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SATURDAY

When poet Gary Lilley and visual artist Renée Stout collaborated on Hoodoo You Love, the second art-lit book from the Black Rooster Workshop, they made a conscious decision to include prose. “[W]e’ve stepped out of our comfort zones,” Lilley writes in the introduction, “and decided…to create in an unfamiliar genre, to not play our principle instruments, to take a risk.” The risk pays off: The prose is some of the book’s strongest writing. True blues people, Lilley and Stout take readers to New Orleans, Mississippi, North Carolina, and back to D.C., stopping at every proper juke joint along the way. Their muse is a hollerin’ hoodoo ghost of black tradition. In Lilley’s story, “maddie walked right on in,” the blues takes the form of a “real pretty woman.” “I looked up from the piano and damn near forgot that I was singin’….If viewin’ her from the front was a blessin’, watchin’ her behind as she moved away was truly the benediction.” Stout and Lilley read from and sign copies of their book at 1 p.m. at Sisterspace & Books, 1515 U St. NW. Free. (202) 332-3433. (Holly Bass)

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