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  • IRL Author Talk: Mo'Lasses with Viktor Givens - March 6 @ 6 PM CST

    Celebrate Viktor Given's book, Mo'Lasses: Ancestral (Re)Memories, Myth 'nd Lore!


    When: Wednesday, March 6 @ 6:00 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden 

    How: RSVP to let us know that you will be present


    There is magic, reverence and mystery in the spaces, objects and writings of Viktor le. Givens a multi-modal performance artist, whose practice centers around the gathering and arrangement of ancestral objects to re-contextualize the seemingly mundane into the spectacularly sacred. Part ritual ‘nd part prose performance score this book is written to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to (re)reading, (re)sounding, (re)imagining ‘nd (re)staging memories ‘nd pathologies of his Afro-southern-ancestors…  The work takes us on a lucid journey of  self discovery and cultural reawakening after a young man inherits a mysterious  box of objects following the passing of his grandfather in East Texas. Through recipes, flash fictions, images and  poetry  the audience is invited to reinterpret the sweet complexities of Blackness, the  memories, the objects and rituals discovered on his journey. 

  • IRL AUTHOR TALK: Holy American Burnout! with Sean Enfield - March 21 @ 6:30 PM CST
    from $0.00

    Celebrate with debut author, Sean Enfield on his newest book, Holy American Burnout!


    When: Thursday, March 23 @ 6:30 PM

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Gardent (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat and RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our store programming. 


    Sean Enfield delves into the great American condition: burnout.

    Threading his experiences both as a Texan student and later as a first-year teacher of predominately Muslim students at a Texas middle school, Holy American Burnout! weaves personal essay and cultural critique into the historical fabric of Black and bi-racial identity.

    Enfield intersects examinations of which voices are granted legitimacy by virtue of school curriculum, the complex relationship between basketball and education for Black and brown students, his students' burgeoning political consciousness during the 2016 presidential campaign, and cultural figures ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Hamlet.

    These classroom narratives weave around Enfield's own formative experiences contending with a conflicted bi-racial family lineage, reenacting the Middle Passage as the only Black student in his 7th grade history class, and moshing in both Christian and secular hardcore pits.

    As Enfield wrestles with the physical, mental, and emotional burdens that American society places on educators, students, and all relatively conscious minorities in this country, he reaches for an education that better navigates our burnt-out empire.



    Sean Enfield is an essayist, poet, gardener, bassist, and educator from Dallas, TX. He also serves as an assistant non-fiction editor at His debut collection of essays, Holy American Burnout!, is forthcoming from Split/Lip Press in December 2023. You can find his work at


    Miranda Ramírez is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and writer born and raised in Houston, Texas. She’s the founder and director of Defunkt Magazine & Press, a literary columnist for Public Poetry, a guest editor for Teachers and Writers Collaborative, and a co-organizer of the Houston Poetry and Arts Festival. You may find her work in Atticus Review’s–The AtticCoffin BellCowboy JamboreeCutthroat Journal’s anthology Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century, and Ripples in Space. She is drafting her first novel as an MFA candidate at Sam Houston State University.
  • IRL Author Talk: I Finally Bought Some Jordans with Michael Arceneaux - March 19 @ 7PM
    from $15.00

    Let's celebrate I Finally Bought Some Jordans with Michael Arceneaux, one of our favorite Houston authors! 


    When: Tuesday, March 19 @ 7 PM

    Where: The DeLUXE Theater (3303 Lyons Avenue, HTX, 77020)

    How: RSVP to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH Book to get a signed copy of I Finally Bought Some Jordans and support our programming. No refunds. 

    Note: There will be books on site. Copies of I Finally Bought Some Jordans bought from other retailers will not be allowed in the venue. If you would like an copy early, please purchase here


    In his books I Can't Date Jesus and I Don't Want to Die Poor, Michael Arceneaux established himself as one of the most beloved and entertaining writers of his generation, touching upon such hot-button topics as race, class, sexuality, labor, debt, and, of course, paying homage to the power and wisdom of Beyoncé. In this collection, Arceneaux takes stock of how far he has traveled—and how much ground he still has to cover in this patriarchal, heteronormative society. He explores the opportunities afforded to Black creatives but also the doors that remain shut or ever-so-slightly ajar; the confounding challenges of dating in a time when social media has made everything both more accessible and more unreliable; and the allure of returning home while still pushing yourself to seek opportunity elsewhere.

    I Finally Bought Some Jordans is both a corrective to, and a balm for, these troubling times, revealing a sharply funny and keen-eyed storyteller working at the height of his craft.


    Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times-bestselling author of I Can’t Date Jesus, I Don’t Want To Die Poor, and his latest, I Finally Bought Some Jordans


    Josie Pickens is a womanist and abolitionist professor, organizer, writer and thought leader. In addition to speaking and writing about topics that focus on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, Josie is also the program director for upEND Movement, which is an organization committed to abolishing the the child welfare system. Connect with Josie and follow her musings on Twitter and Instagram at @jonubian. 

  • IRL Author Talk: This Could Be Us with Kennedy Ryan - March 10 @ 2PM
    Sold out

    Celebrate Kennedy Ryan's new book, This Could Be Us!


    When: Sunday, March 10 at 2 PM

    Where: Eldorado Ballroom (2310 Elgin Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: Purchase your ticket here! Each ticket comes with a copy of This Could Be Us. No refunds.


    Soledad Barnes has her life all planned out. Because, of course, she does. She plans everything. She designs everything. She fixes everything. She’s a domestic goddess who's never met a party she couldn't host or a charge she couldn't lead. The one with all the answers and the perfect vinaigrette for that summer salad. But none of her varied talents can save her when catastrophe strikes, and the life she built with the man who was supposed to be her forever, goes poof in a cloud of betrayal and disillusion.
    But there is no time to pout or sulk, or even grieve the life she lost. She's too busy keeping a roof over her daughters' heads and food on the table. And in the process of saving them all, Soledad rediscovers herself. From the ashes of a life burned to the ground, something bold and new can rise.
    But then an unlikely man enters the picture—the forbidden one, the one she shouldn't want but can't seem to resist. She's lost it all before and refuses to repeat her mistakes. Can she trust him? Can she trust herself?
    After all she's lost . . .and found . . .can she be brave enough to make room for what could be?


    USA Today bestselling author and Audie Award winner, Kennedy Ryan writes for women from all walks of life, empowering them and placing them firmly at the center of each story and in charge of their own destinies. Kennedy and her writings have been featured in USA Today, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Cosmo, TIME, and many others. The co-founder of LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable book auction, she has a passion for raising Autism awareness. She is a wife to her "lifetime lover" and mother to an extraordinary son.


    Wale Okerayi is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor working with folks in New York and Texas. She has a double masters degree in mental health counseling from Teachers College Columbia University. After practicing in New York for a few years, Wale moved back to her hometown Houston and started her own therapy practice in 2020. Wale currently works with individuals and couples, writers and creative folks on a weekly basis.

    As an avid reader and Kindred Stories aficionado, Wale has moderated various author talks featuring: Lyvonne Briggs, Sochil Washington, Tyriek White, Adorah Nworah, Dr. Joy, and Nicole Walters. 

  • IRL Author Talk: The Kiss Countdown with Etta Easton - April 9 @ 7PM
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    Celebrate the release of The Kiss Countdown with Etta Eason!

    Event DEETS

    When: Tuesday, April 9 @ 7PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP to reserve your seat and RSVP WITH BOOK to grab your copy and support our programming. 

    About the Book 

    A struggling event planner and a sinfully hot astronaut must decide if their fake relationship is worth a shot at happily-ever-after, in this starry debut.

    Risk-averse event planner Amerie Price is jobless, newly single, and about to lose her apartment. With no choice but to gamble on her shaky start-up, the last thing she needed was to run into her smug ex and his new, less complicated girlfriend at Amerie's favorite coffee shop. Panicked, she pretends to be dating the annoyingly sexy man she met by spilling Americano all over his abs. He plays along—for a price.

    Half the single men in Houston claim to be astronauts, but Vincent Rogers turns out to be the real deal. What started as a one-off lie morphs into a plan: for the three months leading up to his mission, Amerie will play Vincent's doting partner in front of his loving but overly invested family. In exchange, she gets a rent-free room in his house and can put every penny toward her struggling business.

    What Amerie doesn't plan for is Vincent's gravitational pull. While her mind tells her a future with this astronaut is too unpredictable, her heart says he's exactly what she needs. As their time together counts down, Amerie must decide if she'll settle for the safe life—or shoot for the stars.

    About the Author

    Etta Easton is a certified hopeless romantic who now writes contemporary romance. Her stories are full of humor, relatable heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and Black joy. She lives in Central Texas with her husband and two young kids.

    About the Conversation Partner

    Naina Kumar is a lawyer by day and a reader and writer of romance at night. She lives in Texas, close to her family whose antics provide endless inspiration. When she’s not writing, she enjoys taking her rowdy rescue dog on walks, rewatching Gilmore Girls on a loop, and shopping at HEB. Say You’ll Be Mine is her debut novel.

