Politics and Prose: Booklover Destination

About the Store

Politics and Prose is a famed independent DC bookstore. Originally founded in 1984 by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade, the store continues to serve the US Capitol’s bibliophiles. The store’s present-day owners state their mission as: “Politics and Prose is a D.C. based business devoted to cultivating community and strengthening the common good through books, programs, and a respectful exchange of ideas. We’re committed to exceptional customer service and to the values of independence, inclusion, and diversity.” Their selection includes everything from history to children’s literature. Additionally, the store’s excellent customer service is exemplified by the staff’s ability to give on point recommendations.

Events and Opportunities

Plan your trip to Politics and Prose during one of their author’s talks. Authors speak at the store almost every day, and there are usually multiple events on the weekends. Attending is a great way to hear more about a novelist’s writing process or a political theory. I recently attended a conversation with beloved science fiction authors Ted Chiang and Karen Russel. Chiang’s most recent work is Exhalation: Stories, and Russel’s is Orange World and Other Stories. The room was full, the discussion interesting, and I left with a renewed interest in science fiction. Upcoming events feature David Epstein, Amanda Little, and Alexander Hemon. After the event, authors are available to sign copies of their books. Events are free and open to the public, but seating is on a  first come first served basis.

For a fee, you can have an even more in-depth experience at one of the Politics and Prose classes or DC tours. Classes cover topics such as writing techniques, classic and modern literature, and poetry. One upcoming class series, The Odyssey & Argonautica, delves into Homer’s Odyssey. The class gives a special nod to the translation by Emily Wilson, who is the first woman to translate the epic poem into English. For history and spy buffs, the upcoming 22 June tour ‘Summertime with the Georgetown Set’ gets into the details Washington political elites and espionage.



Politics and Prose has three locations in DC. The original location is at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, with additional locations at 70 District Square SW and 1270 5th Street NE. Their hours on Connecticut Ave are from 8 am to 10 pm every day except Sundays, when the store closes at 8 pm.  The Connecticut location also hosts a coffeehouse in case you feel hungry after browsing. For details regarding the additional locations, please click here.

Next time you stay at our bed and breakfast near Dupont Circle, be sure to make a trip to P&P! It’s another great thing to do in Washington DC.


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