2014 Fall for The Book Busboys and Poets Award

9 September, 2014


 


 

This year we will be honoring Martin Espanda with the Busboys and Poets Award at Fall for the Book


Conceived, born, raised and living black

19 August, 2014


 


 

I was conceived, born, raised and now have lived as a human being cast in black for almost seventy years.  I’mo die black, too.


Rush Limbaugh Calls Teaching for Change Racist for Promoting Diverse Children’s Books

17 June, 2014


 


 

Rush Limbaugh found out that Teaching for Change is trying to challenge this disparity and he is hopping mad


Green Festival D.C. Launch Party Recap

7 May, 2014


 


 

Green Festival D.C. Launch Party Recap
Read the full article here.


Take the Buzzfeed quiz: “Are You Actually A Hipster?”

24 April, 2014


 


 

Buzzfeed quiz mentions Busboys and Poets as a national hipster destination


Changing the Marijuana Laws

17 April, 2014


 


 

Changing the Marijuana Laws With Colorado and Washington state legalizing marijuana, 2014 has been an important year for the reform of marijuana laws in the United States.


Busboys and Poets presents ‘The Admission’

15 April, 2014


 


 

Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks reviews ‘The Admission’


US VEG WEEK at Busboys and Poets

3 April, 2014


 


 

Join us for #USVEGWEEK April 21-27, 2014


“Places of Purpose”

8 January, 2014


 


 

“Busboys is a stellar example of a business invested in building it’s surrounding community…”


Books We Recommend

1 January, 2014


 


 

If your New Years resolution is to read more, you may want to add these two to your list!


Pajama Brunch 2014

23 December, 2013


 


 

We’re hosting our annual pajama brunch at all locations. Roll out of bed and show up in your finest jammies!


Bookstore Holiday Sale

17 December, 2013


 


 

Busboys and Poets Books is having a holiday sale from December 21st-December 28th!


“Here’s to resisting the dominant narrative”

9 October, 2013


 


 

Poet, playwright, activist Staceyann Chin performed two sold out shows in DC; one at 5th & K and one at Hyattsville


Jerusalem Chefs Prepare a Peace Meal at 14th & V

17 September, 2013


 


 

The State Department and Busboys and Poets sponsored four chefs from Jerusalem to come to the United States to prepare a peace meal at 14th & V


Vote for Busboys and Poets!

12 September, 2013


 


 

Vote for Busboys and Poets in the Express Best Of DC for BEST VEGETARIAN and BEST SALAD


Spike Lee and wife Tonya Lee Stop by for Lunch

11 September, 2013


 


 

A pleasure to have Spike Lee and his wife Tonya Lewis Lee join us for lunch at 5th & K! 


Busboys and Poets Book Club in Shirlington

22 July, 2013


 


 

Busboys and Poets Book Club in Shirlington welcomes new members


This Independence Day, Thank a Protester

4 July, 2013


 


 

Grass-roots justice movements are the hope, the beacon, the force that will save this country.


Reflections on a Historic Week

3 July, 2013


 


 

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a landmark decision the Facebook generation has quickly likened to the collapse of de jure segregation.


Car-Free Diet Shop Talk with Owner Andy Shallal

21 May, 2013


 


 

Andy Shallal speaks to our Car-Free Diet partner about Busboys and Poets’ mission and our commitment to sustainability.


Busboys and Poets Books Grand Opening

20 May, 2013


 


 

Busboys and Poets Books opens at 5th & K and Shirlington locations on Friday, May 24th, 2013


Proud to sponsor the 5th Anniversary Celebration of Split This Rock

19 May, 2013


 


 

Split This Rock’s 5th Anniversary Celebration with Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco sponsored by Busboys and Poets


Staceyann Chin launches our first gender and sexuality series

14 May, 2013


 


 

Busboys and Poets’s new gender and sexuality series Zami kicks-off to an incredible start with poet, activist, author Staceyann Chin


Women of Busboys

21 March, 2013


 


 

Meet the fabulous women of Busboys and Poets #womenshistorymonth


The People’s Poetry

16 March, 2013


 


 

You send us your poetry and we publish them on our blog! Send your poem to events@busboysandpoets.com and it may show up!


