Category Archives: Uncategorized

“December 9-Double Book Launch: The Borders of Dominicanidad / We Dream Together”

dominicadad Friday, December 9, 2016     7–9pm

Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Avenue, New York NY 10032

Word Up presents a double book launch for two distinguished scholars exploring the relationship between Dominican Republic and Haiti.

THE BORDERS OF DOMINICANIDAD: Race, Nation, and Archives of Contradiction (Duke University Press, 2016)
by Lorgia Garcia-Peña (Harvard University)
WE DREAM TOGETHER: Dominican Independence, Haiti, and the Fight for Caribbean Freedom (Duke University Press, 2016)
by Anne Eller (Yale University)

A reading & dialogue
Presented by Prof. Sharina Maillo-Pozo (SUNY-New Paltz)
Books will be available for sale.

About the books:
In THE BORDERS OF DOMINICANIDAD, Lorgia García-Peña explores the ways official narratives and histories have been projected onto racialized Dominican bodies as a means of sustaining the nation’s borders. García-Peña constructs a genealogy of dominicanidad that highlights how Afro-Dominicans, ethnic Haitians, and Dominicans living abroad have contested these dominant narratives and their violent, silencing, and exclusionary effects. Centering the role of U.S. imperialism in drawing racial borders between Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the United States, she analyzes musical, visual, artistic, and literary representations of foundational moments in the history of the Dominican Republic: the murder of three girls and their father in 1822; the criminalization of Afro-religious practice during the U.S. occupation between 1916 and 1924; the massacre of more than 20,000 people on the Dominican-Haitian border in 1937; and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. García-Peña also considers the contemporary emergence of a broader Dominican consciousness among artists and intellectuals that offers alternative perspectives to questions of identity as well as the means to make audible the voices of long-silenced Dominicans.

In WE DREAM TOGETHER, Anne Eller breaks with dominant narratives of conflict between the Dominican Republic and Haiti by tracing the complicated history of Dominican emancipation and independence between 1822 and 1865. Eller moves beyond the small body of writing by Dominican elites that often narrates Dominican nationhood to craft inclusive, popular histories of identity, community, and freedom, summoning sources that range from trial records and consul reports to poetry and song. Rethinking Dominican relationships with their communities, the national project, and the greater Caribbean, Eller shows how popular anticolonial resistance was anchored in a rich and complex political culture. Haitians and Dominicans fostered a common commitment to Caribbean freedom, the abolition of slavery, and popular democracy, often well beyond the reach of the state. By showing how the island’s political roots are deeply entwined, and by contextualizing this history within the wider Atlantic world, Eller demonstrates the centrality of Dominican anticolonial struggles for understanding independence and emancipation throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

November 12 – Book Launch & Panel: Brian Mooney’s Breakbeat Pedagogy


To celebrate the release of Breakbeat Pedagogy: Hip Hop and Spoken Word Beyond the Classroom Walls by Brian Mooney, Brian will be reading from and talking about his book, then will be joined in conversation by Rephstar and PattyDukes of hip-hop group Circa ’95 and creators of the Rhyme Factory, and by Walter Hidalgo, author of Beyond the Four Walls: The Rising Ministry and Spirituality of Hip-Hop. This event is organized in collaboration with Word at 4F and Fractious Press, with support from the Citizens Committee of New York City.
Book Launch & Panel: Brian Mooney’s Breakbeat Pedagogy
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.)
New York, NY 10032

November 11 – Teen Open Mic at Word Up


Teen open mic for spoken word artist, singers, rap artist who want to share their voice and talent. Sign up to perform or come and enjoy a night of performances and music by youth for youth. Hosted by “Word in the Heights” alum Jilly Juice. 6pm-8pm. FREE.
Teen Open Mic at Word Up
Friday, November 11, 2016
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.)
New York, NY 10032

September 28 – Poetry Reading “Anemochory” by Leah Silvieus


Join us for an evening at Word Up Books to celebrate the release of Leah Silvieus’s chapbook Anemochory from Hyacinth Girl Press! The evening will also include readings by Hyacinth Girl Press authors Wren Hanks (Prophet Fever) and Lisa Marie Basile (war/lock). Poet Kate DeBolt will MC. Doors open at 7 p.m., and readings begin promptly at 7:30. Space is limited, so be sure to RSVP at Eventbrite.

Leah Silvieus is the author of Anemochory (Hyacinth Girl Press). She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from The American Academy of Poets, Kundiman and VONA. Her work has appeared in Four Way Review, CURA, The Collagist, and Boxcar Poetry Review, among others. Her multimedia poetry projects have been featured at the O, Miami Poetry Festival, The Paragraph Gallery in Kansas City, MO., and the Asian American Women Artists Association in San Francisco.

Wren Hanks is the author of Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press). A 2016 Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow, their poetry and nonfiction appear in Arcadia, Gigantic Sequins, Bone Bouquet, Drunken Boat, and elsewhere. They live in Brooklyn and are an Associate Editor for Sundress Publications.

Lisa Marie Basile is an editor, writer and poet. She runs Luna Luna Magazine and Ingenue X (a blog dedicated to luminous living, creativity & beautiful things). She is also the author of APOCRYPHAL (Noctuary Press, 2014) and a few chapbooks, including war/lock (Hyacinth Girl Press).

Poetry Reading “Anemochory” by Leah Silvieus
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.)
New York, NY 10032

August 24 – FACE OUT: André Alexis and Kia Corthron in Conversation


Word Up is proud to present to two of our continent’s most celebrated playwrights and fiction authors, André Alexis and Kia Corthron, for a reading and conversation about their latest books, the writing of fiction and drama, and the intersections between them.


Born in Trinidad and raised in Canada, ANDRÉ ALEXIS recently won two of Canada’s biggest writing prizes, the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, for his novel Fifteen Dogs. His debut novel,Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. André’s newest book, The Hidden Keys (Coach House Books, 2016) is a contemporary take on the quest narrative with a rich cast of characters; Adam Nayman wrote in Quill & Quire that “nobody is a mere archetype in Alexis’s universe, and far from digressions (or generic concessions), these subplots suggest the humane, egalitarian sensibility of a writer who’s reluctant to simply instrumentalize his characters.” Prior to André’s long and award-winning fiction career, he was playwright-in-residence at the Canadian Stage Company. André resides in Toronto.


KIA CORTHRON has written many plays, fifteen of which have been produced nationally and internationally. For her body of work for the stage, she has garnered the Windham Campbell Prize for Drama, the Simon Great Plains Playwright Award, the United States Artists Jane Addams Fellowship, the Lee Reynolds Award, and the Otto Award. She has also written a bit of television (Edgar and Writers Outstanding Series awards for The Wire). The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter (Seven Stories Press, 2016) is her first novel. Angela Davis called the novel “a stunning achievement by any measure—a riveting saga of two twentieth-century American families trapped inside the quotidian contradictions and compulsions of race, disability, and sexuality. The untidiness of history is conveyed through experiences, dreams, and inevitable eruptions of violence,  yet also unexpected patterns of escape and possible orbits of justice.” Kia grew up in Cumberland, Maryland, and lives in Harlem, New York City.
FACE OUT: André Alexis and Kia Corthron in Conversation
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.)
New York, NY 10032