Category Archives: Workshop

December 14- The Heart of The Story

The Heart of The Story: Join us for a writing workshop celebrating the art of storytelling as a tool to heal communities and ourselves. Come write your stories. All genres are welcome. 

ALICIA ANABEL SANTOS is a Priestess, Afrolatina/Dominican Writer, Lesbian, Speaker, Performance Artist, Producer, Playwright, and Activist. She is from Bushwick, Brooklyn and is a proud Dominican Writer. Her work honors and celebrates the contributions of Latin American women of the diaspora. Anabel is the Founder of the New York City Latina Writers Group with over 700 women writers.

She has been a guest on NPR’s Tell Me More and has written for LATINA Magazine. In 2011 she published her memoir, Finding Your Force: A Journey to Love and her play I WAS BORN was selected as part of the ONE Festival in New York. She has worked for renowned magazines, yet it was an article published in Urban Latino Magazine, “Two Cultures Marching to One Drum,” which would change the direction of her life. In 2008, she joined Creador Pictures as Writer / Producer of its first documentary, AfroLatinos: An Untaught History.  

In 2008 Alicia Anabel Santos and Renzo Devia, Director / Executive Producer of Afrolatinos embarked on a journey of self-discovery African roots by traveling to almost every single country in Latin America. The intention was to document the African influence in Latino culture seeking out the often unspoken truths, stories and hidden facts about this history. What they discovered was a history that had never been taught. It became a spiritual and educational adventure that would change their lives forever. Renzo took his 20+ years of experience producing television combined with Alicia’s passion for writing and they created AfroLatinos: The Untaught Story.

AFROLATINOS LA HISTORIA QUE NUNCA NOS CONTARON is the story of the estimated 150 million Afrodescendants throughout Latin America who have been excluded from historical narratives, literature and academia. With the United Nations declaring 2015-2024, the International Decade of People of African Descent including Latinos in the discourse is revolutionary. Afrolatinos takes you on a journey throughout Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations as we learn about their history, religions, music, dance and many contributions. We hope this documentary will empower Afrolatinos to start a dialogue that creates awareness, to promote change and to give voice to a large community who have been silenced and historically marginalized. Afrolatinos premiered and has sold out screenings at the United Nations and the Pan African American Film Festival.

She can be found writing her ass off! Alicia attended New York University and lives in the Bronx, New York with her partner.

The Heart of The Story
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Word Up Community Bookshop



November 16: Fractious Press Workshop: Grassroots Book Publicity


In this workshop on grassroots book publicity, Wren Hanks will present the nuts and bolts of a campaign: how to draft a pub plan, ways to reach the right communities for your book, how to pitch and when to follow up, and more. Participants will have the opportunity to make sample review lists of media that would ideally cover their book/project, then will examine them as a class.

Wren Hanks is the publicist for the Feminist Press, an educational nonprofit based in New York City. He’s worked in independent publishing since 2010, holding previous positions at Seven Stories Press, UNO Press, and elsewhere. He also serves remotely as an associate editor for Sundress Publications, a poetry and literature press based in Knoxville, TN. He’s the author of two poetry chapbooks, Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press) and Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press) and has a third chapbook, gar child, forthcoming from Tree Light Books. A 2016 Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow, he holds an MFA from the University of New Orleans and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College.

This event forms part of a series of collaborative panels and workshops that will develop skills and offer support in publishing to uptown NYC.

Organized by Fractious Press, with support from Citizens Committee of New York City.

Fractious Press Workshop: Grassroots Book Publicity
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

October 27: LUVR – Armando Batista

This is a workshop performance of LUVR, a new solo play about love, loss and solitude. This is the second solo play created and performed by Armando “Mando” Batista at Word Up Bookshop. The first, City Boy, was performed as part of a grant award from NoMAA.

LUVR – Armando Batista
Friday, October 27, 2017

Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Avenue (@ 165th St.)

September 30: Cuéntame un Cuadro

Cuéntame un Cuadro (Tell Me the Story of an art work) is a story-telling program in Spanish for families with children ages 5 to 9. Discover fun facts about Hispanic art and culture while you learn and create together.

The Hispanic Society Museum and Library is closed for renovations, but their programs—like Cuéntame un Cuadro—are moving to different spaces around the Washington Heights community.

Cuéntame un Cuadro
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Word Up Community Bookshop / Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Avenue @ 165th St.
1/A/C to 168th St. / C to 163rd St.

July 15, 22, & 29 + August 5, 2017: bell hooks: Desire, Education, Freedom

Word Up welcomes the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research for a course on bell hooks. Past BISR courses at Word Up have focused on James Baldwin and Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote. The course “bell hooks: Desire, Education, Freedom” is taught by Asma Abbas.
bell hooks is one of the foremost contemporary thinkers addressing questions of gendered, racial, and economic liberation, pioneering the social application of ideas about marginality that are now commonplace in both academic and popular discourse. Feminist liberation, for hooks, must push past victimization narratives and exclusivity to become a deeply inclusive critique, aimed at general emancipation from the interlocked systems of patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism. hooks does not limit or style her critique to academic questions but rather pushes public intellectual engagement and incisive cultural criticism, encouraging readers to question the comfortable center — from popular culture to political life. hooks wants us to ask, in particular, about the role of education and cultural life in understanding our own desires. Can we educate ourselves, our very desires, toward freedom? Even towards a freedom from what often attaches us to our own domination?

This course will move through bell hooks’ multi-genre oeuvre that addresses racism, patriarchy, and capitalism, as she argues for an inversion of systems of power and priority, placing the marginalized, the wounded, and the excluded at the centre of our actions, arts, theories, sensibilities, and insurgencies. We will read, listen, and watch from Ain’t I a Woman, Teaching to Transgress, Feminism is For Everybody, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Centre, Reel to Real: Race, Sex, and Class at the Movies, and more.

For more details, visit:

bell hooks: Desire, Education, Freedom
Course by Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
4 Saturdays: July 15, July 22, July 29, August 5, 2017
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. (at 165 St.)
New York NY 10032