Busboys Book Club

19 February, 2013


 


 

Join the book club at Busboys and Poets!


“Behind the Kitchen Door”

8 February, 2013


 


 

“Paid sick leave is a human rights issue” - owner Andy Shallal


Speeches from our 2013 Inaugural Peace Ball

21 January, 2013


 


 

Angela Davis, Sonia Sanchez, Ben Jealous, Julian Bond, voice their support for President Obama but remind us that there is much work to be done


DC SCORES Poetry Slam!

15 January, 2013


 


 

A compilation of some of the top poetry from DC Scores youth


Peace Ball Speaker Spotlight on Angela Davis!

3 January, 2013


 


 

Thrilled to hear Angela Davis speak at The Peace Ball on Jan. 20, 2013!


2013 Inaugural Peace Ball: Voices of Hope and Resistance

11 November, 2012


 


 

Join us for an unforgettable evening with some legendary progressive icons and friends


“In D.C. Debate, Third-Party Presidential Contenders Decry a System Stacked Against Them”

7 November, 2012


 


 

DCist covers the Third-Party Presidential Debate hosted at Busboys


“Why Vote? Because You Can Shift Power in the United States”

2 November, 2012


 


 

Article from The Nation magazine underscores the importance of voting in the upcoming election - only 4 days away!


“White Space, Black Space”

14 October, 2012


 


 

Don’t call it self-segregation: Making the case for separateness


Preview of the Busboys and Poets “In-House Series” events

22 August, 2012


 


 

A brief look at the monthly Busboys and Poets sponsored opportunities to engage with your community


“Dear Mr. Akin, I Want You to Imagine…”

21 August, 2012


 


 

Eve Ensler’s response to Rep. Akin’s comment that women’s bodies are able to prevent pregnancy in cases of ‘legitimate rape’ ...


“Meet the People Who Gave Birth to Hipsterism—Hint: They Aren’t White Kids from Williamsburg”

18 August, 2012


 


 

An excerpt adapted from Rebecca Walker’s book, “Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness”


“On D.C.’s U Street, can’t we all just swagger along?”

14 August, 2012


 


 

Owner Andy Shallal’s letter to the editor in the Washington Post in response to an article about “swagger jacking”


Ramadan and the Games

28 July, 2012


 


 

Olympic games callously scheduled during the holiest of months for Muslims - Ramadan


Rising Artist Frank Ocean did something important

14 July, 2012


 


 

“We can thank Frank Ocean, not only for making a public statement that sweeps aside shadows and offers young fans another powerfully vulnerable star to admire and emulate, but for reminding us that while proudly declaring an identity can be a politically crucial gesture, often the human heart is not so sure-footed. The process of becoming and unbecoming, loving and losing, is what often makes for the most meaningful art.” - Ann Powers, NPR


Summer Reads 2012

7 July, 2012


 


 

Suggested reading list for summer


“Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes

4 July, 2012


 


 

Happy 4th, America!


“The Busy Trap”

1 July, 2012


 


 

“Life is too short to be busy” writes Kreider for the NYTimes


Right to Know Our Food

23 June, 2012


 


 

Once again the issue of transparency and trust in our food system arises


F. Scott Fiztgerald had it right

14 June, 2012


 


 


Engage in open talks about race with A.C.T.O.R.

9 June, 2012


 


 

As the upcoming presidential election nears, we are hearing the usual buzzwords: “economy,” “jobs,” “health care,” but now we are forced to deal with a matter that makes many Americans uncomfortable and fidgety.


