October 13 – Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa & Peggy Robles-Alvarado

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In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria, Kweli Journal, and Latinx in Publishing present a reading with Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa and Peggy Robles-Alvarado, introduced by Laura Pegram, founder and editor of Kweli. 

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. She is a product of the Puerto Rican communities on the island and in the South Bronx. As a child she was sent to live with her grandparents in Puerto Rico where she was introduced to the culture of rural Puerto Rico, including the storytelling that came naturally to the women in her family, especially the older women. Dahlma’s short stories appear in the following anthologies: Bronx Memoir ProjectLatina Authors and Their MusesChicken Soup for the Latino SoulBreaking Ground: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980 – 2012, and Growing Up Girl. Dahlma’s work also appears in various literary magazines such as the Afro-Hispanic Review and Kweli Journal. At Word Up, Dahlma will present the new paperback edition of her award-winning novel Daughters of the Stone, which follows the lives of five generations of Afro-Puerto Rican women focusing on the legacy passed from one generation to the next. The hardcover edition of Daughters of Stone was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. www.dahlmallanosfigueroa.com

Peggy Robles-Alvarado is a tenured New York City educator and award winning poet with graduate degrees in elementary and bilingual education and an MFA degree in Performance and Performance Studies from Pratt Institute. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, a CantoMundo Fellow, Academy for Teachers and Home School Fellow, a BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) performance poet award winner, and an International Latino Book Award winner. She’s authored Conversations With My Skin (2011) and Homage To The Warrior Women (2012), and edited The Abuela Stories Project (2016) and Mujeres, The Magic, The Movement & The Muse (2017). http://www.robleswrites.com.

Laura Pegram, founder and editor in chief of Kweli Journal, is a multidisciplinary artist who is influencing a new generation of aspiring writers. Author, educator, and a jazz vocalist whose cabaret performance teamed her with jazz pianist, Donald Smith, Ms. Pegram is also a painter. Her richly hued vibrant murals are part of several private collections. She has worked as a development Associate at Scholastic Productions, Inc., as an Instructor at the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center and as an Acting Director / Instructor at the John Oliver Killens Young Writers Program. 

More about our co-presenters:

Kweli’s mission is to nurture emerging writers of color and create opportunities for their voices to be recognized and valued. By creating a community and programming based on artistic excellence and rigor, Kweli empowers writers to share stories that engage and impact our communities. Our vision is for a world where the narratives being told reflect the truth of our histories and the possibilities for our future. http://www.kwelijournal.org

Latinx in Publishing has partnered with Latinx owned bookstores on an event series to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month! We have partnered with several Latinx authors who will visit participating stores to do a reading and sign copies of their books. We hope you’ll come out and support Latinx business owners and creators. http://www.latinxinpublishing.com

Can’t make it to the event? Order the book here: https://www.wordupbooks.com/book/9781732642409.


October 13 – Reading: Egli Colón Stephens & Natalia Harris

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Join Word Up, in collaboration with Dominican Writers Association, for a reading of Unbroken—a hope-filled story of a mother and a daughter, and their unwavering grip for life. Grounded in their faith, together they battle a life-threatening disease that would forever change the course of their lives. In this chronicle you will hear these warriors’ roar, holding on to life and God’s promises. Dr. Egli Colón Stephens digs into memory weaving stories of her cultura, familia, and tradiciones that armed her with the tools to survive the challenges of life. Instinctually, she began to write about the journey God had brought her from, and a decade later, here it is. Like life, which is not linear, this story takes many shifts and unexpected turns. Facing the biggest challenge to date, through her daughter’s life challenge, Egli learns what it means to be courageous, resilient and relentless while leaning on her community for prayers. Their story has over 53,000 views on Telemundo and over 32,000 visits on their CaringBridge blog. They have also been featured on NBC News Latino, Daily News, The Morning Show in Australia, Vivala, ABC News, DNAinfo, Women’s Health, Us Weekly and Vogue.

