Tag Archives: Word Up Community Bookshop

Word Up Q & T Community Writers Group

Calling all LGBTQIA+ Writers! Poets, playwrights, essayists, short story writers and all! Join the Q & T Community Writers’ group every Thursday at 6pm on Zoom.  We work from prompts, workshop our on our ongoing pieces together, talk about what we’re reading and writing and more! Sessions will often include two 20-30 minute blocks of time to write in addition to sharing and other activities.

If you have any questions, please email Memphis at education@wordupbooks.com.


Q & T Community Book Club – March Meeting

This a virtual book club that meets to discuss writing from different genres written by and/or about LGBTQ+ people. This is a space book club for open discussion, literary analysis, political discourse, and chatting centering on exciting contemporary and older books. The book list is still in formation (share your book recommendations by joining), however, we will be reading literary fiction, history, fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and more.

This is a Q & T program run through Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria and facilitated by Memphis Washington.


We’ll send you the zoom information once you are signed up!


When: Every last Tuesday of the Month @ 7pm

Where: Zoom (register to receive the link)

Each book is discussed once in a monthly session.

March Meeting Information:

When & Where: Tuesday, March 28th at 7pm on Zoom

ReadingWash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser, illustrated by Robyn Smith

Facilitators: TJ Alexander (local author) and Memphis Washington

Discussion Questions & Topics:

  • What are the ways that you take care of yourself? How do you take care of others? Who takes care of you?
  • What do you think about the way the characters interact with their friends?
  • What does community protection look like?

These are only meant to start the conversation. Please come up with your own questions and bookmark passages you might want to discuss! Content warnings below the “About the Author Section”

About Wash Day Diaries 

From writer Jamila Rowser and artist Robyn Smith comes a captivating graphic novel love letter to the beauty and endurance of Black women, their friendships, and their hair.

Wash Day Diaries tells the story of four best friends—Kim, Tanisha, Davene, and Cookie—through five connected short story comics that follow these young women through the ups and downs of their daily lives in the Bronx.

The book takes its title from the wash day experience shared by Black women everywhere of setting aside all plans and responsibilities for a full day of washing, conditioning, and nourishing their hair. Each short story uses hair routines as a window into these four characters’ everyday lives and how they care for each other.

Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith originally kickstarted their critically acclaimed, award-winning slice of life mini comic, Wash Day, inspired by Rowser’s own wash day ritual and their shared desire to see more comics featuring the daily lived experiences of young Black women. Wash Day Diaries includes an updated, full color version of this original comic—which follows Kim, a 26-year-old woman living in the Bronx—as the book’s first chapter and expands into a graphic novel with short stories about these vibrant and relatable new characters.

In expanding the story of Kim and her friends, the authors pay tribute to Black sisterhood through portraits of shared, yet deeply personal experiences of Black hair care. From self-care to spilling the tea at an hours-long salon appointment to healing family rifts, the stories are brought to life through beautifully drawn characters and different color palettes reflecting the mood in each story.

At times touching, quiet, triumphant, and laugh out loud funny, the stories of Wash Day Diaries pay a loving tribute to Black joy and the resilience of Black women.

About the Author and Illustrator

Jamila Rowser is a Black, Puerto Rican, and Dominican award-winning writer who enjoys creating comics for Black women. She also publishes comics by and for women of color and non-binary people of color through Black Josei Press. Jamila was featured, along with Robyn Smith, in Adweek’s 2021 Creative 100 as a creator to follow. Jamila lives in Miami but reps the Bronx. You can find her detangling her hair, reading manga, and doting on her two cats Sage and Sapphire.

Robyn Smith is a Jamaican cartoonist known for illustrating DC Comics’ Nubia: Real One (written by L.L. McKinney) and her mini-comic The Saddest Angriest Black Girl in Town. She has an MFA from the Center for Cartoon Studies and has worked on comics for College Humor and The Nib. She loves cake and cats and holds onto dreams of returning home to the ocean.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please share them with Memphis at QNTCommunity@gmail.com

Content Warnings: depression, ableism, dementia, queerphobia, a stalking/abusive ex, alcohol and marijuana usage

Word Up: Book Launch: ¿Con qué Papel me Envuelves la Luna? by Lisa Gil-Ventura in conversation with Roxana Calderón

Saturday, March 25, 2023 – 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Word Up Community Bookshop Librería Comunitaria
2113 Amsterdam Ave.
New YorkNY 10032



Join us for an evening of celebration for the launch of Lisa Gil-Ventura’s ¿Con qué Papel me Envuelves la Luna? with poetry readings, signing, open mic and live music entertainment (guitar player). In conversation with Ventura will be Roxana Calderón, author of La Casa de las Maletas: Todos llevamos un equipaje por dentro. Some light refreshments are to be served.

This event is a $5 suggested donation ticket with 30 max attendees. Please register in advance.

In compliance with Word Up Community Safety guidelines, all attendees for this event must wear a mask inside.

Word Up Community Bookshop is located at 2113 Amsterdam Ave. (& 165th St.) in Washington Heights, NYC. You can take the 1 train to 168th St and the A/C train to 163rd or 168th  St.

This event is sponsored by Dominican Writers Association.


¿Con qué papel me envuelves la luna? Es una alineación de las estrellas. Una invitación a los archivos de recuerdos y sentimientos grabados en un cuaderno por una joven estadounidense que se enamoró de un muchacho de campo de la República Dominicana. A través de cada una de sus líneas, Lisa Gil- Ventura, nos abre la puerta de su corazón y nos lleva al inicio de un amor que desafía las probabilidades. Un amor hecho en el cielo, que se manifestó en la Tierra.