  • IRL Book Signing: Rest is Resisistance with Tricia Hersey - March 9 @ 6:00 PM
    from $0.00

    Come have a cocktail and mocktail with Tricia Hersey, Founder of The Nap Ministry and author of Rest is Resistance! 


    When: Saturday, March 9 @ 6PM - 7:30 PM 

    Where: Kindred Stories (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP to help us prepare for your arrival or RSVP WITH BOOK to purchase your copy of Rest is Resistance.


    What would it be like to live in a well-rested world? Far too many of us have claimed productivity as the cornerstone of success. Brainwashed by capitalism, we subject our bodies and minds to work at an unrealistic, damaging, and machine‑level pace –– feeding into the same engine that enslaved millions into brutal labor for its own relentless benefit.

    In Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey, aka the Nap Bishop, casts an illuminating light on our troubled relationship with rest and how to imagine and dream our way to a future where rest is exalted. Our worth does not reside in how much we produce, especially not for a system that exploits and dehumanizes us. Rest, in its simplest form, becomes an act of resistance and a reclaiming of power because it asserts our most basic humanity. We are enough. The systems cannot have us.

    Rest Is Resistance is rooted in spiritual energy and centered in Black liberation, womanism, somatics, and Afrofuturism. With captivating storytelling and practical advice, all delivered in Hersey’s lyrical voice and informed by her deep experience in theology, activism, and performance art, Rest Is Resistance is a call to action, a battle cry, a field guide, and a manifesto for all of us who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture.


    From Tricia Hersey, the celebrated founder of the Nap Ministry and author of the New York Times bestseller Rest Is Resistance, this deck of 50 powerful rest practices helps you embrace rest as a form of radical communal care and personal liberation.

    "This is about more than naps. Rest is anything that allows you to connect your body with your mind."

    The Nap Ministry's Rest Deck is a rousing call to reclaim rest in everyday life. Delivered in a stunning package with gold accents and gorgeous artwork throughout, the deck combines restorative meditations with prescient wisdom from celebrated activist and teaching artist Tricia Hersey, a.k.a. "the Nap Bishop," and founder of the Nap Ministry.

    Readers will discover 50 inspiring cards, each with an empowering affirmation and a simple practice to encourage rest, care, and imagination. Rooted in social justice and imbued with spirituality, these cards offer short, accessible practices designed to uplift anyone suffering from the toxic effects of grind culture.

    CELEBRATED AUTHOR: Tricia Hersey, a.k.a. "the Nap Bishop," is the founder of the Nap Ministry and the bestselling author of Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto. Her work as a social justice activist, artist, and thought leader has been featured by the New York Times, NPR, The Cut, and the Atlantic, among many others. In this deck, she distills her profound and celebrated teachings into 50 accessible practices. 

    TOOL FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE: Brimming with practices to empower personal liberation as a step toward building a healthier, more just world, this deck offers readers a new way to engage with social justice and invites a wide audience to embrace the power of rest as an essential balm for our collective exhaustion. 
    BEAUTIFUL TO GIFT AND DISPLAY: This bold, eye-catching package with colorful illustrations and gold accents is a beautiful and meaningful gift for friends, activists, and anyone feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the demands of grind culture.

    • A powerful new tool for social justice activists
    • Great gift or self-purchase for socially engaged millennials and Gen-Zers
    • For anyone seeking mindful affirmation cards to aid their healing practice
    • Perfect for fans of the Nap Ministry, Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto, Layla Saad, Adrienne Maree Brown, Chani Nicholas, and Alex Elle
    • For readers of Me and White Supremacy, I’m Still Here, and How to Do Nothing


    Tricia Hersey is an artist, poet, theologian and community organizer. She is the founder of The Nap Ministry, an organization that examines rest as a form of resistance by curating sacred spaces for the community to rest via Collective Napping Experiences, immersive workshops, performance art installations, and social media. Tricia is a global pioneer and originator of the movement to understand the liberatory power of rest. She is the creator of the Rest is Resistance and Rest as Reparations frameworks. Her research interests include Black liberation theology, womanism, somatics, and cultural trauma. Tricia is a Chicago native and currently lives in South Georgia

  • IRL Author Talk: Sisters with a Side of Greens with Michelle Stimpson - March 9 @ 2 PM CST
    from $0.00

    Celebrate Texas author, Michelle Stimpson and her newesr book, Sisters with a Side of Greens


    When: Saturday, March 9 at 2 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve you seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming. No refunds.


    From award-winning author Michelle Stimpson: a Southern story of sisterhood and second chances

    Many years ago, Rose Tillman gave her sister, Marvina Dewberry, forty dollars to register a business where they would piggyback on their mother’s amazing spice mixture to make their fortune in fried chicken and other Southern comfort foods. Marvina used that forty dollars for a different reason and the business never got off the ground. It was just forty dollars, but that decision set the course of their lives. Now Rose has retired from a career at the post office and realizes she wants a second shot at her dreams, but she’ll have to go through her sister to get that chance...


    MICHELLE STIMPSON has had a distinguished traditional publishing career writing Christian and Inspirational contemporary romance fiction. She has won an Emma Award, two Christian Literary Awards, Best Feature Film at CapCity Black Film Festival and was a finalist for the 2021 Vivian Award. She lives in Dallas, TX.


    Norma L. Jarrett, is an award-winning, published writer and creative talent who loves to inspire, entertain and encourage others through impactful storytelling.

  • IRL Author Talk: The American Daughters with Maurice Carlos Ruffin - March 5 @ 7PM
    Regular price$28.00 Sale price
    On Sale from $0.00

    Celebrate release of The American Daughters, Maurice Carlos Ruffin's new historical fiction novel!


    When: Tuesday, March 5, 2024 @ 7PM

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP Only to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to purchase your copy and support the author. No refunds.


    A gripping historical novel about a spirited  girl who joins a sisterhood working to undermine the Confederates—from the award-winning author of We Cast a Shadow

    Ady, a curious, sharp-witted girl, and her fierce mother, Sanite, are an inseparable duo. Enslaved to a businessman in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the pair spend their days dreaming of a loving future and reminiscing on their family's rebellious and storied history. When mother and daughter are separated, Ady is left hopeless and direction-less, until she stumbles into the Mockingbird Inn and meets Lenore, a free Black woman with whom she becomes fast friends. Lenore invites Ady to join a clandestine society of spies called the Daughters. With the courage instilled in her by Sanite—and help from these strong women—Ady learns how to choose herself. So begins her journey toward liberation and imagin­ing a new future.

    The American Daughters is a novel of hope and triumph that reminds us what is possible when a community bands together to fight for their freedom.


    Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You, longlisted for The Story Prize and a finalist for The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and We Cast a Shadow, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, the PEN/Open Book Award, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and International Dublin Literary Award. A recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction, he has been published in the Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, the Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. A native of New Orleans, he is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.


    Sharon Sochil Washington, PhD is a cultural anthropologist, social entrepreneur, and writer. Her debut novel, The Blue Is Where God Lives, was published last year by Abrams Books. She’s also author of The Educational Contract, and creator of White Space, a Substack newsletter that explores the meaning between the words we use. She’s written for The American ScholarHuffington Post, Newsday (New York), Dallas Times Herald, and the Akron Beacon Journal; and she speaks regularly at universities and conferences on issues of education, social justice, economic insecurity, and media influences. 

  • IRL Author Talk: Where is Africa with Anita N. Bateman - March 12 @ 6:30 PM
    from $0.00

    Celebrate the release of Where is Africa with author and curator, Anita N. Bateman!


    When: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 @ 6:30 PM 

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, Houston, TX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP with Book to support the author and our programming. 


    A multidisciplinary illustrated reader unpacking imperialist representations of Africa by promoting dialogue, memory and everyday practice, and reimagining cultural institutions and the arts—from museums to academia, from architecture to art

    In 2017, curator and art historian Anita N. Bateman and architect and professor Emanuel Admassu initiated research on the traditional positioning and mispositioning of the arts across the African continent. Where Is Africa has been an extended set of exchanges with contemporary artists, curators, designers and academics who are actively engaged in representing the continent—both within and outside its geographic boundaries. By examining artist collectives, new currents in art history and the rise of contemporary art festivals in and about Africa from the past 10 years, the project unpacks the imperialist foundations of cultural institutions and their anthropological fascination with African objects, people and places.
    The interviews in Where Is Africa examine African and African-diasporic identities and spaces through questions of positionality in relation to specific disciplinary, cultural and political contexts. The texts address Afro-diasporic aesthetic practices and the curatorial, museological and artistic matrices that confront epistemologies of dominance and exclusion. The commissioned essays and images offer concise methodologies that expand or complicate issues addressed by the interviewees.
    Where Is Africa is a conceptual project that accompanies a conceptual place, driven by the desire to dislodge Africa from categorical fixity and the representational logics of nation-states. Africa can never be fully enclosed by the residue of colonial violence or the totalitarian gaze of neoliberalism; instead, it creates infinite malleability, where place and concept are untethered from each other.

