Books & Books To Open New Location at Arsht Center

Categories: Books, Literary

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It's a great time to be a book lover in South Florida. Popular literary destination Books & Books will once again expand its reach when it opens another location in the former Sears Tower on the campus of the Adrienne Arsht Center.

The new location, set to open by the end of the year, will house a café open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with seating for about 100, the Miami Herald reports. The Arsht Center spot is the latest addition to the Books & Books family, which includes outposts in Coral Gables, Miami Beach, and Bal Harbour.

See also: Miami Book Fair International Brings National Book Award Winners, Finalists to Miami

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Free Events This Week in Miami: Writing Workshop, Big Band Tunes, and Champagne

Categories: Art, Literary

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Photo by Laine Doss
Stop by Vinos in the Grove for some free champagne. You deserve it.
Football is back with a vengeance (or a misleading win, in the Dolphins' case), and thanks to Sunday Funday, Mondays are dragging more than ever. This whole five-day workweek thing has jumped the shark, wouldn't you say?

We feel your Monday through Friday pain, so here's a list of stuff to occupy you all week, till that blessed off time rolls around again.

See also: PHOTOSTREAM: Share Your Miami Instagrams in Dwntwn Arts Days Project

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Exile Books Pop-Up Premieres Saturday at Locust Projects

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Photo by Augusto Mendoza
Amanda Keeley has always found inspiration in artist's books. Now, the 2014 Knights Art Challenge finalist is readying her longtime project, Exile Books, for its Miami debut this weekend at Locust Projects. Exile Books is a traveling pop-up store installation dedicated to selling, supporting, and promoting publications produced by artists.

For the premiere pop-up, Keeley collaborated with New York painter Sarah Crowner, who has created a large installation that references the history of stage and set design, with Keeley sourcing materials about set design, theater, and dance performance for the location. The opening reception on Saturday also will feature the limited-edition monoprint of a theatrical playbill, created by Keeley and Crowner, that will be available for purchase. Books that inspired Crowner, like periodicals from the Art Brut movement, will be part of Exile's selection, in addition to three titles by the artist.

See also: Knights Arts Challenge Finalist Amanda Keeley Plans to Stage Pop-up Bookstores

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Reading Queer: Poet L. Lamar Wilson on the Struggle to Love God, and Each Other, Freely

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Courtesy José A. Villar-Portela
On Saturday, Miami's first gay literary festival, Reading Queer, hosted its headlining event at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, where poet and scholar L. Lamar Wilson read selections from his award-winning collection of poems, Sacrilegion. A Marianna, Fla. native, Wilson's poems have appeared in African American Review, Callaloo, jubilat, Los Angeles Review, The 100 Best African American Poems, and other publications.

The event opened with words from founder of the series, Neil de la Flor, the director Jose A. Villar-Portella, as well as Wilson on how he came to be involved in the series. Upon discovering Wilson, they fell in love with his voice and reached out to ask if he would consider headlining the series, with a "perfect ensemble of voices," says Villar-Portella.

See also: Reading Queer: Literary Festival Explores '80s Gay Cruising Culture

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Reading Queer: Literary Festival Explores '80s Gay Cruising Culture

Categories: LGBT, Literary

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Courtesy of Reading Queer via Facebook
This week in South Beach, artists and guests will take part in an interactive artistic and philosophical expression in the Reading Queer Series, which aims to inaugurate Miami as a center of queer literary culture.

The series kicked off at the Betsy Hotel in South Beach last Saturday, and continues with the artist group Digital Hostage Collective's Cruising Hialeah or Ghosts of Public Sex tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens.

See also: Former Miami Herald Reporter Reveals Gay Escapade in Havana

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Niall Harbison, Author of Get Sh*t Done, on How to Get Shit Done

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Courtesy of Get Shit Done on Facebook
Everybody wants to get shit done. Every day, people are buzzing about like busy little bees trying to get shit done. Our lives revolve around getting shit done. Or trying to. Sadly, almost nobody gets as much shit done as they'd like.

Enter Niall Harbison, an Irish author and entrepreneur who's all about teaching people exactly how to, well, get shit done. His book, appropriately titled Get Sh*t Done, is a best-seller in his home country. And now, he's on a mission to make it to the U.S. best-seller list, too.

To get there, he's on a wild two-week bucket list-inspired drive tour of the U.S. This week, he passed through Florida, where he totalled a car, hit up Miami Beach, and squeezed in the time to talk to Cultist.

See also: The Minimalists: Five Ways to Be Happy With Less Stuff

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Watch Miami Pedestrians Recite Poetry During O, Miami 2014

Categories: Literary

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The O, Miami Poetry Festival has dreamed up dozens of creative ways to expose Miamians to poetry: flying banners in the sky, sewing verses into thrift store clothing, marching through the streets dressed as dead poets.

But during O, Miami 2014, artist and writer Elena Errazuriz took a more straightforward approach. She stopped pedestrians on a busy downtown street corner near Miami Dade College, put a poem in their hands, and asked them to read it aloud.

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#6WordsMiami Challenges Miami Authors to Write Their Shortest Story Ever

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Ivan Delvasto
The scene at Miami Book Fair International.
Can you write a complete story in just six words? The Miami Book Fair International has put out a unique challenge called #6WordsMiami. If you can master the challenge, your story could be an official selection at the fair this November.

The contest reflects Miami's literary creativity, said Lissette Mendez, the program's director at the Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College.

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Miami Comic Book Trio to Debut The Agency at Florida Supercon

Categories: Art, Literary

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Courtesy of Think Alike Productions
In the midst of this weekend's Florida Supercon craziness, three Miamians will be bringing mage culture to the masses with their newly-launched comic masterpiece, The Agency.

Bethany Romero, Ruben Romero and Roger Cabrera are the local trio behind the new series, a Harry Potter meets Mission: Impossible style mash-up with killer graphics and a page-turning plot.

Look out, Stan Lee. A new generation is stepping in, and they come from the 305.

See also: The Ten Best Events at Florida Supercon 2014

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Author Julia Cooke on Life in Cuba: "I Miss How Important Every Moment Was"

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Courtesy of Julia Cooke
Much of the American perspective regarding Cuba remains dated, rooted in the same political milestones taught in high school history classes. Words like "restriction," "trade," and "government" often dominate the dialogue despite the changes taking hold of the island. Author Julia Cooke hopes to shift the conversation, from Cuba's politics to its people. Her new book, The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba, chronicles the years she spent living in Havana and the ongoing societal shift she observed.

International journalist and Portland-native Cooke first traveled to Cuba as a college student in 2003. During her studies, she fell in love with the people of Havana, whose exuberance for life and diverse stories took her aback.

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