Este poemario es un reflejo de la experiencia del autor, luego de años atrás planear un viaje sorpresa de regalo para su familia, siendo ella quien saliese sorprendida y premiada al dejarse llevar del universo. Este libro es un regalo de aniversario en forma de poesías, donde se habla de fe, magia, nuevos comienzos, las relaciones a larga distancia, la pasión de juventud, la paciencia, y la jornada de una chica que se enamoró bajo circunstancias incomprensibles, pero que la curiosidad no la dejo rechazar ese amor desconocido, obviando las circunstancias.

Lisa con su ingenuidad de juventud y su fuerza de voluntad nos demuestra a través de sus poemas que cuando se da la batalla por lo que se quiere, todas las piezas caen en su lugar, hasta lograr el objetivo deseado.


Lisa “Rubi G.” Ventura (she/her) is a Washington Heights bred Black Dominican poet, essayist, and author of “Con Qué Papel Me Envuelves La Luna?” Lisa has been published by Dominican Writers, Raising Mothers, Economic Hardship Reporting Program in conjunction with Slate, and Writing The Land. She was interviewed for The Nation’s Going for Broke podcast and documentary series, as well, Refinery29’s Somos. A VONA 2022 alumni and featured poet for the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Lisa’s work has been showcased by Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, The Billie Holiday Theatre, Bold Voice Collaborative, and IDEA Cultural.

Roxana Calderón is a writer and editor born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in the Dominican Republic. After more than 10 years of supporting students in underserved areas of New York, Calderón chose to dive into uncharted waters and published her first book La Casa de las Maletas (2019, NYC, DWA Press). Calderon has been published in lagaleriamag.com (Un Verano en Nueba Yol’ 2019), dominicanwriters.com (Las Hijas de Machepa 2019), spanglishvoces.com (El Componente & Confesión a un desconocido 2020). She has also participated in the anthologies of the Americas Poetry Festival in New York, Multilingual Anthology (Just Listen/Solo escucha 2019), and the Latin American anthology El vuelo más largo, published by Ángeles del Papel Editores in Peru. In April 2021, Calderón launches the second edition of her book La Casa de las Maletas, also published by DWA, in New York City. Roxana is a member of the editorial team of the digital literary magazine Spanglish Voces, facilitates literature workshops in Spanish, and collaborates with the Dominican Writers Organization. Her work has been featured in two of the most important newspapers in the Dominican Republic; Diario Libre and Listín Diario. In 2021, Roxana presented her first one-woman show, “Once We Loved”, a monologue about the story behind her book. Roxana Calderon lives in New York City and is a senior program director at a non-profit organization in Washington Heights.

Word Up Community Safety Guidelines

MASKING POLICY: All attendees ages 2 and older must wear a mask at all times when indoors at the store at Word Up and Recirculation.

CANCELLATION POLICY: Word Up Community Bookshop reserves the right to cancel events for any reason, including but not limited to safety concerns.

CODE OF CONDUCT: Please note Word Up has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during any event, virtual or in-person. Please read our Safe Space Policy for more information. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from the event at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to events@wordupbooks.com immediately.

PHOTOS & RECORDING: Events may be recorded, and video and photos may be posted on our website, social media, and elsewhere. If you would prefer not to be visible, please let a Word Up team member know.

PRIVACY: Registrants will be added to the Word Up mailing list. Your contact information will never be shared or sold. You may unsubscribe or update your subscription at any time.

PHYSICAL ACCESSIBILITY: Word Up Community Bookshop/Librería Comunitaria is a fully wheelchair-accessible space with one ADA-compliant ramp from the street level to the store. Some of our bookcases and tables are on wheels and can be moved to provide additional access. Our visitor bathroom is wheelchair accessible and gender neutral. Our events are mic’d for sound. Free ASL interpretation is available for most programs upon request; please email events@wordupbooks.com to request interpretation as early as possible. The space is not scent or chemical free but we do our best to minimize the use of chemicals and scents throughout the space and use nontoxic materials whenever possible. If you have specific questions about the space or how an event can be made more accessible to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@wordupbooks.com.

¿Con qué papel me envuelves la luna? By Lisa Gil- Ventura Cover Image
ISBN: 9780578302843
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Inktuition Press – January 6th, 2023

Word Up Q & T Community Writers Group

Calling all LGBTQIA+ Writers! Poets, playwrights, essayists, short story writers and all! Join the Q & T Community Writers’ group every Thursday at 6pm on Zoom.  We work from prompts, workshop our on our ongoing pieces together, talk about what we’re reading and writing and more! Sessions will often include two 20-30 minute blocks of time to write in addition to sharing and other activities.

If you have any questions, please email Memphis at education@wordupbooks.com.


NoName @ WordUp: Super Story Party

Each No Name show @ the wonderful Word Up bookshop features a mix of some of NYCs best comics, storytellers, and more.<P>

We have returned to our live, in person shows with some Super Story Party editions! This means some of New York’s best storytellers doing their thing uptown! Plus, you can drop your name in the hat, and if your name is drawn, you’ll receive 5 minutes of stage time. There will be trivia, stories, and even a dance break!

Eric Vetter is the MC
Michele Carlo is the co-host
Music provided by Miles Blue Spruce
Scheduled guests for Tuesday March 21st:
Jeff Rose
Kambri Crews
Leighann Lord
John-Andrew Morrison
& more

When- TUESDAY, March 21st
Where- WORD UP! bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Ave (corner of 165th St)
Showtime- 7:00 pm
Admission- FREE!!

By subway- A, C, or 1 train to 168th St
(walk down to 165th St, turn left, walk to