    Contributors include: Mikael Awake, Salome Asega, Tau Tavengwa, Anthony Bogues, Jay Simple, Eric Gottesman, Rebecca Corey, Aida Mulkozi, Rakeb Sile, Mesai Haileleul, Mpho Matsipa, Niama Safia Sandy, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Rehema Chachage, Robel Temesgen, Valerie Amani, Meskerem Assegued, Elias Sime, Olalekan Jeyifous, Amanda Williams, Germane Barnes and Mario Gooden.


    Dr. Anita N. Bateman (she/her) specializes in modern and contemporary African art and the art of the African diaspora with additional expertise in the history of photography, Black Feminism/Womanism, and the role of social media in activism and liberation work. Bateman earned a doctorate in art history and visual culture and graduate certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University, a master’s in art history from Duke University, and completed her undergraduate degree in art history, graduating cum laude from Williams College. She has held curatorial positions at the RISD Museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Nasher Museum of Art. Her academic research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. Bateman was the Fall 2022 ARCAthens Curatorial Fellow and a 2022 Graham Foundation grantee for the forthcoming publication, Where Is Africa (Center for Art, Research, and Alliances), co-edited with Emanuel Admassu. She is currently the Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
    Ashley Hoskins is an inspiration to those who strive for cultural enrichment and knowledge expansion. As a lifelong reader and educator, Ashley finds the most joy in witnessing someone connect with a book. She believes that reading creates an imaginative space for travel and spirituality. She recalls always being a personal librarian for her friends and family members. They would often contact her to borrow books and ask for suggestions. Ashley founded the Houston chapter in 2019 with the blessings of OlaRonke Akinmowo of The Free Black Women’s Library. The Free Black Women’s Library HTX serves as a creative space that amplifies the literary and artistic expression of the Black woman. As the creative director of The Free Black Women’s Library HTX, Ashley curates community events centered around Black women writers and artists. She is currently an artist in residence at the Anderson Center for the Arts, where The Free Black Women’s Library HTX is on exhibition and available for visitors to swap books written by Black women authors.
  • Virtual Author Talk: Convergence Problems & Womb City with Wole Talabi & Tlotlo Tsamaase - February 12 @ 7PM CST
    Sold out

    Join us in celebrating Wole Talabi and Tlotlo Tsamaase newest books, Convergence Problems and Womb City! 


    When: Monday, February 12 at 7PM CST

    Where: Virtual Via Zoom

    How: RSVP to sign up to get the Zoom link. RSVP with Convergence Problems to receive Wole Talabi's newest book along with a signed bookplate and holographic stickers. RSVP with Womb City to puchase your copy of the book Also, check out the RSVP with Bundle to receive both books at a special rate!


    CONVERGENCE PROBLEMS is a stunning new collection of stories that investigate the rapidly changing role of technology and belief in our lives as we search for meaning, for knowledge, for justice; constantly converging on our future selves.

    A Publishers Weekly Top Ten Spring 2024 Roundup pick

    In “An Arc of Electric Skin,” a roadside mechanic seeking justice volunteers to undergo a procedure that will increase the electrical conductivity of his skin by orders of magnitude. In “Blowout,” a woman races against time and a previously undocumented geological phenomenon to save her brother on the surface of Mars. In “Ganger,” a young woman trapped in a city run by machines must transfer her consciousness into an artificial body and find a way to give her life
    purpose. In “Debut,” Nairobi-based technical support engineer tries to understand what is happening when an AI art system begins malfunctioning in ways that could change the world.

    The sixteen stories of Convergence Problems, which include work published for the first time in this collection, rare stories, and recently acclaimed work, showcase Talabi at his creative best: playful and profound, exciting and experimental, always interesting.

    Womb City is a genre-bending Africanfuturist horror novel blends The Handmaid’s Tale with Get Out in an adrenaline-packed, cyberpunk body-hopping ghost story exploring motherhood, memory, and a woman’s right to her own body.

    Nelah seems to have it all: fame, wealth, and a long-awaited daughter growing in a government lab. But, trapped in a loveless marriage to a policeman who uses a microchip to monitor her every move, Nelah’s perfect life is precarious. After a drug-fueled evening culminates in an eerie car accident, Nelah commits a desperate crime and buries the body, daring to hope that she can keep one last secret.

    The truth claws its way into Nelah’s life from the grave. 

    As the ghost of her victim viciously hunts down the people Nelah holds dear, she is thrust into a race against the clock: in order to save any of her remaining loved ones, Nelah must unravel the political conspiracy her victim was on the verge of exposing—or risk losing everyone. 

    Set in a cruel futuristic surveillance state where bodies are a government-issued resource, this harrowing story is a twisty, nail-biting commentary on power, monstrosity, and bodily autonomy. In sickeningly evocative prose, Womb City interrogates how patriarchy pits women against each other as unwitting collaborators in their own oppression. In this devastatingly timely debut novel, acclaimed short fiction writer Tlotlo Tsamaase brings a searing intelligence and Botswana’s cultural sensibility to the question: just how far must a woman go to bring the whole system crashing down?


    WOLE TALABI is an engineer, writer, and editor from Nigeria. He is the author of the novel SHIGIDI AND THE BRASS HEAD OF OBALUFON (DAW books/Gollancz, 2023). His short fiction has appeared in places like Asimov’s Science Fiction, Lightspeed Magazine, and is collected in the books CONVERGENCE PROBLEMS (DAW books, 2024) and INCOMPLETE SOLUTIONS (Luna Press, 2019). He has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, as well as the Caine Prize for African Writing and he has won the Nommo award for African speculative fiction and the Sidewise award for Alternate History. He has edited five anthologies including the acclaimed AFRICANFUTURISM: AN ANTHOLOGY (Brittlepaper, 2020) and MOTHERSOUND: THE SAUÚTIVERSE ANTHOLOGY (Android Press, 2023). He likes scuba diving, elegant equations, and oddly shaped things. He currently lives and works in Australia. Find him at and at @wtalabi on Twitter, Instagram, Bluesky and Tiktok.

    Tlotlo Tsamaase (xe/xem/xer or she/her/hers) is a Motswana writer. Xer novella, The Silence of Wilting Skin, is a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and was the first Motswana nominee for the Rhysling Award. Tlotlo received support from the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, and xer story “Behind Our Irises” jointly won the Nommo Award. Xer short fiction has appeared in multiple best-of anthologies, Africa RisenNew Suns 2, Chiral Mad 5, and other venues. Womb City is Tlotlo’s debut novel.

  • IRL Poetry Reading: Tender Headed with Olatunde Osinaike - March 2 @6PM
    from $0.00

    Join us for a poetry reading with Olatunde & friends, Ayokunle Falomo and Joshua Burton!


    When: Saturday, March 2 @ 6PM

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP Only to reserve seats or RSVP WITH BOOK to reserve your copy of the book and our programming. No refunds.


    The irony of transformation often is that we mistake it to have occurred long before it does. Tender Headed takes its time in asserting the realization that growth remains ever ahead of you. Examining the themes of Black identity, accountability, and narration, we encounter a series of revealing snapshots into the role language plays in chiseling possibility and its rigid command of depiction. Olatunde Osinaike's startling debut sorts through the many-minded masks behind Black masculinity. At its center lies an inquiry about the puzzling nature of relationships, how ceaseless wonder can be in its challenge of a truth. In the name of music and self-identity, the speaker weaves their way through fault and how it amends Black life in America.

    This is demonstrated best in how the demanding, yet vulnerable tone for the collection is set in "Men Like Me," its restless opening poem. Here, we find the speaker reciting a chronicle of generational neglect from men that became him also. Earnest and sharp, there is a beauty in seeing a poet not shy away from both the melancholy and resolve of rescripting their path while cherishing their steps and missteps along the way. This collection is a panel aching of fathers, sons, uncles, grandfathers, all of whom would do well to join in and confront shared privileges that are typically curtailed or altogether avoided in conversation. Tender Headed entrusts the heart to be a compass, insisting on a journey unto itself and a melodic detour toward tenderness precise with its own footing.


    Originally from the West Side of Chicago, Olatunde Osinaike is a Nigerian-American poet, essayist, and software developer. He is the author of Tender Headed (Akashic Books, 2023), selected by Camille Rankine as winner of the 2022 National Poetry Series. Tender Headed has received recognition by several outlets including EBONY, The Grio, The Millions, Publishers Weekly, The Root, Chicago Review of Books, and elsewhere. His work has received fellowships and support from Poets & Writers, Hurston/Wright Foundation, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, and the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers University.

  • IRL Author Talk: A Love Song for Ricki Wilde with Tia Williams - February 20 @7 PM
    from $20.00

    Join us to celebrate Tia Williams' newest release, A Love Song for Ricki Wilde!


