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Duende District Bookstore

Washington D.C.

1380 Monroe St NW Unit 422, Washington DC 20010

What are the 3 adjectives you would use to describe your bookstore?

Curated, Decolonized, Celebratory

Share a quote from a book or poem that bares your bookstore’s soul.

“Today we do not see death. we see the light erupting from each others’ unbreakable spirit, the way the sun erupts from the mediterranean every single morning. & my god, aren’t we unstoppable & my god, aren’t we free & my god, aren’t we staying that way & my god, isn’t this holiness exactly what we deserve?”

Adam Hamze, “more alive than ever”

Why was your bookstore founded/what role does it play in the community?

Duende District was founded in 2017 to decolonize the bookstore space and uplift the brilliant (yet often overlooked) work of people of color throughout the book industry, while simultaneously creating community conversations for and by BIPOC. Duende District partners with BIPOC-owned organizations/businesses throughout the country to create warm, welcoming, tiny boutique bookstores that uplift and celebrate the many voices and talents of BIPOC through a highly curated book selection and author event series.

Which champion/warrior/wildcat (real or mythological) does your bookstore channel most?

Zora Neale Hurston

What makes your bookstore unique?

Duende District prides itself on its high-quality curation. We focus on the best new books by BIPOC writers & illustrators creating today, whether with “traditional” publishers or self-published. It’s vital to us that any book we sell not have the white gaze be centered, nor our oppression be glorified, and we are represented in all our beautiful facets of life, from romance novels to children’s picture books.

What is something that no one knows about your bookstore?

Our founder and many of the bookstore’s team are poets. The name Duende District came from the poet Federico García Lorca’s theory of “duende,” or “Deep Song,” which he describes as “a momentary burst of inspiration, the blush of all that is truly alive.”

Image description: A multi-textured blue background, including textures and words from book pages.