Good Samaritans

3 June, 2012


 


 

Busboys and Poets’ Tribe donates appliances to recovery center that provides structured housing and recovery services for homeless and addicted people


Pop-Up Cafe at Artomatic

2 June, 2012


 


 

Serving vegan and non-vegan items on the first floor of Artomatic, DC’s “biggest creative event” in Crystal City


The NAACP Endorsement and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage

28 May, 2012


 


 

NAACP approval of same-sex marriage is a small step forward in fulfilling “equality for all”


“A Straight-Out Cowardly Case of Bullying”

26 May, 2012


 


 

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona) bill to prohibit D.C. abortions troubles Del. Norton and District residents


Remembering Go-Go’s Godfather

20 May, 2012


 


 

The Busboys and Poets tribe send our thoughts and prayers to all the family and friends of the man who built Go-Go from the ground up.


On Censorship by Salman Rushdie

19 May, 2012


 


 

No writer ever really wants to talk about censorship. Writers want to talk about creation, and censorship is anti-creation, negative energy, uncreation, the bringing into being of non-being, or, to use Tom Stoppard’s description of death, “the absence of presence.” Censorship is the thing that stops you doing what you want to do, and what writers want to talk about is what they do, not what stops them doing it.


A Langston Hughes Poem for your Pocket

26 April, 2012


 


 


Today is “Poem in your Pocket” Day! Pockets aren’t just for loose change and gum, but for poems! Below are four short poems by Langston Hughes for you to choose from to write/print and put in your pocket!

Final Curve

When you turn the corner
And you run into yourself
Then you know that you have turned
All the corners that are left.


Homecoming

I went back in the alley
And I opened up my door.
All her clothes was gone:
She wasn’t home no more.

I pulled back the covers,
I made down the bed.
A whole lot of room
Was the only thing I had.


One

Lonely
As the wind
On the Lincoln
Prairies.

Lonely
As a bottle of licker
On a table
All by itself.


Suicide’s Note

The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.


30 for 30: Joseph LMS Green

18 April, 2012


 


 
Happy National Poetry Month! Today’s 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30) poem comes from Joseph LMS Green, the featured poet of tonight's Open Mic Poetry at 5th & K!

JGREEN

Talk Ugly
by Joseph LMS Green

The last time I saw you alive
I wish I would’ve talked ugly to you

Said “Put the straw down, No,
I don’t want to take another line
I should be writing them, my friend,
You are a composer of music and magic,
Instruct your limbs to serve a purpose greater
than self-indulgence,
Don’t be fooled into thinking your pain
has sharper teeth than anyone else’s,”

I had a chance, but
said nothing

because I was high

This is how I got started;
A bottle of Jack and a mirror, memories and scissors,
dreams drenched in ether, sliced by razors,
Potential rolled like twenty dollar bills,
Poison numbing feelings on the tip of my tongue,
that I and this tongue should be serving a greater purpose.

In a last ditch attempt at self assessment
I looked at my life through eyes of loved ones,
they can see everything, especially the ugly,

From hours of masturbation to years of drug use
To lying with and lying to angels, friends I’ve forsaken,
Taking so much more than I’ve given,
streamlined self-centeredness to a science
But there was also righteousness there
A willingness to craft these ills through poetry and alchemy
Into a seers stone

Honestly, how could I speak ugly to him
When I was yet to speak it to myself
In these nightmares of hindsight
There is no poetry, no alliterations to soften the blow
Some realities have no simile, truth is like truth

Not all suicide is a tragedy; some people
just don’t want to be here anymore,

When you were alone in that room
kept company by narcotics and a thousand ghost
draped in your disappointments
I can only imagine the voices you heard
All but mine

Smear make up onto disgust
if you must, trust, the truth is seldom pretty
But she is always beautiful

In times like these I need you to please
talk ugly to me, because truth splinters bone and pride,
rips through flesh, ego, and sinew in hopes that one day
it will heal together again, stronger

My pain needs not a gentle touch,
too many times we caress sadness
when it needs to be shaken, torn from its place of comfort,
forced to survive or die,

Don’t just tell me I can grow up to be whatever I want,
tell me that whatever I want
better be something I’m willing to achieve, That dreams
will dissipate under the weight of addiction,
that there’s a distinct difference between living
like a rock star and being one,

no matter how many poems you’ve written, sometimes you’re simply a coke-head
and a poser,

Fear not, we are divinely flawed individuals
perfectly ugly, no point hiding behind pretty lies

we are the sum of the hideous scars that hold the remainders
of our pretty pieces together

That last time I saw you alive I wish
I would’ve talked ugly to you

It would’ve be the most beautiful thing

I never said.

