Category Archives: Uncategorized

June 14- The Songs We Write: An Afternoon of Live Original Music

Come listen and enjoy original music! Featured performers are a mix of local songwriters, composers, and Song A Week members. Each artist will be performing music they have written. Trivia questions will be provided between acts – answer correctly and win a prize!

To learn more about the Song A Week project visit:

The Songs We Write: An Afternoon of Live Original Music
Sunday, June 14, 2020
1-3 pm
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

April 22 – Book Club: Naima Coster’s HALSEY STREET


El Gran Combo: Three Bookstores, Twelve Books, One Virtual Fiesta!

Don’t know what to read next while sheltering-in-place? Join EL GRAN COMBO by buying ONLINE one or more of the following twelve books on MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2020, at one of our favorite community bookstores: Word Up Community Bookshop, The Lit.Bar, or Mil Mundos Books. Buy a book and get an invite to a private virtual event on Thursday, April 16, 2020, 8:00–9:30pm EST. Conversation and Q&A will be moderated by the one and only @lupita.reads with Angie Cruz, Carolina De Robertis, Jaquira Díaz, Lilliam Rivera, Melissa Rivero, and Natalia Sylvester.

Buy a book!  Build a library!

Participating Books: 
Clap When You Land, Elizabeth Acevedo
Dominicana, Angie Cruz
Everything Inside, Edwidge Danticat
Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Jennifer De Leon
Fiebre Tropical, Juliana Delgado Lopera
Cantoras, Carolina De Robertis
Ordinary Girls, Jaquira Díaz
Sabrina & Corina: Stories,  Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Never Look Back, Lilliam Rivera
Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit, Lilliam Rivera
The Affairs of The Falcóns, Melissa Rivero
Running, Natalia Sylvester

Word Up store hours suspended through March 31

Community is in our name. And while we normally want to spread love the Uptown way . . . right now, “community spread” of COVID-19 is precisely what we need to quash. While one may seem healthy and/or asymptomatic, it’s still possible for them to put others at risk. And we don’t want to do that—to our fellow collective members, to our visitors and customers, to our events organizers and authors and community partners. While we want to remain open as a resource for our communities, we would be potentially compromising the health of those same communities. . . . It would be a huge violation of our own safe space policy!

So we’re temporarily closing Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria to the public as of today at 5pm, till at least March 31, 2020. Over the next week, we’ll continue to monitor the situation as we socially distance with an abundance of caution, and we’ll update you on our reopening plans as soon as we can.

Further, all events scheduled through April 13th are being canceled or postponed.

You should know that we will miss you very much! From the very start, we’ve been a gathering place above all, and the connections formed here have kept many of us buoyed through trying times. Our collective’s default instinct is often to gather, yet for the time being, we will not. . . . At the same time, we have been exhausted by this news in the world and among our families, and could use the break—to support our mental health, to shore up our physical health, and, if able, to help others more in need.

You should also know that this closure will affect our income greatly. Though we have a diversity of income streams—including donations and grants—book sales are still our highest, in part because of the offsite events we staff around the city (including at all those closed colleges) and in part because of our in-store events. If you are kicking around at home and online, please consider buying books from our website. Better yet, join our membership program, and you can get 10%-20% discounts on the books you buy online from us! You can also support us with a tax-deductible donation.

Also: although we would love it if you bought books, we understand you may have other priorities at this time. We are interested to know what you need, so we, as a collective, can brainstorm ways we can help during this unique moment. Please let us know by emailing us at

Though the shop itself will be closed for the time being, we aren’t going to stop trying to share information with you. And one of the biggest things to know is that the US Census website is live! You can take the census at You can also take the census on the phone at 844-330-2020 in English (844-468-2020 en español), to make sure you are counted, so that all those healthcare dollars can be properly allocated for at least the next 10 years. And if you do fill out the census, let us know you did here!

Now that we can’t tell as many people in person, we are asking you to please help us spread the word about the 2020 Census. If you are interested in joining a conference call about how you can help Word Up with promoting the census in this time of pandemic, please let us know here, and we will let you know when we set up the virtual meeting.

Thank you always, for everything you do, and have done, to support us.
❤ Word Up

Preparing for COVID-19

Paper-cut “Wash Up!/¡Lávate las manos!” by Jerise Fogel, March 2020. Word Up customer bathroom door.

March 10, 2020

Dear fellow community members,

As concern grows over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and as more people test positive for the virus in NYC, we at Word Up are monitoring the situation and following recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NYC Department of Health. We are also examining guidelines for public libraries, schools, and local organizations for best practices in our community. In general, we are hoping that the procedures we are outlining below will help us prevent all kinds of illnesses, not just COVID-19! Also: if anything changes about our situation, we will send out an email and post on social media as soon as possible.

As a GATHERING SPACE, we are doing the following:

  • Requesting volunteers and staff to stay home if they feel sick. (We encourage all visitors to do the same!)
  • Disinfecting knobs, handles, and frequently used surfaces regularly.
  • Encouraging staff, volunteers, event organizers, and customers to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with provided soap, upon entering the space.
  • Providing hand sanitizer at the counter and by the door.
  • Encouraging community members to reach out to NYC Well at 888-692-9355 if they are feeling stressful or emotional.
  • Doing our best to livestream events, as requested.
  • Asking event organizers who want to bring snacks to events to make sure foods do not require mingling hands—in other words, if you want pretzels and chips, bring your own!
  • Staying informed about cases and updates in the neighborhood, and posting relevant updates to Instagram and Facebook.

Please note that some of our EVENTS have been canceled by organizers due to travel concerns. When such updates occur, we will mark them “canceled” or “postponed” on our events calendar, then will eventually remove the canceled event listings. Please check THIS CALENDAR for the most updated information on events.

If you were planning to attend our Census Kickoff Party on Thursday, March 12th, please note that it is still on, though scaled back and outsideSo please still come by to take the census—or to let us know you already took it—and we can pass along some free food, books, music, and air high fives. 🙂

Finally, if you want to continue supporting us from home, please order books through our website,!

Word Up Collective