    When: Tuesday, February 20 @7PM

    Where: STAGES (800 Rosine Street, HTX, 77019)

    How: Grab your tickets! Each ticket will come with a signed copy of A Love Song for Ricki Wilde. No refunds. 


    In this enchanting love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Seven Days in June, a free-spirited florist and an enigmatic musician are irreversibly linked through the history, art, and magic of Harlem.

    Leap years are a strange, enchanted time. And for some, even a single February can be life-changing.

    Ricki Wilde has many talents, but being a Wilde isn’t one of them. As the impulsive, artistic daughter of a powerful Atlanta dynasty, she’s the opposite of her famous socialite sisters. Where they’re long-stemmed roses, she’s a dandelion: an adorable bloom that’s actually a weed, born to float wherever the wind blows. In her bones, Ricki knows that somewhere, a different, more exciting life awaits her.

    When regal nonagenarian, Ms. Della, invites her to rent the bottom floor of her Harlem brownstone, Ricki jumps at the chance for a fresh beginning. She leaves behind her family, wealth, and chaotic romantic decisions to realize her dream of opening a flower shop. And just beneath the surface of her new neighborhood, the music, stories and dazzling drama of the Harlem Renaissance still simmers.

    One evening in February as the heady, curiously off-season scent of night-blooming jasmine fills the air, Ricki encounters a handsome, deeply mysterious stranger who knocks her world off balance in the most unexpected way.  

    Set against the backdrop of modern Harlem and Renaissance glamour, A Love Song for Ricki Wilde is a swoon-worthy love story of two passionate artists drawn to the magic, romance, and opportunity of New York, and whose lives are uniquely and irreversibly linked. 


    Tia Williams had a fifteen-year career as a beauty editor for magazines including ElleGlamourLuckyTeen People, and Essence. In 2004, she pioneered the beauty-blog industry with her award-winning site, Shake Your Beauty. She wrote the bestselling debut novel The Accidental Diva and penned two young adult novels, It Chicks and Sixteen Candles. Her award-winning novel The Perfect Find is a Netflix movie starring Gabrielle Union. Her latest novel is New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick, Seven Days in June, published by Grand Central.
    Tia currently lives with her daughter and her husband in Brooklyn
  • IRL Book Signing: Out of Body with Nia Davenport - February 10 @ 2PM CST
    Sold out

    Celebrate Nia Davenport's young adult debut, Out of Body


    When: Saturday, February 10 @ 2 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: Only book purchased from Kindred Stories will be eligible for signing line.


    A high-stakes, propulsive young adult thriller with a body-swap twist thoughtfully explores themes of friendship and identity, perfect for fans of Tiffany D. Jackson.

    Seventeen-year-old Megan Allen has been jumping from friend group to friend group in her high school, trying on identities like outfits. Nothing ever seems to fit—until she meets LC, the adventurous, charismatic girl who appears at her favorite coffee shop one day like magic. Finally, Megan feels like she’s becoming the person she’s meant to be: someone like LC.

    On the night of their friendiversary, what was supposed to be a bonding experience ends in a waking nightmare. Suddenly, Megan is no longer herself. Too late, she realizes that LC has secrets—dangerous ones. Betrayed by her best friend, thrust into another girl’s life, and targeted by LC’s enemies, she must claim what makes Megan Megan to get her life back . . . or die trying.


    NIA DAVENPORT is the author of the sci-fi fantasy Blood Gift duology. A lover of both science and literature, Nia has taught English and biology to a diverse public school population in Texas. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and now lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and kids. Find out more at

  • IRL Author Talk: Between Two Brothers with Crystal Allen - January 28 @3PM
    from $0.00

    Join us to celebrate the release of Between Two Brothers! 


    When: Sunday, January 28 @3PM

    Where: Project Row Houses Community Gallery (2521 Holman Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP to reserve your seat! RSVP WITH BOOK to reserve your copy. We are also doing a donation drive that you can learn more about here


    A powerful and uplifting story about thirteen-year-old Isaiah, who has always worshiped his older brother, Seth, until a devastating accident forces him to step up and find a way to support his brother the way Seth has always supported him—from the acclaimed author of How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy and the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series.

    Inspired by real events, Between Two Brothers is a big-hearted story about forgiveness and the power of a family’s unconditional love, perfect for readers who loved Fish in a Tree and Out of My Mind.

    Isaiah "Ice" Abernathy has always worshiped his older brother, Seth. For years they’ve been not just brothers but best friends—and as Seth starts his senior year, Ice is eager to spend as much time with his brother as he can, making memories before Seth goes to college.

    But when Seth announces he’s leaving much earlier than expected, and then he misses an important event—one he'd promised to attend—it causes a major fight.

    Filled with regret, Ice plans to apologize to Seth later the next day, but later never comes, as he finds out Seth was in an accident—one that leaves him in the hospital. And the doctors say he may never recover.

    Racked by fear and guilt, Ice chooses to step up, defy the experts, and help Seth recover in a way only he can—by trusting in their bond and the undying love between two brothers.


    Cystal Allen is the author of the middle grade novels How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized TrophyThe Laura Line, and the three books in The Magnificent Mya Tibbs series. Her many accolades include the Sid Fleischman Humor Award for The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: The Wall of Fame Game and induction to the Texas Institute of Letters. Crystal is also a committee member of The Brown Bookshelf, the co-director of Kindling Words East, and a faculty member of Highlights for Children. She lives in Texas with her husband, Reggie, and two sons, Phillip and Joshua. Visit her online at

  • IRL Author Talk: Barracoon: Adapted for Young Readers with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi - February 3 @ 1 PM CST
    Sold out

    Join us along with ACLU Texas and the Houston Public Library in celebrating Barracoon: Adapted for Young Readers: The Story of the Last "Black Cargo"!


    When: Saturday, February 3 at 1 PM CST

    Where: 500 McKinney Street, HTX, 77002

    How: To get your free ticket, please use the following link on the Houston Public Library website. If you would like to donate to support our programming, check out by adding this product to your cart!


    In the first middle grade offering from Zora Neale Hurston and Ibram X. Kendi, young readers are introduced to the remarkable and true-life story of Cudjo Lewis, one of the last survivors of the Atlantic human trade, in an adaptation of the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed Barracoon.

    This is the life story of Cudjo Lewis, as told by himself.

    Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America to be enslaved, 86-year-old Cudjo Lewis was then the only person alive to tell the story of his capture and bondage—fifty years after the Atlantic human trade was outlawed in the United States. Cudjo shared his firsthand account with legendary folklorist, anthropologist, and writer Zora Neale Hurston.

    Hurston spent months talking with Cudjo about the details of his life. Cudjo recounted memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of the raid of his village, being captured and held in a barracoon for sale by human traders, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.

    Adapted with care and delivered with age-appropriate historical context by award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi, Cudjo’s incredible story is now available for young readers and emerging scholars. With powerful illustrations by Jazzmen Lee-Johnson, this poignant work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.


    Ibram X. Kendi is a National Book Award–winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. His books include Antiracist Baby; Goodnight Racism; How to Be an Antiracist; and How to Raise an Antiracist. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University and the director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. In 2020, Time magazine named Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has also been awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship.

    Zora Neale Hurston was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist. She wrote four novels (Jonah’s Gourd Vine, 1934; Their Eyes Were Watching God, 1937; Moses, Man of the Mountains, 1939; and Seraph on the Suwanee, 1948); two books of folklore (Mules and Men, 1935, and Every Tongue Got to Confess, 2001); a work of anthropological research, (Tell My Horse, 1938); an autobiography (Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942); an international bestselling nonfiction work (Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” 2018); and over fifty short stories, essays, and plays. She attended Howard University, Barnard College, and Columbia University and was a graduate of Barnard College in 1928. She was born on January 7, 1891, in Notasulga, Alabama, and grew up in Eatonville, Florida.

  • IRL Author Signing: The Queer Girl is Going to Be Okay with Dale Walls - December 23 @ 1PM CST

    Pull up on us to meet Dale Walls and get a signed copy of The Queer Girl is Going to Be Okay!


    When: Saturday, December 23 at 1 PM

    Where: Kindred Stories (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP to reserve your copy of the book!


    Texas native, Dale Walls' debut novel checks all the Gen Z marks - tenderness, tropes, and timeliness - and that makes sense because they wrote the first version while attending High School in Houston

    Queer Love. Something Dawn wants, desperately, but does not have. But maybe, if she can capture it, film it, interview the people who have it, queer love will be hers someday. Or, at least, she'll have made a documentary about it. A documentary that, hopefully, will win Dawn a scholarship to film school. Many obstacles stand in the way of completing her film, but her best friends Edie and Georgia are there to help her reach her goal, no matter what it takes. A touching and joyous story of queer friendship and girlhood set in the vibrant city of Houston, THE QUEER GIRL IS GOING TO BE OKAY will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you believe that eventually, everything will be okay.