30 for 30: Derrick Weston Brown

17 April, 2012


 


 

SINGLETARY Today’s 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30) poem comes from Derrick Weston Brown, poet and author of Wisdom Teeth. The poem was inspired by the pictured artwork by Michael Singletary, whose artwork is on display at Busboys and Poets 14th & V through the end of May. Derrick also works at the Teaching for Change’s Busboys and Poets Bookstore, so be sure to say hi while you stroll around the restaurant looking at Singletary’s work!

Poem For The Painting above the Men’s Bathroom @ Busboys and Poets 14th & V St NW or “How Lina Reads The Word”
by Derrick Weston Brown

You notice Lina’s legs first.

They’re long   slim and

sculpted. Her feet yawn out

to the end of the of the bed spread.

The paint on her toenails

chipped bubblegum pink.

She’s reading the Bible.

Topless. The good book

is small, worn and rusted

hydrant red in her hands.

The gold script on the

cover is a whisper.

It is Sunday.

There’s

a sigh descending in this room.

Her bra is

a sling of lace and straps

and clips resting to her right-

studying war no more.

Lina’s bare knees form

the steeple of her

body church. She leans into the

cool of her brass headboard.

Her breasts rest behind pages

Psalms

kneecaps

the truest brown

lies on the underside

of her thighs amid the

plump push of

her backside into the matress

finally a flash of blue

the embroidered triangle

of panties. Holiest of holies.

A pink room and Lina

with her blackberry dollop

of a mouth. Alone

with the Word.


30 for 30: Joseph Ross

15 April, 2012


 


 

Happy National Poetry Month! Today’s 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30) poem comes from Joseph Ross, the featured poet of today’s Sunday Kind of Love, and author of Meeting Bone Man. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Ross’ poems appear in many anthologies including Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion, & Spirituality, Full Moon on K Street, and Poetic Voices Without Borders 1 and 2. He currently directs the Writing Center at Carroll High School in Washington, D.C.

Sunday Kind of Love is a monthly open mic poetry series that features emerging and established poets from the Washington, D.C. area and around the nation. Presented by Busboys and Poets in partnership with Split This Rock, each program includes featured poet(s) and an open mic segment centered around a predetermined social or poetic theme. Hosted by Sarah Browning and Katy Richey. Sunday Kind of Love is held on the third Sunday of every month at Busboys and Poets 14th & V.

JOSEPH_ROSS

Darfur 1: The Boy
by Joseph Ross

My hands move as slowly
as they have ever moved.

I carefully wrap
the stiff, brown body

of this child,
in a bright orange and blue cloth.

A boy, seven years old,
very old, for here.

Elbows, like crickets’ legs
teeth, luminous white.

The canvas walls of the tent
gasp for air

as the colored cloth
covers his face.


30 for 30: 2Deep the Poetess

13 April, 2012


 


 

Happy National Poetry Month! Today’s 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30) poem comes from 2Deep the Poetess, host of tonight’s “11th Hour” Poetry Slam at 14th & V. The “11th Hour” Poetry Slam is presented by Busboys and Poets and is held on the second Friday of every month at Busboys and Poets 14th & V.

