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Published on February 26, 2024
Boston's Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola Set to Open Literature Hub in Dorchester This JuneSource: Just Book-ish Official Website

Bringing a slice of literary culture to Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, the city’s poet laureate Porsha Olayiwola, alongside business partner Bing Broderick, is set to open a new bookstore that doubles as a community hub this June. Named justBook-ish, the space is envisioned as more than just a retail spot, aiming to center community through literature and a diverse array of events, according to Boston.com.

Located at 1463 Dorchester Ave, the storefront will be on the ground floor of the Dot Crossing Apartments and feature readings, music, workshops, and refreshments, including an anticipated beer and wine list. Woven into the fabric of the Dorchester community, this initiative caters to the locals with a curated selection of works that represent the diverse voices of the area, spanning languages and subject matter. A GoFundMe campaign is currently underway to stock the nascent venue with 9,000 titles, per information from the bookstore’s official website.

The pair behind justBook-ish are no strangers to creating inclusive spaces in Boston. Broderick formerly directed Haley House, a nonprofit with deep roots in the South End and Roxbury where the duo's past collaboration laid the foundation for their current project. Olayiwola told Boston.com, "I think right now there’s a lot changing in Boston and a lot particularly in Dorchester, and I think having a place where people do feel like they have agency and do see their neighbors is really important at a time like this."

The design and construction of justBook-ish reflect their community-oriented ethos, with work handled by ERise, a Black-owned business, and the designers who also worked on the Dorchester Food Co-op. In a city known for its intellectual and cultural cachet, Olayiwola and Broderick are endeavoring to ensure that the everyday brilliance of the Dorchester community is not only recognized but also celebrated. From children's literature to an array of fiction and nonfiction titles, the bookstore will offer a rich tapestry of genres, as Broderick emphasized the importance of hospitality, "We want people to hop off the T on the way home from work and see what’s going on because there’s always something going on there."