Archive for January, 2021

World Calls: Micaela Gutierrez Tillet and Brenda Randall

Micaela Gutierrez-Tillet

We love this excerpt from Micaela Gutierrez Tillet’s interview on the Voyage Dallas website. It’s a cool site, with profiling interviews of Dallas Culture Trailblazers, and more. Click here to read the full interview and visit more Voyage Dallascontent.

Micaela Guiterrez Tillet: After moving to Dallas from Chicago in 2005, I was quickly moved to create a program to unite, educate & uplift for the greater good of Texas through the power of Music, Dance & Wellness. Personal background: dancer 35 years, teacher 26 years, choreographer 24 years, artist director 18 years, independent contractor 15 years, nurse 12 years, event coordinator ten years and short film director eight years.

Anything worth achieving in life is never easy but if you choose to ride the waves or climb the mountains of personal growth it will definitely change your life moving forward. A few of my personal experiences are as follows: 1. Standing alone with courage when truth is called for, 2. Being firm with expectations while also being flexible with modifications when necessary, 3. Failures isn’t a bad term… failing is an opportunity to sit back to debrief in Pros/Cons & if given the opportunity to do it again what would you do different, 4. Preparation is Key in knowing continuing education is everything, 5. Never allow yourself to be viewed as a Master because there’s always room for higher learning, 6. Sleeping in my car while auditioning for the 1997 NBA Chicago Bulls season was a reality in showing up & giving 100% no matter where you lay your head down at night, 7. There’s no such thing as balance when you’re a single mom it’s called sacrifice, 8. There’s no simple road in achieving success because challenges (obstacles) comes in all different forms and 9. Know your humble beginnings is your personal story as a survivor, not a victim.

Having the opportunity to mentor young women in business, the 1st thing I let them know is to write down 3 things that makes them happy, surround yourself with people who will ignite your vision and find that 1 quote by an Author who will spark your creativity every morning before you leave your home.

In the past 14 years with ORIZON, I’ve worn many hats: Artistic Director of a Performing Arts Company, choreographer, short film director, dancer, primary contractor for the United States Air Force, sports conditioning coach, dance teacher, event coordinator, higher learning educator in anthropology, youth to adult programs, traveled to 14 countries & 58 USA cities teaching, Bless Up Festival, creator of Dancehall Texas (alliance), public speaker, building confidence in one’s truth and an ongoing Afro-Caribbean dance class in Texas.

My proudest experience is knowing the positive impact the ORIZON program has made in other peoples lives, What makes Orizon different? Orizon is an umbrella to many outstanding present programs: Afro-Caribbean, Dancehall Texas, Female empowerment workshops + short films, Sports Conditioning, Bless Up Festival and mentoring aspiring teachers.

Speak your truth with grace and choose to attend different workshops to understand the road you want to walk or lead. Don’t be afraid to travel out of your comfort zone. Lean into intrigue & adventure when meeting new people or experiences. Be prepared to work odd jobs so that you can achieve the next level, stay open-minded in the meantime. Allow yourself to have the full experience without guilt. If you want something in this World you must get off your a** & work for it. And challenge yourself to read many different kinds of leadership books inorder to instill different perspectives as well as to help you build confidence in knowing by fact… no matter a person’s title in life we are ALL connected as human beings.

What has worked for me: Research, a lot of reading, writing out a plan or idea, traveling abroad to experience truth, choosing to have a voice, to walk through a challenge with my chin up knowing my struggle as a woman is nothing compared to the generation before me of strong women & minority men, allowing myself to marinate in each stage of life, giving back, acknowledging the southside spirit resides in me no matter the task at hand, tuning out the naysayers, finding peace with choices, God’s plan (not religious view) is bigger than my initial plan and diving completely in (100%) towards what I love. (Tillett’s responses were excerpted from interview with Voyage Dallas)

Brenda Randall

B Randall

Brenda Randall is a poet and organizational leader for the longest running showcase of women’s poetry in Dallas at South Dallas Cultural Center. She is co-host of “Verse and Rhythm” at Oak Cliff Cultural Center, “In the Words of a Sista” at Dallas Black Academy of Arts and Letters and numerous other readings.  She studied at Texas Women’s University.  

