KB Brookins’ PRETTY with Edgar Gomez

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
RECIRCULATION A project of Word Up
876 Riverside Drive (near 160th St.)
New York, NY 10032


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Join us for a reading with KB Brookins from their new memoir Pretty, which discusses queerness, masculinity, and race. In conversation with Brookings will be Edgar Gomez, author of High-Risk Homosexual.

Pretty is one of the most brilliantly constructed memoirs I’ve read. There is not one wasted paragraph or scene here. The language cradles but never ever coddles. Some art just makes you thankful. I am so thankful.
—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

This event is a $5 suggested donation ticket with 50 max attendees. Please register in advance. 

In compliance with Word Up Community Safety guidelines, all attendees are encouraged to stay masked at all time. 

Recirculation, a project of Word Up Community Bookshop, is located at 876 Riverside Drive (near 160th St.) in Washington Heights, NYC. You can take the 1 train to 157th St., A/C train to 163rd St., and the M4 and M5 to Broadway and 159/160th.

ABOUT THE BOOK

By a prize-winning, young Black trans writer of outsized talent, a fierce and disciplined memoir about queerness, masculinity, and race.

Even as it shines light on the beauty and toxicity of Black masculinity from a transgender perspective—the tropes, the presumptions—Pretty is as much a powerful and tender love letter as it is a call for change.  

“I should be able to define myself, but I am not. Not by any governmental or cultural body,” Brookins writes. “Every day, I negotiate the space between who I am, how I’m perceived, and what I need to unlearn. People have assumed things about me, and I can’t change that. Every day, I am assumed to be a Black American man, though my ID says ‘female,’ and my heart says neither of the sort. What does it mean—to be a girl-turned-man when you’re something else entirely?” 

Informed by KB Brookins’s personal experiences growing up in Texas, those of other Black transgender masculine people, Black queer studies, and cultural criticism, Pretty is concerned with the marginalization suffered by a unique American constituency—whose condition is a world apart from that of cisgender, non-Black, and non-masculine people. Here is a memoir (a bildungsroman of sorts) about coming to terms with instantly and always being perceived as “other.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

KB BROOKINS is a Black, queer, and trans writer and cultural worker from Texas. They are the author of Freedom House and How to Identify Yourself with a Wound. Brookins has poems, essays, and installation art published in Academy of American Poets, Teen Vogue, Poetry Magazine, Prizer Arts & Letters, Okayplayer, Poetry Society of America, Autostraddle, and other venues. They have earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN America, Equality Texas, and others.

ABOUT THE MODERATOR

Edgar Gomez (all pronouns) is a Florida-born writer with roots in Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. Gomez's debut memoir, High-Risk Homosexual, received a 2023 American Book Award, a Stonewall Israel-Fishman Honor Award, and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir. Gomez’s second book, a darkly-comic memoir about growing up poor in early 2000’s Florida titled Alligator Tears, will be out in February 2025 from Crown.


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ACCESSIBILITY: Recirculation is a wheelchair-accessible space with one ramp from the street level down to the store. Most of the shelves are on wheels and can be moved to provide additional access. The bathrooms are not yet ADA compliant and do not yet have a changing table but are gender neutral. The events are mic’d for sound and videos are captioned when possible. Free ASL interpretation is available for most programs upon request. Please email events@wordupbooks.com to request interpretation as early as 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.

Pre-Order Now Badge
Pretty: A Memoir By KB Brookins Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593537145
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf - May 28th, 2024

High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir By Edgar Gomez Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781593767051
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soft Skull - January 11th, 2022