The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir tells the story of the smartest kid on his block in East Baltimore, D. was certain he would escape the life of drugs, decadence, and violence that had surrounded him since birth. But when his brother Devin is shot days after D. receives notice that he’s been accepted into Georgetown University the plans for his life explode, and he takes up the mantel of his brother’s crack empire. D. succeeds in cultivating the family business, but when he meets a woman unlike any he’s known before, his priorities are once more put into question. Equally terrifying and hilarious, inspiring and heartbreaking, D.’s story offers a rare glimpse into the mentality of a person who has escaped many hells.
“D. Watkins is beautifully unusual. Having lived the horrors within the heart of our inner city Baltimore first-hand and having acquired the heights of collegiate achievement, D. Watkins is uniquely equipped to communicate our political and social challenges of urban America not only through the lens of academia but through empirical knowledge as well. He is the voice of the future seamlessly blending the wisdom of the streets and intellectual prowess in a way I have never experienced before.” —Jada Pinkett Smith
“D. Watkins is his generation’s David Simon. Another brilliant storyteller who takes you into the heart of East Baltimore and never flinches as he shows you the real.” —Touré, author of Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now
D. Watkins is a columnist for Salon; his work has been published in the New York Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone and other publications. He is also a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. He holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including BME Fellowship. He has lectured at countless universities and public events around the country. Watkins has been featured as a guest and commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s The Erin Burnett Show, MSNBC Melissa Harris-Perry Show, Democracy Now!, and NPR’s Monday Morning among other shows.Watkins is from and lives in East Baltimore.
A riveting look inside the Baltimore drug trade and an incredible raw story of recognition and redemption.
The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir is published by Grand Central Publishing Hardcover; May 3, 2016.
Thursday, May 5, 2016, 7:00 PM
Revolution Books, 437 Malcolm X Blvd. (131 – 132nd Street), New York, NY 10037