The video uses her poem and narration to present her perspectives of truth and beauty as tolerance and love. Micaela creates a multi-cultural visualization response, incorporating Brenda, dancers and other cast to invoke these components of truth and beauty.

Did You Hear Me Scream

By B Randall  7-12-17© All Rights Reserved Property of Brenda Randall

i feel hollow inside raw at the core 

Don’t stand too close 

i don’t know if i will implode or explode 

Now i am dancing to some side beat and it has me coming apart at the seams 

It is not My Beat

       But I am Still dancing

i can’t seem to find My Strength, My Shield and My Fortress

Did you know sometimes my smile 

pierces what could become my joy 

and i emotionally bleed out 

My Strength, My Shield and Fortress, Please!

Did you hear me scream?

                  i am getting tired

There are days when the snoring of the demons in my head 

frighten the monsters under my bed 

into the arms of the skeletons in my closet

and i can’t find the Holy Ghost anywhere 

Because This Is My War

My Personal Battle

Can somebody stop my tears and save me from drowning? 

There are no superheroes 

searching for the light within me 

it is to dim for them to see 

Maybe if i could take the crumbled glass from my throat you could hear me scream

Where is My Strength, My Shield and Fortress?

Can somebody see me slipping away?

                   If not

It is because i am so good at what i do

Wanna see my scars, my hurt?

You can’t because i have been hiding them underneath smiles and the big roar of laughter and pretense of tears of joy

Can anybody hear me scream?

If i am not here anymore 

Tell them i cut my skin to let the light in

Maybe the Superheroes 

Maybe…The Holy Ghost can find me now

Words of a Sista: B Randall

Micaela Gutierrez-Tillet: Dancer, Choreographer, Film Maker, Educator
Artiste Extraordinaire

Ekphrastic Writing Contest

And the winners are: Click here

Areola Eyes – I’m a Baddie by Carolina Reyes: View and get started!

Guest Juror: Mairead Case 


Submission Fee: $5 for contest entry. You may enter more than once. One submission per entry.

Feedback/Critique from Mairead Case: $25 (Total payment: $30)

Deadline: April 15, 2021.


1st Prize $100 plus interview & recording of your work on our website. 

2nd Prize $75 plus video recording of your work on our website.

3rd Prize $50 plus video recording of your work on our website.

Honorable Mention: Video recording of your work on our website.

The winners will also be announced and promoted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Press Release and Mass Mail. 

General Guidelines:

Submit one written work, in any genre that responds, reacts, bounces off  Areola Eyes / I’m a Baddie.  Maximum of 500 words. 

Please format your submission double-spaced and include a word count. 

In the top header, please add the title and page numbers. 

Include the title AND your last name in the document name.

In the cover letter: Include a short bio

Selecting the critique option for your submission does not guarantee your submission will be selected as a winner or for publication online, but it does guarantee a summary of insights, and recommendations on your work.  

About Mairead Case

MAIREAD CASE (rhymes with parade; she her hers) is a writer, teacher, and editor. Mairead learns about and works in radical anti-racist pedagogy, embodied queer theory, narrative, poetry, the US prison industrial complex, and the public.

Currently, Mairead teaches English in Denver Public Schools, the Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, the Colorado School of Mines and at the Denver women’s jail. She is also Associate Editor at Maggot Brain, a magazine edited by Mike McGonigal and published by Third Man Records. Mairead has been a Legal Observer for the National Lawyers Guild for over a decade, and keeps equity, diversity, and inclusion at the forefront of all her work.

Mairead is the author of the novels Tiny and See You In the Morning(featherproof), the poetry chapbook TENDERNESS (Meekling Press), the TO THE TEETH column at Entropy, and, with David Lasky, the forthcoming Georgetown Steam Plant Graphic Novel.

Mairead earned degrees from the University of Notre Dame (BA, Great Books and French) the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA-W), and the University of Denver (PhD, English and Creative Writing; AHSS Fellow) as well as anti-racism trainings from the Chicago Freedom School and the Highlander Center. She has an RYT-200 through Courageous Yoga.

