Have you set a goal or a resolution for the New Year? As I’m reading My Guantanamo Diary (PublicAffairs $14.99), by Mahvish Rukhsana Khan for an upcoming literary club with a dramatic twist (details to follow), I’d like to encourage you to consider participation in the arts as a worthy goal for 2018. Artists, writers and actors all need your participation by viewing, reading and attending to bring their work to life. What is a show without an audience? A book resting closed on a shelf? A painting in an empty space? By making an effort to participate more in 2018 you’ll contribute to our artistic community and enjoy the shared benefits of other people’s creative efforts. Cheers to participation and please consider yourself invited for this…

Busboys and Poets Shirlington is lucky to have Signature Theatre as our neighbor and they have launched an exciting book club series to complement their shows. The world premiere of 4,380 Nights by DC playwright Annalisa Dias is being presented as part of the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival – here’s the book club plan: Thursday, January 25th the book club meets at Ali’s Bar in the Signature Lobby at 6:30pm to discuss My Guantanamo Diary. Book club participants may use the code GOODBOOK to buy a ticket and drink voucher to attend the 8pm show of 4,380 Nights that same evening for only $49 (more information on the show at sigtheatre.org).

The book club discussion will be led by a librarian from the Arlington Public Library and I’m certain My Guantanamo Diary will provoke a thoughtful and meaningful discussion. The author’s parents immigrated to Baltimore in 1977 as part of a medical residency and Khan brings to her writing the insight of a child of immigrants, American born and raised, fluent in Pashto with a sincere curiosity about the boundaries of our civil liberties when applied to the detainment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Through her work, you’ll meet prisoner No. 1154 and many others whose voices no one outside of Guantanamo has heard for years. Years…maybe better imagined when considered as 4,380 nights.

This review is generously provided by Kenlynn Nelson of Busboys and Poets Books in Shirlington. Don’t miss out on our discussion with 4,380 Nights author Annalisa Dias on 2/1/18.

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For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

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Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

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5. Cuba – Ministry of Culture

We approach the towering yellow stucco building that houses the Ministry of Culture. There is a delegation waiting patiently to greet us at the sidewalk. They are standing in front of a metal gated entrance. Their inviting faces have welcome written all over. We exchange “Holas”. And handshakes. The handful of Spanish words I know … Continued

Busboys and Poets Book Review: Solo

Busboys and Poets Book Review: Solo

Written entirely in verse, Newbery Medalist (Crossover) and New York Times Bestselling Author Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess team up to bring us Blade Morrison in the most pivotal time of his life. When you’re seventeen, graduating from high school, in love with the prettiest girl in your class, and is the son of … Continued