2DEEP

Muslim Angel
by 2Deep the Poetess

Rush Hour

Dim light

The sound of the hustle and bustle of destined feet rush by

Head bobbing to the rhythm of modern complacency

Conformed to public transportation etiquette

Confined

Blending

Silenced

Until

Muslim angel,

Because such a thing exists,

Dressed in full, all white garb

Hijab edges outlined in sea-foam blue,

Magnifying her faith 10 times over,

Wonders towards me in a 5th attempt to gain assistance

Previous attempts brushed off by head turns

Flaps of Express newspapers in response to her

Popping like bullets of insults

As headlines of Osama’s demise dangle in her face

As if to say, “Look at what we can do to your kind, here inAmerica”

I saw this

In that moment, I was not proud to be an American

If this was, in fact, the way an American should act

I knew it was not her Farsi trained tongue exercising broken English

That made them ignore her requests

I understood her just fine

“Help me”, sprang from her lips

And translated to comprehension via my eyes

Before I even removed my headphones

I asked if she could repeat herself

“Good Morning”, she said

“Help me, please.

Van Doren.”

Without second thought I took the metro map out of her hand

Took her hand in my other and said, “Follow me.

I will take you.”

A gasp schoolyard bullied its way out of the throat of the Caucasian woman standing next to me

Eavesdropping getting the best of her

My original mission of getting to work on time escaping me

This was bigger than me

Something greater inside of me whispered

“Do not let go of her hand.”

And I obeyed

Seemingly safe within the metal cage

Transporting civilians into the breast of the Confederacy

Older Black woman sang disgust

Like a house nigger gawking

As if I was a field nigger threatening to bring mud into the big house

Exercising her Jim Crow

Removing herself from the front of the car, next to us, to sit elsewhere

Muslim Angel and I stuck out like sore thumbs

Comparison to Freedom Bus rides

We sat front seat at society’s counter

Demanding we be served respect

Express newspaper under my thigh

Feeling guilty for seeking out current events

For today I now knew

I was not proud to be an American

She was I and I was she

And here we sat

Traveling to a place where only one of us knew how to get to

Me to Van Doren

She to a place where she could brave the prejudice and still keep her chin high while seeking help

She needing to know what I knew and vice versa

Yet we sat in silence

Communicating through squeezed palms

Praying to one another for remaining true to who they were

And though she spoke Farsi and I English

We both managed, somehow, to speak human

And we continued to hold on to one another

“Next stop Van Doren”, rang over the intercom

Promised land for her and I

As I walked her out to the platform of her destination

Allah shook God’s hand

Hugged

And said many thanks

All the while I noticed we never said bye

Never shared names

Yet knowing we were sisters just the same

Understanding our coexistence in the midst of those who merely exist


30 for 30: Shanelle Gabriel

11 April, 2012


 


 

Happy National Poetry Month! Today’s 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30) poem comes from Shanelle Gabrielle, the featured poet for tonight’s Open Mic Poetry at 5th & K!


30 for 30: Komplex

5 April, 2012


 


 

As you know by now, it’s National Poetry Month! Our friends at Poetry.org suggested “30 Ways to Celebrate“, and we’ve got our own way to honor the art, craft and joy of poetry. We call it 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30), and over the course of the month, we’ll be posting one poem a day from community celebrities to poets with enduring legacies.

Today’s Poem of the Day comes from Komplex, the host of Thursday’s (April 5, 2012) Open Mic Poetry at Hyattsville:


KOMPLEX


nice and unexpected
by Komplex

first date

accident

screeching brakes

eyes closed tight

head on collision

with a kiss

no casualties

child-prodigy performs emergency surgery on very sick teddy sincere inner sense

witness gives thanks

And praise

speeding

stopped

speaking

cop

warning

Twist of fate, garnish of favor and voila!

good news on bad day

good trip around old way

persistent ray of sunshine

i think i can i think i can

climb over this “deeprecession”

her frown turned upside down

an exquisite wedding on a day so gloomy

a good surprise ending to a really bad movie

a private conversation in a crowded room

christmas in june

5 days of warm when the news called for 4

This just in! Abrupt end to pointless war!

big finish slow start

big fish no sharks

ny’s eve,  nyc no gunshots

no new year’s day deaths

yet

men

young

black

dressed in black

mothers crying….

graduation

ever seen a star dance?