Mairead teaches, reads, and organizes widely, at places including the Poetry Foundation Library, the Naropa Summer Writing Program, the Public Media Institute, the Pitchfork Book Fort, the Bronx Museum, Neighborhood Public Radio at the Whitney Biennial, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Young Chicago Authors, the Chicago Public Library, and Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop. She was awarded residencies and fellowships from Ragdale, ACRE, the Wassaic Project, Seattle Arts and Culture, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; presents regularly at AWP and the Museum of Pop Culture; and has published in POETRYJSTOR DailyLos Angeles Review of BooksThe New InquiryPitchforkBest American Comics, and other places.

WordSpace and The Dharma Beauty Pageant are honored to have Mairead Case “all-in” as Guest Juror and Feedback professional. We love this recent interview with Mairead on the Largehearted Boy website. Mairead’s talks about her writing process for her recently release book, Tiny, and includes her playlist during the process.

Mairead Case’s Playlist for Her Novel “Tiny”

January 5, 2021

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Jesmyn WardLauren GroffBret Easton EllisCeleste NgT.C. BoyleDana SpiottaAmy BloomAimee BenderRoxane Gay, and many others.

Mairead Case’s novel Tiny is an immersive modern retelling of Antigone set in the Pacific Northwest, a poignant exploration of grief and mourning.

In her words, here is Mairead Case’s Book Notes music playlist for her novel Tiny:

When I wrote the first drafts of Tiny, I was in my head, all of the time. I wanted to understand my attraction to death, and at the same time, to stop myself from haunting myself. I was terribly sincere about it, and so I embarrassed myself sometimes. (I also figured a lot out; all embarrassment means is that you’re blocked.) When I wrote the last drafts, I moved just as much as I sat, and my loneliness was no longer sucking the air out of the room. This process was awful, bewildering, joyful, and necessary, and I was never completely alone in it. As a result, but also because of the pandemic, I don’t remember writing all of the sentences in Tiny, though I do recognize them all as me, and I can tell which came from the Head Drafts and which ones came after. Each one needs the others to work. Recognizing this made me a better listener.

The key line was always songs. When I play this mix, which I built during all drafts, I feel it in my fists, my hips, and nowhere at all (in which case, I’m listening to the lyrics). I am not Tiny, but I think she’d hear these songs like I did, and do. In that sense this is also a mix for her. The Frankie Knuckles song is actually in the book, and so are X, Le Tigre, and Iggy Pop and David Bowie, though they aren’t on this playlist. The songs I listened to most while writing were Magnolia Electric Company’s “Farewell Transmission”; Destroyer’s “This Just Doesn’t Happen”; Julius Eastman’s “Stay On It,” which is a new medicine for me; and most of all, the Velvet Underground’s “Temptation Inside Your Heart.” “I can listen to myself.” My cat Hero now chirps at the swirling sounds in that one. I think she thinks they’re our friends, and so now they are.


1. “Untitled #1,” Pretty Girls Make Graves
2. “Young Lions,” Constantines
3. “Temptation Inside Your Heart,” Velvet Underground
4. “No One,” Jenn Champion
5. “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On,” Talking Heads
6. “Here’s Your Future,” The Thermals
7. “Yesterday’s News,” Gossip
8. “Learning the Game,” Buddy Holly
9. “Ashes to Ashes,” Jenny Hval
10. “bury a friend,” Billie Eilish
11. “Sock It to Me,” Colleen Green
12. “That’s Us / Wild Combination,” Arthur Russell
13. “The True Wheel,” Brian Eno
14. “Demons,” Fatboy Slim, feat. Macy Gray 
15. “When I Was Done Dying,” Dan Deacon
16. “Ceremony,” New Order
17. “Shark Smile,” Big Thief
18. “The Source of Uncertainty,” Tortoise
19. “Down by the Water (demo),” PJ Harvey
20. “Ha Ha Ha Armageddon,” The Julie Ruin
21. “What Part of Me,” Low
22. “I Am a Scientist,” Guided By Voices
23. “He War,” Cat Power
24. “Turned to String,” No Age
25. “Your Love,” Frankie Knuckles, feat. Jamie Principle
26. “Sketch for Summer,” The Durutti Column
27. “I Want More,” CAN
28. “Atlantic City,” Bruce Springsteen
29. “Farewell Transmission,” Songs: Ohia
30. “Real Death,” Mount Eerie
31. “Loner,” Dehd
32. “It Just Doesn’t Happen,” Destroyer
33. “French Disko,” Stereolab
34. “Fall Asleep,” Big Joanie
35. “Drone Bomb Me,” ANOHNI
36. “Slip Away,” Perfume Genius
37. “Tugboat,” Galaxie 500
38. “Unfucktheworld,” Angel Olsen
39. “Don’t Lie to Me,” Big Star
40. “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” Lucy Dacus
41. “The Truth,” Handsome Boy Modeling School
42. “Les Fleurs,” Minnie Riperton
43. “Stay On It,” Julius EastmanM

