of the cooperative press Get Fresh Books, LLC. A native New Yorker, Roberto holds an MFA in Poetry and Poetry in Translation from Drew University, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Reading: Jasminne Méndez, Yesenia Montilla, & Roberto Carlos Garcia                                                                                                                             Thursday, October 25, 2018                                                                                    6:30–8:30pm                                                                                                      Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria                              2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.                                                                  New York NY 10032



October 18- Three American writers – 6th reading

Where are we from? Where are we when we are writing? And when we are being read? We are just a few among so many people living in Spanish in this city, American writers in New York.

In this second reading, one Puerto Rican and two Argentines. Three poets: Lila Zemborain, Marianela Fernández, and Cristina Pérez Díaz.

In the upcoming readings, the origins of the voices, tensions, and trajectories will multiply. Join us to listen, read, discuss, and draw up new maps.

 Three American writers – 6th reading                                                                Thursday, October 18, 2018                                                                                       6:30–8:30pm                                                                                                            Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria                              2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.                                                                  New York NY 10032

October 13-14: Pedro Mir Symposium

Free Admission | Pre-Registration with Eventbrite:

**Spanish-English bilingual interpretation will be available at all events in the Symposium.**

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY (October 4, 2018) – Word Up Community Bookshop  is proud to present the first Pedro Mir Symposium in honor of writer, scholar and poet laureate of the Dominican Republic, PEDRO MIR (1913-2000), considered among the most beloved and respected literary figures in the Dominican Republic of the 20th Century. Mir wrote poems, including his famous “Hay un país en el mundo”, about Dominican workers young and old, as well as historical scholarship that addressed the legacies of colonialism and slavery in his country. In 1947, Mir was exiled by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo for fifteen years. Mir came back to the Dominican Republic in 1962 and remained there until his death in 2000. He was awarded the Dominican Republic’s National Prize for History (1975) and it’s National Prize for Literature for lifetime achievement (1993). In 1984 was appointed the Poet Laureate of the Dominican Republic by the Dominican Congress. One of his most well-known books of poetry, Contracanto a Walt Whitman, has been translated into English and published together with a selection of other translated poems: Countersong to Walt Whitman, and Other Poems (1993, 2nd ed. 2017). Mir’s translator, Jonathan Cohen, will be participating in the panel “Mir in Translation” on Sunday, October 14 (see more below). Cohen’s translation, as well as Mir’s Poesía completa and his Letras dispersas, will all be available for sale.  

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13: Day One of the Pedro Mir Symposium

1pm: “Mir in the Dominican Context” panel including participants:

Silvio Torres-Saillant (Syracuse University, see full bio below)

Ginetta Candelario (Smith College)

Zaida Corniel (Stony  Brook University)

3pm: “Approaches to Mir” panel including participants:

Roberto Márquez (Mount Holyoke College)

Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Princeton University)

David Cortés Cabán (Hostos Community College)


5pm: Writer Miriam Mejía ( reads, followed by a reception

6pm: Keynote Speech by SILVIO TORRES-SAILLANT on the work of Pedro Mir  [Held at Alianza Dominicana—530 West 166th Street]

Professor of English and Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University and founding director of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute at the City College of New York, Silvio Torres-Saillant’s research centers on intellectual history, Latino discourse, ethnic American literatures, comparative poetics, and the racial regimes spawned by the colonial transaction. He has authored Caribbean Poetics (1997; 2nd ed. 2013), El tigueraje intelectual (2002; 2nd ed. 2011), Introduction to Dominican Blackness (1999; 2nd ed. 2010), An Intellectual History of the Caribbean (2006), Diasporic Disquisitions: Dominicanists, Transnationalism, and the Community (2000), and El retorno de las yolas: Ensayos sobre diáspora, democracia y dominicanidad (1999). He is co-editor of The Challenges of Higher Education in the Hispanic Caribbean (2004), Desde la orilla: Hacia una nacionalidad sin desalojos (2004), and Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, Vol. IV (2002). He is currently at work on “Racial Selfhoods: The Rise of Western Identity and the Fracture of the Human.” He delivered a “special lecture” (Círculo de Conferencias Especiales) during the Dominican Republic’s XIX International Book Fair Santo Domingo 2016 and gave the keynote address to open the 58th Casa de las Américas Literary Prize, in Havana, Cuba in 2017. In 2018, he was the opening keynote speaker in the conference “Global Dominican—Politics, Economics, and Cultural Production” held at the Senate House, University of London, England, UK. Torres-Saillant held his first faculty position in the English Department of Hostos Community College, of the City University of New York.