    Dale Walls is the author of the forthcoming novel The Queer Girl Is Going to Be Okay. They are currently a graduate student at Stanford University studying art history. When not writing, they can be found creating educational videos about POC artists on their YouTube channel, Art in Color.

  • IRL Author Talk: How to Live Free in a Dangerous World with Shayla Lawson: February 9 @ 7PM
    from $0.00

    Celebrate How to Live Free in a Dangerous World: A Decolonial Memoir with journalist, poet, author, Shayla Lawson!


    When: Friday, February 9 at 7PM

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden 

    How: RSVP ONLY to save you seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming


    In their new book, Shayla Lawson reveals how traveling can itself be a political act, when it can be a dangerous world to be Black, femme, nonbinary, and disabled. With their signature prose, at turns muscular and luminous, Lawson explores layered meanings within love, time, and the self.

    Through encounters with a gorgeous gondolier in Venice, an ex-husband in The Netherlands, and a lost love on New Year’s Eve in Mexico City, Lawson’s travels bring unexpected wisdom about life in and out of love. They learn the strength of friendships, and the dangers of beauty during a near escape in Egypt. They examine Blackness in post dictatorship Zimbabwe, then take us on a secretive tour of Black freedom movements in Portugal.

    Through a deeply insightful journey, Lawson leads readers from a castle in France, to a hula hoop competition in Jamaica, to a traditional theater in Tokyo, to a Prince concert in Minnesota, and finally to find liberation on a beach in Bermuda, exploring each location—and their deepest emotions—to the fullest. In the end, they discover how trials of marriage, grief, and missed connections, can lead to self transformation and unimagined new freedoms.


    Shayla Lawson (they/them) is the author of This is Major, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle and the LAMBDA Literary Award, and two poetry collections. They have written for New York Magazine, Salon, ESPN, and Paper, and have earned fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Artist Colony. They live in Lexington, Kentucky.

  • Virtual Author Workshop: Decolonizing Therapy with Jennifer Mullan - January 10 @ 6:30 PM CST
    from $10.00

    Are you a mental health worker? Come spend a evening diving into your practices and decolonizing them with clinically psychologist, Jennifer Mullan. 


    When: Wednesday, January 10 at 6:30 PM

    Where: Virtual Via Zoom

    How: Grab your ticket and we'll shoot the Zoom link to you!


    A call to action for therapists to politicize their practice through an emotional decolonial lens.

    An essential work that centers colonial and historical trauma in a framework for healing, Decolonizing Therapy illuminates that all therapy is—and always has been— inherently political. To better understand the mental health oppression and institutional violence that exists today, we must become familiar with the root of disembodiment from our histories, homelands, and healing practices. Only then will readers see how colonial, historical, and intergenerational legacies have always played a role in the treatment of mental health.

    This book is the emotional companion and guide to decolonization. It is an invitation for Eurocentrically trained clinicians to acknowledge privileged and oppressed parts while relearning what we thought we knew. Ignoring collective global trauma makes delivering effective therapy impossible; not knowing how to interrogate privilege (as a therapist, client, or both) makes healing elusive; and shying away from understanding how we as professionals may be participating in oppression is irresponsible.


    Jennifer Mullan, Psy.D is a dynamic international speaker, professor, healer-spiritualist, scholar-activist and widely known as the Rage Doctor ™. Dr. Jennifer Mullan is the author of “Decolonizing Therapy: Oppression, Historical Trauma & Politicizing Your Practice”.

    Trained as a clinical psychologist; Dr. Jennifer Mullan birthed Decolonizing Therapy ®, a psychological evolution that weaves together political, ancestral, therapeutic and global well-being. 

    Dr. Mullan is a major disruptor in the mental health industrial complex. Her work is an urgent call to dive to the root of global and generational trauma to unlock the wisdom of our sacred rage. 

    Decolonizing Therapy ® catalyzes a growing movement of practitioners who are unlearning colonial methods of psychology. They are co-creating a new liberatory model of mental health.

    Dr. Jennifer Mullan received ESSENCE Magazine’s 2020 Essential Hero Award in Mental Health, and was featured on The Today Show, Vox, Cosmopolitan, Allure, GQ, Bloomberg, Heal Magazine, Catalyst and the Calgary Journal, among many others. She currently lives in Northern NJ on land that was stewarded by the Leni Lenape people.

  • IRL AUTHOR TALK: Mind, Body & Soul with Oludara Adeeyo - January 12 at 7PM
    from $10.00

    Celebrate what makes Black women powerful, brilliant, and brave with Mind, Body, & Soul: A Self-Care Coloring Book for Black Women! 


    When: Friday, January 12 @ 7PM

    Where:  2310 Elgin Street, HTX, 77004 (We will be on the first floor in the garden room)

    How: Grab a $10 ticket to reserve a seat or grab a $25 ticket to purchase a book with the Mind, Body & Soul: A Self Coloring Book for Black Women! (No refunds)


    Relax, rejuvenate, and renew your mind, body, and soul with this coloring books designed for Black women that focuses and elevates the already popular—and effective—self-care activity with illustrations to color and affirmations to empower.

    Celebrate what makes Black women powerful, brilliant, and brave with Mind, Body, & Soul: A Self-Care Coloring Book for Black Women. As you enjoy coloring in 35 gorgeous art pages, you’ll be practicing self-care as you take the time to relax for just you. You’ll find stunning art pages depicting Black women vibing, being creative in their homes, listening to music, practicing yoga, meditating in nature, and transcending in metaphysical dimensions. With affirmations included on each page, you’ll internalize the positive messages and manifest positive outcomes for yourself as you color.

    With Mind, Body, & Soul, every time you sit down to color in these inspiring designs, you’ll be affirming yourself and your right to self-care.


    Oludara (Dara) Adeeyo is a Los Angeles based mental health therapist, author, and social media content creator who is passionate about encouraging people, especially Black women, to face every day with self-confidence and self-love. 

    Her first series of books, published by Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, share specific advice and activities designed to help Black women outwardly express their inner joy: Self-Care for Black Women (2022), Affirmations for Black Women: A Journal (2022), and Mind, Body, & Soul: A Self-Care Coloring Book for Black Women (2024). 

    Oludara’s accessible approach to writing and talking about mental health is influenced by her previous professional experience in the media industry as a writer and editor where she worked for popular publications such as Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and XXL. Her writing has also appeared in Women’s Health and Wondermind.

    As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Oludara has extensive experience with treating mood disorders, personality disorders, and thought disorders for diverse populations. She is currently working to establish her own private practice where she will specialize in helping people of color, especially Black women, manage their stressors, boost their self-confidence, and manifest their desires by releasing people-pleasing impulses.  Oludara holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Southern California (USC) and a Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism with a Minor in Women’s Studies from Hofstra University. 


    Wale is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor working with folks in New York and Texas. She has a double masters degree in mental health counseling from Teachers College Columbia University. After practicing in New York for a few years, Wale moved back to her hometown Houston and started her own therapy practice in 2020. Wale currently works with individuals and couples, writers and creative folks on a weekly basis.

    As an avid reader and Kindred Stories aficionado, Wale has moderated various author talks featuring: Lyvonne Briggs, Sochil Washington, Tyriek White, Adorah Nworah, Dr. Joy, and Nicole Walters. 

  • IRL Author Talk: Abeni's Song with Phenderson Djèlí Clark - October 2 @ 7:30 PM CST
    from $0.00

    Join us for an evening with Phenderson Djèlí Clark!


    When:  Monday, October 2 @ 7:30 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP here for your free ticket or RSVP with book to reserve your book and support our programming


    Like a West African and African Diaspora-inspired Spirited Away, Abeni's Song follows a reluctant apprentice witch out of her village and into a world of spirits on a quest to save her friends. This is P. Djèlí Clark's kids' debut.

    On the day of the spirits festival, the old woman who lives in the forest appears in Abeni's village with a terrible message:

    You ignored my warnings. It’s too late to run. They are coming.

    The old woman hasn't come to save them, only to collect one child as payment for her years of service and protection. When warriors with burning blades storm the village and a man with a cursed flute plays an impossibly alluring song, everyone Abeni has ever known and loved is captured and marched toward far-off ghost ships set for even more distant lands.

    But not Abeni. Abeni escapes the warriors in the clutches of the old woman, magically whisked into the forest away from all she’s ever known. And there she begins her unwanted magical apprenticeship, her journey to escape the witch, and her impossible mission to bring her people home.

    Abeni’s Song is the beginning of a timeless, enchanting fantasy adventure about a reluctant apprentice, a team of spirit kids, and the town they set out to save from the evil Witch Priest who enslaved Abeni’s people.


    Born in New York and raised mostly in Houston, P. DJÈLÍ CLARK spent the formative years of his life in the homeland of his parents, Trinidad and Tobago. He is the author of the novel A Master of Djinn, the novellas Ring Shout, The Black God’s Drums, and The Haunting of Tram Car 015, and a contributor to the #1 New York Times bestseller Black Boy Joy. He has won the Nebula, Locus, and Alex Awards and been nominated for the Hugo, World Fantasy, and Sturgeon Awards. His stories have appeared in online venues such as Tor.comDaily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Apex, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and in print anthologies, including Griots, Hidden Youth, and Clockwork Cairo. He is also a founding member of FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction and an infrequent reviewer at Strange Horizons.