Monika Bowman Bell

Monika Bowman Bell : In your sleep by black sheet curtains hung with tacks

Monika Bowman uses imagery of the natural world to reflect riddles of the human mind within her visual, performative, musical and written works. She has showcased and performed all over Dallas since 2009. Camping, meditation, ocean waves on warm days, and writing achy songs for her band, Mad Mother Goblin, gives her the ultimate joy. Her story, Born Hearts Upside Down has been published by HerStry Blog. @madmothergoblin |

in your sleep by black sheet curtains hung with tacks

My breasts are

dunes of sand

relaxed and moving

wild is the wind on 

horizon’s heated chorus

I sing, cling to me

oasis, you glisten

lowly rambling for 

strike of boons

infinite span of desert miles

shifting mountain ranges

paths afloat, stifled 

swollen forces of

the dunes groan in

trepidation of parting

wavering voices

defensive banshees

violent humming sears

consumed and consuming

Surrounding and surrounded 

one by one and all at once

swift rippling waves

a dry ocean, a top

once the bottom

static limbs beneath 

rumbling blankets

await atomic effleurage

coiled drums shatter

nourished hearts 

a mirage of plenty

trickling shivers 

down the incline

keening within

release with solicitude

I fly away scathed

grain by grain

like dew to foggy vapor.

About Dharma Broads

A brief summary of past DB productions and participants: Past shows took place over 3 day weekends of Augusts, 2004-7, to soldout audiences at Katherine Owens’s Undermain Theatre. Each artist contributed multiple vignettes, stitched into the fabric of the whole; and all relating to a central theme. The original production featured a core cast of Karen Minzer, Tammy Gomez, Laney Yarber, Isabella-Russell Ides, with each subsequent show incorporating new artists selected to fit the moment and overarching themes

Dharma Broads I: Yoga Fusion Theater: Alice Lee, Isabella Russell-Ides, Rod Russell-Ides, Laney Yarber, Tammy Gomez, Karen Minzer, Adrian Bronough, Tex Venturous, Emily Aberg and Anna Minzer. Anne Waldman and Jello Biafra appeared via Dial-a-Poet Television videos and ambient video provided by Suze Riddle, Dave Hynds, and Ira Cohen. Maria Golia introduced the show, live, from Cairo. Technical support: Scott Means. Stage manager: Suze Riddle.

Dharma Broads II: The Arc of Awareness: Letitia Eldredge, John Fullingwider, Isabella Russell-Ides, Tammy Gomez, Chinook Wusduh, Karen Minzer, Laney Yarber, call-in reading by Ed Sanders, who described the Dharma Broads Productions as a “fear of Fall” project. Technical support: Cesar Herrera. Stage manager: Debs Phillips.

Dharma Broads III: Zenphrastic: Tammy Gomez, Laney Yarber, Karen Minzer, Ricardo Garza, Lisa Huffaker, April Bartos, Eileen Maxey, and Isabella Russell-Ides debuting a full-cast trailer of Chalk Temple, which later became an award winning play length production. Ira Cohen appears via Dial-in reading. Technical support: Mark Ridlen. Stage manager: Tim Cloward

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