7:30pm: Mir-influenced reading at Alianza Dominicana. Readers include, among others:


  • Dinorah Coronado
  • Juan Matos Cuevas
  • David Cortés Cabán


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14: Day Two of the Pedro Mir Symposium

3pm: “Pedro Mir in Translation” panel at Word Up with participants:

Sintia Molina (St. Francis College)

Rosa Mirna Sánchez (Caldwell University)

Translator Jonathan Cohen (


Word Up Community Bookshop is a multilingual, general-interest community bookshop and arts space in Washington Heights, New York City, committed to preserving and building a neighborhood in which all residents help each other to live better informed and more expressive lives, using books as an instrument of reciprocal education and exchange, empowering not only themselves, but their community.


Reviewers and press inquiries, please contact:

Daniella Gitlin,

Tel: 347-688-4456 |

October 12- Embracing Grief: An Evening of Personal Narratives

Join Radix Media and Word Up Community Bookshop as we host an evening of literary works from our book, AFTERMATH: Explorations of Loss & Grief. Light refreshments will be provided, and the authors will be available afterwards to sign copies of the book.

Anna Schott is a writer who has also been a dog-walker, record store owner, and musician. Her personal essay “Getting it Down” is about her connection to a childhood friend who later contracts HIV.

Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator, and game designer from Brooklyn, New York. Over one hundred of his short stories have appeared in Nature, Galaxy’s Edge, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and other magazines and anthologies. His short story “Icarus Falls” explores the idea of memory and the relationship between a parent and child. Learn more at his website:

Laurinda Lind lives and teaches in New York’s North Country near the St. Lawrence River. Her poetry has been in Comstock Review, The Cortland Review, Paterson Literary Review, and others. Her poem “The Lightkeeper Misses His Wife in 1996” dates back to her years as a journalist.


Embracing Grief: An Evening of Personal  Narratives                        Friday, October 12, 2018                                                                                             6:30–8:30pm                                                                                                            Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria                              2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.                                                                  New York NY 10032

September 27-Local Authors Present/Escritores del vecindario presentan: Mary Ely Peña-Gratereaux & Roberto Bello

Please join us for the second event in our “Local Authors Present / Escritores del vecindario presentan” series, featuring Mary Ely Peña-Gratereaux and Roberto Bello. Translation and interpretation support are provided by Word Up Community Bookshop, thanks to public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Tenemos el placer de invitarles a la inauguracion de nuestra nueva serie “Escritores del vecindario presentan”, que exhibe un corte representativo de la comunidad de escritores en el alto de la Ciudad de Nueva York invitando a ocho escritores locales que ya han sido publicados, a elegir y leer junto con otros escritores y actores locales, contando con el apoyo de Word Up Librería Comunitaria para la traducción, interpretación. . . . que ha sido posible en parte por fondos publicos otorgados por Creative Engagement, con el apoyo de New York City Department of Cultural Affairs junto con el City Council y el New York State Council on the Arts auspiciado por el Gobernador Andrew Cuomo y administrado por el Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Local Authors Present/Escritores del vecindario presentan: Mary Ely Peña-Gratereaux & Roberto Bello                                                         Thursday, September 27, 2018                                                                         6:30–8:30pm                                                                                                               Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria                              2113 Av. Amsterdam @ calle 165                                                                    New York NY 10032