    Stevens is a writer, organizer, and archivist. As part of the Kindred Stories family he is the Operations & Community Facilitator, and part-time Adjunct Professor. Stevens' current work and concentration is centered around his social-political analysis and its intersections with the arts, community, and revolutionary politics.

  • IRL LAUNCH PARTY: Family Meal with Bryan Washington - October 16 @ 7: 30 PM CST
    from $0.00

    Join us in celebrating one of Houston's most beloved author, Bryan Washington's forthcoming book, Family Meal. 


    When: Monday, October 16, 2023 at 7:30 PM

    Where: Hogan Brown Gallery in The Eldorado Ballroom at Project Row Houses

    How: RSVP ONLY to make sure you get in the door. RSVP WITH BOOK to ensure you leave with a signed copy of Family Meal. You must purchase Family Meal in order to enter the signing line. 


    Cam is living in Los Angeles and falling apart after the love of his life has died. Kai's ghost won't leave Cam alone; his spectral visits wild, tender, and unexpected. When Cam returns to his hometown of Houston, he crashes back into the orbit of his former best friend, TJ, and TJ's family bakery. TJ's not sure how to navigate this changed Cam, impenetrably cool and self-destructing, or their charged estrangement. Can they find a way past all that has been said - and left unsaid - to save each other? Could they find a way back to being okay again, or maybe for the first time?

    When secrets and wounds become so insurmountable that they devour us from within, hope and sustenance and friendship can come from the most unlikely source. Spanning Los Angeles, Houston, and Osaka, Family Meal is a story about how the people who know us the longest can hurt us the most, but how they also set the standard for love. With his signature generosity and eye for food, sex, love, and the moments that make us the most human, Bryan Washington returns with a brilliant new novel.


    Bryan Washington is the author of the story collection Lot and the novel Memorial. He is also the winner of a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, a New York Public Library Young Lions Award, an Ernest J. Gaines Award, an International Dylan Thomas Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, and was a finalist for the James Tait Black Prize, the Joyce Carol Oates Prize, a PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize finalist, a National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize finalist, and the recipient of an O. Henry Award. He is a columnist for the New York Times Magazine and his fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and The Best American Short Stories. He divides his time between Houston and Osaka.

  • IRL Author Talk: Ways to Build Dreams with Renee Watson - October 28 at 2 PM CST
    from $0.00

    Join for an author talk with award-winning and beloved author, Renee Watson! 


    When: Saturday, October 28 at 2PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat. RSVP WITH BOOK to grab your seat along with a copy of Renee's newest book, Ways to Build Dreams. There will be additional titles on sale. However, you must purchase her newest book to join the signing line.


    Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winner Renée Watson continues her bestselling young middle grade series starring Ryan Hart.

    Middle school is just around the corner for Ryan Hart, which means it’s time to start thinking about the future—and not just how to prank her brother, Ray!
    Ryan wonders who she wants to be and what kind of person her family hopes she’ll become. Ryan has always been known for her sunny outlook, but can she keep hoping even when things seem hopeless? During Black History Month, Ryan learns more about her ancestors and local Black pioneers and their hopes for the future, for her generation. Drawing on the ambitions of those who came before her, and her own goals, Ryan is determined to turn her dreams into reality.
    Grow and shine and share with Ryan Hart in this series that brings ever more humor, more love, and more fun.


    Renée Watson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. Her novel, Piecing Me Together, received a Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award. Her books include the Ryan Hart series, Some Places More Than Others, This Side of Home, What Momma Left Me, Betty Before X, cowritten with Ilyasah Shabazz, Watch Us Rise, cowritten with Ellen Hagan, and Love is a Revolution, as well as acclaimed picture books: Places Where Hurricanes Happen, and Harlem’s Little Blackbird, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Renée splits her times between Portland, Oregon and New York City.


    Jasminne Mendez is a best-selling Dominican-American poet, translator, playwright and award winning author of several books for children and adults. Including the middle grade novel in verse Aniana del Mar Jumps In (Dial) which was released to four starred reviews. Her other books have received prizes from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Writer’s League of Texas and the International Latino Book Awards. She is an MFA graduate of the creative writing program at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and a University of Houston alumni. She is the Program Director for the literary arts non-profit Tintero Projects and she lives and works in Houston, TX.

  • IRL LAUNCH PARTY: Blaque Pearle with Tarris Marie - October 7 @ 7PM
    from $0.00

    We're celebrating author, Tarris Marie and her debut book, Blaque Pearle! 


    When: Saturday, October 7 at 7PM

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden (2034 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: Be sure to RSVP ONLY to attend or RSVP with Book to support the Tarris and our bookstore! We're encouraging everyone to bring their own style to an all Black attire. We're also encouraging Black masquerade masks and pearls. When you finish the book, you'll know why!


    Tarris Marie’s debut novel intertwines crime, romance, and the ‘90s era. A refreshing new voice for urban romance lovers and women’s crime thriller connoisseurs.

    Before her Hollywood dreams were shattered, Pearle Monalise Brown was the tenacious aspiring actress from Compton's unforgiving, scarred streets. Never broken, Pearle switches gears to a fallback plan—resorting to her beauty and acting skills to swindle money and expensive jewels. When she's hired by the Colombian cartel to steal a priceless Basquiat from the debonair kingpin and art collector, Blaque, her talents might not be enough to keep her from falling into a trap she never saw coming. 

    Blaque is sagacious and handsome—not to mention the legacy of two powerful organized crime families: the Laurent’s—known dons hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, and the Savage’s—a sophisticated syndicate with criminal enterprises across the U.S. As Blaque and Pearle become passionately entangled, Pearle falls prey to a darker underworld. Time is ticking. Lives are at stake. Will these love outlaws be able to outsmart their enemies, or will they wage an all-out war, leaving the bodies to fall wherever they may?

    “Both inspirational and a delight to watch, Tarris Marie is proof that limits and barriers exist only in our minds.” —N’TYSE, national bestselling author and film producer of Trap Soldiers


    Tarris Marie is proudly a Midwestern girl of the '90s, born and raised in Gary, IN. After 15 years in corporate America, Tarris lost her central vision and eventually her six-figure career in a battle with Stargardt's—a genetic eye disease that caused her legal blindness. In addition to being a novelist, Tarris is a screenwriter and actress who uses slivers of her life experienced pie to create vivid characters and roller coaster journeys to inspire and entertain others.

    Tarris received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and business administration from Indiana University, where she also became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She currently resides with her two children and husband in the great city of spaceships (Houston, TX.). Blaque Pearle is the author's debut novel. Connect with Tarris Marie online by following @authortarrismarie
  • Ode to Hip Hop Trivia Night with Kiana Fitzgerald & DaLyah Jones

    Grab the homies come experience the Ode to Hip Hop Trivia Deck and its creator, Kiana Fitzgerald!


    When: Sunday, October 8 at 6 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stores Reading Garden (2304 Stuart Street, HTX, 77004)

    How: Tickets are REQUIRED! Be sure to get yours as tickets are limited. 


    We are hosting a pub style trivia night! Each table is a team. You can bring your friends or family be apart of your team or be prepared to join a team when you get here. You and your team will work together to correctly answer as many questions as possible. Put prepared for a few twists during the night! 


    This fun and challenging game offers hip-hop listeners 200 questions to test their knowledge of the genre! Set includes:

    • Trivia Deck: 50 full-color printed cards filled with trivia questions (4 per card, for a total of 200 questions)
    • Range of Eras and Subjects: Questions on hip-hop history cover a range of subjects from iconic album releases to key players to little known facts, from hip-hop's birth in the Bronx through modern day; cards measure 3 x 5 inches
    • Keepsake Box: Cards are housed in full-color printed keepsake box with magnetic closure
    • Entertain Like a Pro: This game works for solo play as well as groups of 2, 3, or more
    • Perfect Gift: A fun and meaningful deck for anyone who appreciates this iconic genre


    Kiana Fitzgerald is a freelance music journalist, cultural critic, and DJ. Her writing credits include BillboardThe CutNPRComplexNylon Magazine, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. She writes for the world from deep in the heart of Texas.