Egli Colón Stephens, Ed.D., is a woman of deep faith committed to social justice and transformative education. She has been an inner-city educator for about twenty years and currently teaches Sociology at Bronx Community College and Dominican History at Borough of Manhattan Community College. She is also a Certified Holistic Life Coach and a consultant. Dr. Colón Stephens has been a distinguished human rights guest speaker at many institutions, including the United Nations, Fordham University, Universidad Panamericana de Aguas Calientes in Mexico to name a few. She is passionate about Latino literature and writing. Her writings have been published on NBC News Latino, My LifeStyle Magazine, Mamás Latinas and a brief article-critique on the Oprah Magazine. She has also been featured in Super Canal 33, The Observer, La Jornada, The New York Times, Fitness Magazine, SemiPerm Connections and Life Coach Network Radio. www.eglicolonstephens.com

Natalia Harris is a college student, professional model, cancer surThriver and body positive image activist. She has had major health setbacks which have all led to a pivotal moment for a significant comeback. Ms. Harris has participated in New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center and has been featured in Vogue, Elle, Glamour (Hungary), Women’s Health and Cosmopolitan magazines, The Morning Show in Australia, Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Día, Refinery 29. She has been featured in music videos and commercials, and on billboards and a few episodes of Project Runway. Natalia is determined and crystal clear about spreading a message of hope to the world. Although she loves fashion and modeling, her life’s purpose is to use it as a platform to heal humanity. www.iamnataliaharris.com

Reading: Egli Colón Stephens & Natalia Harris
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

October 12 – #DominicanReaders with Ayendy Bonifacio

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Join a #DominicanReaders book club discussion with Ayendy Bonifacio, presented by Dominican Writers Association.

When getting out of the hood is a dream, but the chances are stacked against you–Dique: “supposedly.” He’s not supposed to be here–in Brooklyn, in the U.S., in the hood. This Dominican immigrant in Brooklyn does not ask too much of his memory. He clings to the bits and pieces of his fragmented self–the one in the rural campo of his Dominican birthplace, the East New York teenager, the Ohio young adult–his dique becoming and belonging to a place that doesn’t seem to exist yet.

Told through a series of flashbacks and vignettes, Dique Dominican is Ayendy Bonifacio’s memoir. His coming-of-age is the story of so many immigrants–the undocumented, the poor, the oppressed, and the unafraid–how he went from no electricity to bright lights in the Big Apple, beat his circumstances while never losing his Dominican dreams. Ultimately, this is his story of rebirth and reconciliation, how he found truth in his difference, enlightenment in his words.

AYENDY BONIFACIO holds a Ph.D. in English from The Ohio State University. He was born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. He currently lives in Boston, MA. Dique Dominican is his first book.

For more information about the author, visit www.ayendybonifacio.com.

#DominicanReaders Book Club with Ayendy Bonifacio
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop

2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032

October 5 – Performance for One

Untitled Theater Company #61 presents Performance for One, a one-on-one performance event written and directed by Edward Einhorn, presented in 10 minute slots at venues across Manhattan. The performance is about memory, but even more so, it is about relationship between performer, audience member, and author. What is the responsibility of the audience member, and how is it felt differently when there is only one audience member? Who is the storyteller, the author or the performer? What happens to a memory that two people share after one of those people is gone?

Written and directed by Edward Einhorn (The Marriage of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein, Critic’s Pick, The New York Times). With a rotating cast of diverse actors, spanning age, gender, and ethnicity, including Elizabeth Chappel, Joshua Coleman, Andrea Gallo, Jan Leslie Harding, Allison Hiroko, Yvonne Roen, Melissa Rakiro, and Moira Stone. For those who wish to attend Part 2, a second performance in the same vein, it is exclusively performed by Yvonne Roen.

Untitled Theater Company #61 Presents PERFORMANCE FOR ONE
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave. @ 165th St.
New York NY 10032
Tickets FREE. Visit www.untitledtheater.com to RSVP.

September 28 – Write with JP Infante: The WE Workshop

While the first person “I” helps us experience the world through the eyes and mind of someone else and the second person “You” commands our being, the first person plural tells the story of the group, the tribe, the flock, the team, the committee. The workshop will be facilitated by JP Infante; follow him on Instagram at @jpinfante. RSVP: www.dwapress.com/events

Write with JP: The WE Workshop
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria
New York NY 10032