Culture. Is. Power.
A photo posted by Busboys and Poets (@busboysandpoets) on
Special guest authors Thomas Mallon (Watergate), Ann McLaughlin (The House On Q Street), and editor Adam McKible (When Washington Was In Vogue) will be at the event with readings from their books. After the reading, a Q&A with the authors and crime novelist George Pelecanos (Right as Rain, Soul Circus, The Night Gardener, and many others) will follow to discuss why they chose Washington, DC neighborhoods as the setting for their stories. There will also be a dramatic reading by Chivonnie Gius from “Common Law,” featured in Edward P. Jones‘ short story collection All Aunt Hagar’s Children. Launch curator Kim Roberts, who’s created several walking tours of literary DC (and is editor of Beltway Online Poetry Quarterly), will read from The House On Q Street. The launch will be MC’d by former DC Citypaper Arts Editor Mark Athitakis who was the lead judge for Citypaper’s 2013 Fiction issue. Old school music from the 20s to the 70s will be mixed by DJ 2Tone Jones.
…the stakes are higher for D.C. fiction, because unlike any other metropolis it battles the perception that those monuments are the city.
— Mark Athitakis
DC By the Book is a website featuring a custom map that allows anyone to explore the landscape of DC through the eyes of local and nationally-known authors. When a user clicks on a map icon, the popup box displays a passage from a work of fiction describing that location, as well as the book title (which links to the DC Public Library catalog record for the item), author, and other ancillary information about the work. Users will be able to browse the map or search using various filters, so that they could, for example, view only locations linked to a single author, or locations only described in crime fiction, or locations from a specific era.
However, in order for the map to have any icons on it, passages from DC fiction will need to be entered. This is done via a simple form on the website that anyone can access as they’re reading a book set in Washington, DC. Several “mapathon” events will be held across the city in 2013 where anyone can drop by, read a book, and enter passages. This excerpt from Mallon’s Watergate is included in the slide show (by Michon Boston) that will accompany the author’s reading at the March 27th kickoff.
Bring your laptop to the kickoff or go to a station at Busboys and Poets (they have WiFi) to take the grand tour, and start reading and entering locations by authors ranging from Henry Adams, Stephen Collins, Ward Just, Susan Richards Shreve, George Pelecanos, Kia DuPree, and more.
Visit DC By the Book at www.dcbythebook.org, and explore passages from great works of fiction about DC and upload content from your own reads. Contact info[at]dcbythebook[dot]org to learn more.
LISTEN TO THE “DC BY THE BOOK” segment on WAMU’s “KOJO NNAMDI SHOW” (March 21, 2013)
Susan Richards Shreve
Professor, George Mason University; co-chair, PEN/Faulkner Foundation Board of Directors; author.
Anthony ‘Tony’ Ross
Librarian, D.C. Public Library; co-creator, DC By the Book
Professor and Chair, Department of English, Howard University
Does this really work?
Also, check out STRONG!, a film by Julie Wyman about the Olympian weighlifting Bronze medalist Cheryl Haworth. Today at brunch, Cheryl referred to her “bigness” — I call it her “awsomeness.” [And I’ve never used that word before in public.] That Cheryl is and so is fellow Olympian Cara Heads who also appears in the film. WHEN/WHERE etc. Saturday, June 30 at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th Street, NW), 5 PM. Cheryl Heads will be a guest speaker. It’s the final ITVS Community Cinema [DC] event for the season and it’s FREE. More information and reservations available at www.communitycinema-dc.org.
STRONG! is wrapping up SilverDocs in a sold out screening tonight at the AFI Silver theater in Silver Spring, MD.
Gemal Woods is doing something exciting out of his Park Triangle shop. And this blog has mentioned it before. It’s “The Angle.” A few weeks ago I went to check it out in person. Did I hear him say he has 2000 interviews recorded? Obviously there’s more to this than just an angle. I’m giving this “eclectic docuseries” some space on Eclectique916.com.
Busboys and Poets is featuring episodes of “The Angle” for their In Focus film series starting February 6 at the Hyattesville, MD location; February 12 at 14th & V (DC); February 19 at Shirlington, VA; and February 26 at 5th & K (DC). More information available on this link.