    DaLyah Jones was born and raised behind the “Pine Curtain” of rural Deep East Texas. She serves as the program officer for Borealis Philanthropy’s Racial Equity in Journalism Fund. She is the former Director of Engagement and staff writer for the watchdog magazine Texas Observer. She’s also a former board member and Freedomways Fellow with movement journalism - journalism in service of liberation - collective Press On. DaLyah’s work in news and storytelling has been aimed at providing coverage to and by historically disadvantaged communities in Texas, especially in the rural regions. Her past work can be found at NPR, Texas Monthly, NBC Think, OkayPlayer, Texas Highways Magazine and more.
  • IRL Author Talk: Confronting the Racist Legacy of the American Child Welfare System with Alan Dettlaff
    from $0.00
    In Confronting the Racist Legacy of the American Child Welfare System, Alan J. Dettlaff presents a call to abolish the American child welfare system due to the harm and destruction it causes Black families. Dettlaff traces the origins of the modern child welfare system, which emerged following the abolition of slavery, to demonstrate that the harm and oppression that result from child welfare intervention are not the result of "unintended consequences" but rather are the clear intents of the system and the foreseeable results of the policies that have been put in place over decades.

    By tracing the history of family separations in the United States since the era of slavery, Confronting the Racist Legacy of the American Child Welfare System demonstrates that the intended outcomes of those separations--the subjugation of Black Americans and the maintenance of white supremacy--are the same intended outcomes of the family separations done today. What distinguishes contemporary family separations from those that occurred during slavery is that today's separations occur under a facade of benevolence, a myth that has been perpetuated over decades that family separations are necessary to "save" the most vulnerable children.

    Confronting the Racist Legacy of the American Child Welfare System presents evidence of the vast harms that result from family separations to make a case that the child welfare system is beyond reform. Rather, the only solution to ending these harms is complete abolition of this system and a fundamental reimagining of the way society cares for children, families, and communities.
  • IRL Author Talk: Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion with Mitchell S. Jackson & Tay Butler-September 13 at 7PM CT
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    Pull up in your best to celebrate Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion with Pulitzer winning author, Michell S. Jackson and one of our favorite artist/community members, Tay Butler. 


    When: Wednesday, September 13, 2023 at 7PM

    Where: The Reading Room HTX (401 Franklin Street, 77201)

    How: RSVP to grab your free ticket or RSVP book to reserve your seat and your copy of the book while supporting our programming. 


    Equal parts stunning, photo-rich lookbook, and cultural commentary, Fly is the story of the extraordinary intersection of high fashion and basketball. Each chapter explores the style of an era and the cultural influences that shaped it: The league’s inception in 1949, pre-Civil Rights Movement, when the NBA was mostly comprised of white players who wore suits and skinny ties. The years following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the birth of funk and R&B when basketball fashion got flashier (think Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Wilt Chamberlain wearing fur coats and big hats). The Michael Jordan era of the 1980s and 1990s, with its oversize suits. The epic Iverson/Hip-Hop years of the late 1990s and early 2000s. And now to today, a time defined not only by social media and high fashion’s birthing of the tunnel walk (think LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Russell Westbrook), but one in which athletes are idealized as style icons and activists, figures who inspire conversations beyond how they play and what they wear. 

    Mitchell S. Jackson is the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and the 2021 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing. Jackson’s debut novel, The Residue Years, won a Whiting Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His essay collection Survival Math was named a best book of 2019 by fifteen publications. Jackson’s other honors include fellowships, grants, and awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Creative Capital, the Cullman Center of the New York Public Library, the Lannan Foundation, PEN America, and TED. His writing has been featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book ReviewTime, and Esquire, as well as in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, the Paris Review, the Guardian, and elsewhere. Jackson is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Esquire. He holds the John O. Whiteman Dean’s Distinguished Professorship in the Department of English at Arizona State University.



    Tay Butler is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer and educator based in Houston, Texas. He received his MFA from the University of Arkansas' Photography and Studio Art Program, BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and everything else from Milwaukee, MN. After retiring from the US Army and abandoning a middle-class  engineering career to search for purpose, Butler reignited a rich appreciation for Black history and a  deep obsession with the Black archive. Using past and present images to create a historically-layered  body of work, Tay reorients cultural material from the ever-growing Black experience.  
  • IRL AUTHOR TALK: Thieves Gambit with Kayvion Lewis & Kwame Mbalia-September 28 at 7PM
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    Join us as we celebrate the release of Thieves' Gambit with debut author, Kayvion Lewis! 


    When: Thursday, September 28 at 7PM

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden

    How: RSVP ONLY to grab your free seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to reserve your copy of Thieves' Gambit and support our programming


    At only seventeen years old, Ross Quest is already a master thief, especially adept at escape plans. Until her plan to run away from her legendary family of thieves takes an unexpected turn, leaving her mother’s life hanging in the balance.

    In a desperate bid, she enters the Thieves’ Gambit, a series of dangerous, international heists where killing the competition isn’t exactly off limits, but the grand prize is a wish for anything in the world—a wish that could save her mom. When she learns two of her competitors include her childhood nemesis and a handsome, smooth-talking guy who might also want to steal her heart, winning the Gambit becomes trickier than she imagined.

    Ross tries her best to stick to the family creed: trust no one whose last name isn’t Quest. But with the stakes this high, Ross will have to decide who to con and who to trust before time runs out. After all, only one of them can win.


    Kayvion Lewis is a young adult author of all things escapist and high-octane. A former youth services librarian, she’s been working with young readers and kidlit since she was sixteen. When she’s not writing, she’s breaking out of escape rooms, jumping out of airplanes, and occasionally running away to mountain retreats to study kung fu. Though she’s originally from Louisiana, and often visits her family in The Bahamas, these days you can find her in New York—at least until she takes off on her next adventure.


    Kwame is a husband, father, writer, a New York Times bestselling author, and a former pharmaceutical metrologist in that order. His debut middle-grade novel, TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY was awarded a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and it—along with the sequels TRISTAN STRONG DESTROYS THE WORLD and TRISTAN STRONG KEEPS PUNCHING, out October 5th—is published by Rick Riordan Presents/Disney-Hyperion. He is the co-author of LAST GATE OF THE EMPEROR with Prince Joel Makonnen, from Scholastic Books, and the editor of the #1 New York Times bestselling anthology BLACK BOY JOY, published by Delacourte Press. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he survives on Dad jokes and Cheezits.

  • IRL AUTHOR TALK: Not Everyone is Going to Like You with Rinny Perkins - August 22 at 7PM
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    Join us as we celebrate Houston's own, Rinny Perkins and her new book, Not Everyone is Going to Like You! 


    When: August 22 at 7 PM CST

    Where: The Reading Room HTX (401 Franklin St, Houston, TX 77201)

    How: RSVP to grab you free ticket or RSVP with book to support the author and our program!


    A debut illustrated manifesto by Rinny Perkins (@RinnyRiot) about what she's learned as a queer Black woman through the art of self-validation.

    In this graphic collection of mini essays, comedian Rinny Perkins illustrates her experiences as the owner of a popular online shop while she figures out antidepressant prescriptions and the seemingly never-ending dating-app cycle.
    Rinny shares what she's learned across topics like mental health, work, sex and dating, and family and friends. Featuring funny, real reflections from experiences in her hometown of (Third Ward!) Houston, Texas to Los Angeles — the author traces her journey to understanding that whether through a friendship break-up or saving up for a Telfar bag, the only person who can truly validate us is ourselves.
    With 1970s-inspired graphics like a "When To Quit Your Job" checklist and Microaggressions Bingo, Not Everyone's Going to Like You is a long DM of affirmations from Rinny to herself on how to get through life. Her advice? Stop ignoring your intuition, ignore perfection, and leave them on read.


    Rinny Perkins is a performer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. Her graphic design and installation work nods to '70s ephemera with an emphasis on Black and queer womanhood. Her work has been featured by outlets such as I-D/VICENylon and Teen Vogue.


    deun ivory is a texas-based creative wellness visionary, multidisciplinary artist & photographer whose work centers and celebrates black women. widely known for her ethereal aesthetic & creative ingenuity, ivory curates visual experiences that inspire those who engage with her work to restore and reclaim narratives rooted in self-empowerment, joy & worthiness. ivory draws from the belief that beauty is wellness, which informs her exploration of art, spaces and design as healing mechanisms for marginalized communities. 

    as a visionary,  ivory serves as the founder and creative director of two influential brands: the body: a home for love, a 501(c)3 non-profit & black women are worthy, a social impact initiative specializing in conceptual design and immersive art installations. 

    ivory has cemented her power and influence as a thought-leader and visual storyteller by working with some of the world’s biggest brands to produce creative projects that have resonated & inspired communities worldwide. some of her clients include: google, facebook, lululemon, HBO, glossier, issa rae, apple, and more. ivory has been featured in vogue, harpers bazaar, essence, glamour magazine and beyond for her impactful contributions & authentic presence in the creative and wellness space. 


    Founded by Amarie Gipson, The Reading Room is a reference library and creative incubator based in Houston, Texas.

    Gipson is a Houston-born art worker, writer and creative entrepreneur. She has held curatorial positions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Renaissance Society, the Contemporary Austin and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Independently, her writing has been published in several journals and magazines including Artforum, ARTNews, ARTS.BLACK, Cite, ESSENCE, Gulf Coast, MUD and THE SEEN.

