With Politics and Prose now operating bookstores at the Busboys and Poets in Brookland and Takoma, plans are underway for P&P to join a third Busboys and Poets location downtown.
On May 4, P&P will assume responsibility for book sales and author events at the flagship Busboys and Poets at 14th and V Streets NW. The book operation was established a decade ago by Teaching for Change, which built the space into a thriving gathering spot for readers and authors. But the organization recently decided that its larger mission would be better served by focusing on teacher and parent programs rather than the bookstore. A few weeks ago, Teaching for Change and Busboys and Poets asked P&P to take over the book operations at 14th and V.
P&P’s co-owners, Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, will continue to carry on the celebrated tradition of the 14th and V location in featuring multicultural and social justice literature and promoting lively, thoughtful conversations between authors and community members. “We are looking forward very much to being part of the 14th and V community and continuing in the literary traditions that Teaching for Change built over the past 10 years,” Graham and Muscatine said.
Andy Shallal, the founder and owner of Busboys, expressed his confidence that the mission of Politics and Prose is aligned with Busboys and Poets in continuing to uplift racial and cultural connections.
Since announcing their decision months ago to work together, Busboys and Poets and Politics and Prose have stressed the natural synergy between them. Their innovative partnership unites P&P’s bookselling skills with Busboys and Poets’ track record of operating multi-use, food-and-event community gathering spaces. Both enterprises share a deep commitment to building community, providing quality customer service, and promoting public discussion of ideas, cultural issues, and current events.
It was Shallal, himself a spirited social entrepreneur, who initially suggested the joint venture. A longtime believer in the power of books to enliven, educate, and enrich the community, he opened the first Busboys and Poets in 2005 at 14th and V and made sure it included a book section. Since then, the number of Busboys and Poets has expanded to six, each acting as part restaurant, part agent for social change. Spaces where art culture and politics intentionally collide.
P&P first joined with Busboys and Poets at the opening late last year of the new restaurant in Brookland. Next came another new Busboys and Poets in Takoma in February. Following the transition at 14th and V, plans call for P&P to assume management of the book operations at the remaining Busboys and Poets restaurants in Hyattsville, Shirlington, and downtown Washington at 5th and K Streets NW by year’s end.