Stay tuned for “The Angle” on Eclectique916.com
Too much, too much. June must be the final push on the event scene before people begin dispersing to the vacation scene. Again, just scratching the surface:
ITVS COMMUNITY CINEMA PRESENTS – “TWO SPIRITS”
June 5 at 3 PM (Washington DC Jewish Community Center)
June 12 at 5 PM (Busboys and Poets)
FREE – For reservations click on this link or call 202-939-0794.
Other FREE preview screenings nationwide
Filmmaker Lydia Nibley explores the cultural context behind a tragic and senseless murder. Fred Martinez was a Navajo youth slain at the age of 16. But Fred was part of an honored Navajo tradition – the nadleeh, or ‘two-spirit,’ who possesses a balance of masculine and feminine traits. In relating Fred’s story, Nibley reminds us of the values that America’s indigenous peoples have long embraced. Visit www.communitycinema-dc.org for more information.
AN INTERVIEW WITH JOURNALIST HELEN THOMAS, FIRST LADY OF THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORPS
Sunday, June 5 at 5 PM, Busboys and Poets, 5th & K Streets, NW
Known as “the first lady of the White House Press Corps,” Thomas covered every President of the United States from the last years of the Eisenhower administration until the second year of the Obama administration. She was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and President of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and the first female member of the Gridiron Club.
Busboys and Poets’ owner, Andy Shallal will interview Thomas about her life and work — including the controversial interview with blogger and Rabbi David Nesenoff that led to her resignation/retirement as a Hearst columnist. Thomas, who is of Lebanese descent, has written six books; her latest, with co-author Craig Crawford, is Listen Up, Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President to Know and Do (2009).
EATONVILLE RESTAURANT CELEBRATES CARIBBEAN [CULINARY] HERITAGE
June 12 – 17
Eatonville Restaurant, 2121 14th Street, NW Washington, DC 20009
June is Caribbean Heritage month. Eatonville Restaurant is devoting a week to Caribbean Heritage cuisine. Guest Culinary Artist Chef Oji Jaja of Kingston, Jamaica will add a Caribbean flare to the restaurant’s brunch, lunch, and dinner menus including June’s Food & Folklore event, “Caribbean Connections.” Special focus on Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica with steel drum music and guest DJs. Eatonville’s mixologists will be serving delectable libations featuring rums of the Caribbean and Jamaica’s signature Red Stripe beer. Reservations required for Food & Folklore prix fixe dinner. For information call 202-332-9672
STEP AFRIKA! HOME PERFORMANCE SERIES
“The Migrations: Reflections on Jacob Lawrence”
June 15 – 26, Atlas Performing Arts Center
Step Afrika! teamed up with the Phillips Art Collection for a special collaboration involving their “Migration” series of paintings by the American artist Jacob Lawrence. Lawrence’s paintings, depicting the lives of African American who left the South for northern cities in the early 20th century, have been the inspiration for numerous performance works. Step Afrika! will bring their interpretation of this historic era in dance as only Step Afrika! can.
SILVERDOCS AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival
June 20 – 26 – AFI Silver Theater, Silver Spring, MD
This is year 9 of the documentary festival featuring the work of U.S. independent filmmakers. THE SWELL SEASON, directed by Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins and Carlo Mirabella-Davis opens the festival on June 20th. THE SWELL SEASON follows musical artists Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who captivated audiences and earned an Academy Award for their musical collaboration in the film, ONCE. REVENGE OF THE ELECTRIC CAR will close the Festival. The documentary, directed by Chris Paine, explores the triumphant reemergence of the “clean car,” focusing on four dynamic entrepreneurs dedicated to creating an environmentally friendly automobile. THE INTERRUPTERS, by HOOP DREAMS director Steve James, will be part of the festival. I’ve heard good things about this film. And the honorees for this year’s Guggenheim symposium are Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker (DON’T LOOK BACK, THE WAR ROOM, Al FRANKEN: GOD SPOKE, MONTEREY POP, KINGS OF PASTRY). Thanks to them, I have no desire to be a french pastry chef. Festival passes are on sale now.
“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”
Through August 7 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall
This exhibit of the late British designer Lee Alexander McQueen’s fashions has been up for some time. And I hope to pay homage in NYC this month. It doesn’t get any better than Bill Cunningham’s commentary, “McQueened” for the New York Times. Well, actually the museum videos narrated by curator Andrew Bolton of the Met’s Costume Institute are pretty good. The exhibit, just on the pieces alone, cannot escape what was the beauty, complexity, and tragedy that was Lee Alexander McQueen who committed suicide in 2010 at age 40.