    After seven years of travel, Gipson is currently based in her hometown. She created an open-format dance party and community called PHYSICAL THERAPY where she serves as creative director and resident DJ. She is also the former Arts & Culture editor of Houstonia Magazine, where she worked to bring much-needed attention to Houston’s art scene.  

    With nearly a decade of experience in the realms of fine art, music and media, Gipson built The Reading Room with a desire to share her deep passion for Black culture. It is a culmination of her professional experience and a labor of love.

  • IRL AUTHOR TALK: Holler, Child with Latoya Watkins-August 31 at 7:30 PM
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    We're celebrating Latoya Watkins second book, Holler, Child: Stories


    When: Thursday, August 31st at 7:30 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden

    How:  RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and programming. 


    Set in the same Black community in Texas as PERISH, LaToya's debut novel, each story focuses on unique characters that illuminate life in Texas; they offer briliant, heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful perspectives from the women and men in the community, and touch on big themes like race, power, inequality, and more.

    In one story, the appearance of a horse in a man's suburban backyard places a former horse breeder in trouble with the police, while in another, following the mass suicide of his entire congregation, the mother of a cult leader tries to honor him in a way she couldn't while he was alive.

    Fresh and urgently told, HOLLER, CHILD is a wise follow-up to LaToya's debut novel.- This collection features 11 stories--six of which have been previously published and five of which are entirely new for this collection


    LaToya Watkins’s writing has appeared in A Public SpaceThe SunMcSweeney’sKenyon ReviewThe Pushcart Prize Anthology (2015), and elsewhere. She has received grants, scholarships, and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and A Public Space (she was one of their 2018 Emerging Writers Fellows). She holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Dallas. Perish was her debut novel.


    Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton is an internationally known writer, educator, activist, and performer and the first Black poet laureate of Houston, Texas. She was formerly ranked the #2 Best Female Performance Poet in the World (PSI). Her recent poetry collection, Newsworthy, garnered her a Pushcart nomination, was named a finalist for the 2019 Writers’ League of Texas Book Award, and received an honorable mention for the Summerlee Book Prize. Its German translation, under the title Berichtenswert, was released in Summer 2021 by Elif Verlag. The opera Marian’s Song, for which she wrote the libretto, debuted in 2020. 


  • IRL AUTHOR TALK: Forged By Blood with Ehigbor Okosun-August 11 at 7:30 PM CST
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    Celebrate the release of Forged by Blood, a Nigerian inspired fantasy novel with debut author, Ehigbor Okosun! 


    When: Friday, August 11th at 7:30 PM

    Where: Kindred Stories' Reading Garden

    How: RSVP ONLY to reserve your seat or RSVP WITH BOOK to support the author and our programming.


    In the midst of an authoritarian regime and political invasion, Dèmi just wants to survive: to avoid the suspicion of the nonmagical Ajes who occupy her ancestral homeland of Ifé; to escape King Sorenson’s brutal genocide of her people, the darker skinned, magic wielding Oluso; and to live peacefully with her secretive mother while learning to control the terrifying blood magic that is her birthright.

    But when Dèmi’s misplaced trust costs her mother’s life, survival gives way to vengeance. She bides her time until the devious Lord Ekwensi grants her the perfect opportunity—kidnap the Aje prince, Jonas, and bargain with his life to save the remaining Oluso. With the help of her reckless childhood friend Colin, Dèmi succeeds, but discovers that she and Jonas share more than deadly secrets; every moment tangles them further in a forbidden, unmistakable attraction, much to Colin’s—and Dèmi’s—distress

    The kidnapping is now a joint mission: to return to the King, help get Lord Ekwensi on the council, and bolster the voice of the Oluso in a system designed to silence them. But the way is dangerous, Dèmi’s magic is growing yet uncertain, and she’s not sure if she can trust the two men at her side.

    A tale of rebellion and redemption, race and class, love and trust and betrayal, Forged by Blood is epic fantasy at its finest, from an enthusiastic, emerging voice.


    Ehigbor Okosun is an Austin-based author who writes speculative fiction for adult and young adult audiences. A British private school survivor turned Nigerian American immigrant, she hopes to do justice to the myths and traditions she was steeped in, and to honor her large, multiracial, and multiethnic family. She is a graduate of the University of Texas with degrees in Plan II Honors, neurolinguistics, and English, as well as chemistry and premedical studies, and was recently named a Cynthia Leitich Smith Writing Mentor Award finalist. When she’s not reading, you can catch her bullet journaling and baking.


    J. Elle is the New York Times bestselling author of young adult and middle-grade fantasy fiction and a 2022 NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth and Teens. Her work is being translated and distributed in over fifteen countries. The former educator credits her nomadic lifestyle and humble inner-city beginnings as inspiration for her novels. When she’s not writing, Elle can be found on the hunt for desserts without chocolate, looking for any excuse to get dressed up, and road-tripping her way across the country with her family of six plus four pets in tow.

  • IRL Author Talk: Dark Days with Roger Reeves: Fugitive Essays - August 4 at 7PM CST
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    Come celebrate the new essay collection, Dark Days: Fugitive Essays with National Book Award winner, Roger Reeves! 


    When: Friday, August 4 at 7 PM CST

    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden

    How:  RSVP ONLY to save your seat or RSVP with ticket to support the author or programming.


    A crucial book that calls for community, solidarity, and joy, even in—especially in—these dark days

    In his debut work of nonfiction, award-winning poet Roger Reeves finds new meaning in silence, protest, fugitivity, freedom, and ecstasy. Braiding memoir, theory, and criticism, Reeves juxtaposes the images of an opera singer breaking the state-mandated silence curfew by singing out into the streets of Santiago, Chile, and a father teaching his daughter to laugh out loud at the planes dropping bombs on them in Aleppo, Syria. He describes the history of the hush harbor—places where enslaved people could steal away to find silence and court ecstasy, to the side of their impossible conditions. In other essays, Reeves highlights a chapter in Toni Morrison’s Beloved to locate common purpose between Black and Indigenous peoples; he visits the realities of enslaved people on McLeod Plantation, where some of the descendants of those formerly enslaved lived into the 1990s; and he explores his own family history, his learning to read closely through the Pentecostal church tradition, and his passing on of reading as a pleasure, freedom, and solace to his daughter, who is frightened the police will gun them down.

    Together, these groundbreaking essays build a profound vision for how to see and experience the world in our present moment, and how to strive toward an alternative existence in intentional community underground. “The peace we fight and search for,” Reeves writes, “begins and ends with being still.”


    ROGER REEVES is the author of the poetry collections King Me and Best Barbarian. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a 2015 Whiting Award, and Radcliffe Fellowship from Harvard University. His essays and poems have appeared in Poetry, the New Yorker, Granta, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. He lives in Austin, Texas.


    Stevens is a Writer, Organizer, and Archivist. As part of the Kindred Stories family he is the Operations & Community Facilitator, and part-time Adjunct Professor. Stevens' current work and concentration is centered around his social-political analysis and its intersections with the arts, community, and revolutionary politics.
  • IRL Author Talk: Plantains & Our Coming with Melania Luisa Marte-August 24 at 7:30 PM CST
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    Celebrate the release of Plantains & Our Becoming with Melania Luisa Marte!
    When: Thursday, August 24 at 7:30 PM
    Where: Kindred Stories Reading Garden
    How: RSVP ONLY for free ticket or support the author by RSVP WITH BOOK. 
    PLANTAINS AND OUR BECOMING is an imaginative, blistering, beautifully written poetry collection about identity and history on the island of the Dominican Republic and Haiti to celebrate and center the Black Diasporic experience.

    Through the exploration of the themes of self-love, nationalism, displacement, generational traumas, and ancestral knowledge, this collection uproots Black stereotypes while creating a new joyous vision for Black identity and personhood, one that is deeply grounded in the heirlooms and teachings of Black celebration as well as preservation.

    The collection is structured in the following sections: Part I: Daughter of Diaspora, exploring immigration and identity within the U.S. Part II: A History of Plantains, exploring the aftermath of colonialism, displacement and gentrification for Afro-descendants.

    Melania Luisa Marte is a writer, poet, and musician from New York living between the Dominican Republic and Texas. Her viral poem “Afro-Latina” was featured by Instagram on their IG TV for National Poetry Month and has garnered over nine million views. Her work has also been featured by Ain’t I Latina, AfroPunk, The Root, Teen Vogue, Telemundo, Remezcla, PopSugar, and elsewhere.
    Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from San Antonio, TX, currently based in Houston. She is the author of We Are Owed. (Grieveland, 2021) and Sana Sana (Game Over Books, 2020). Ariana’s work investigates queer Black personhood in Mexican American spaces, Black relationality and girlhood, loneliness, and care. She holds a B.A. in African Diaspora Studies and Mexican American Studies, an M.F.A. in Poetry, and an M.S. in Library Science. Ariana is a 2014 national collegiate poetry slam champion and owes much of her practice to Black performance communities led by Black women poets from the South. She has been writing, performing, and teaching poetry for over ten years. Follow Ariana online @ArianaThePoet.

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