or heard the song the wind sings

to autumn covered trees

felt the warm kiss of a sunrise

or tasted a midnight ocean breeze?

it’s a little bit different

its a little bit magnificent

there is walking thru a mall

and walking thru a waterfall

skimming the top

and skimming rocks…a little bit different

is there a restaurant or country you’ve always wanted to go to?

someone you feel really ought to know you?

who says you have to wait til new year’s to make a resolution?

what if it’s like october and you’re feeling inspired?

karaoke never killed anyone

but regrets cause cancer

so it’s a bridge….jump off

so it’s a plane…jump out

you only die once

but you have to live every day

don’t knock it til you’ve tried it

twice

just to be sure

it just might be….nice…nice and unexpected


30 for 30: Omni Zona Franca

4 April, 2012


 


 

As you know by now, it’s National Poetry Month! Our friends at Poetry.org suggested “30 Ways to Celebrate“, and we’ve got our own way to honor the art, craft and joy of poetry. We call it 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30), and over the course of the month, we’ll be posting one poem a day from community celebrities to poets with enduring legacies.

Today’s Poem of the Day comes from Omni Zona Franca, the featured poet for tonight’s Open Mic Poetry at 5th & K:

OMNI_ZONA

What am I doing, what are you doing, what are we doing here where there is nothing to do (walking with a teacher in the interference)
by Omni Zona Franca

To fight for insertion
To prepare the body for insertion
To fight for insertion
To prepare the body for insertion
To fight for insertion
To prepare the body for insertion

“It’s a shame things no longer happen in a way
that only the psychic entity and its state of
flesh and blood have to prepare
to enter the current. No. There are forces organized in matter and beyond that bind it!
the face
of the mechanism:
To fight for insertion
Prepare the body for insertion
To fight for insertion
Prepare the body for insertion
To fight for insertion
Prepare the body for insertion

“Over and over again an enormous illusion
organized and with many faces, slides
between you and your goal, between you and the
only path. The lines of development
point downward once more. The dialectical
as an emerging order has become an order of evil.
All this has been transmitted to your being.
You are an image-carrier marked by evil…!”
¿                            ?
Voice
¿              ?
Voice:
“¡¡Sing!!”
We must fight. We must fight. We must fight.
We must fight. We must fight. We must fight.
“The last face is convex
We must fight. We must fight. We must fight.
Very close to the center
two surfaces of insertion!
We must fight. We must fight. We must fight.
For what?!… We must fight. We must fight.
We must fight. We must fight. We must fight.
So these two surfaces cease to exist?!!”


30 for 30: Diana Bùi

3 April, 2012


 


 

We loooooove April. Sure, the weather’s a little unpredictable and it’s allergy season for some, but it’s also National Poetry Month! Our friends at Poetry.org suggested “30 Ways to Celebrate“, and we’ve got our own way to honor the art, craft and joy of poetry. We call it 30 for 30 (Twitter hashtag #30for30), and over the course of the month, we’ll be posting one poem a day from community celebrities to poets with enduring legacies. Granted, we’re two days behind, but consider the Arabian proverb:

“All mankind is divided into three classes: Those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”

 


DianaBui

So here we are, movin’, with our a-little-belated-selves. Today’s Poem of the Day comes from Diana Bùi, the featured poet at 14th & V for Tuesday, April 3, 2012:

This is my erotic
by Diana Bùi

Queer is my sacred
unwavering boundless self
This is my erotic

Erotic is my own
it is the thoughts of climatic touch
The primal innate lust
The tongue of pleasurable radiating communication
between another and self
The love that transforms the sexual into sensual
all over mind, body, and soul
The foreplay of accepting embrace
into mind-blowing all encompassing passionate

orgasms.

I would love to have orgasms
as my political power to my identity
In question
How many times have I’ve been ambushed by
self-righteous militants of homophobia
Invading my queer with fear’s artillery
Waging war on my sex
when my sex is necessary
when this is who I am

Queer is standing right here.