Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Master Class with Mitchell S. Jackson

What: Mitchell S. Jackson MASTER CLASS
Saturday, February 7th, 3-4:30 pm

Where: Lucky Dog Books, 633 W. Davis St.
Fee: $40

WordSpace is proud to offer a master class with Mitchell S. Jackson on Feb. 7th in conjunction with his Dallas performance Feb. 6 @ SDCC. Click here for the show and read on for information on how to submit. 

We invite you to submit a short story or excerpt of 15 pages, double-space for consideration to be discussed in the workshop.

We will pass along the best manuscripts for consideration to Jackson and he will choose which ones to discuss in class. Space is limited. Manuscripts sent in earlier will be given priority for consideration. Follow the link below to submit. 



Mitchell S. Jackson is a Portland, Oregon native who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is a 2014 Lannan Foundation Fellow and winner of the Ernest Gaines prize for fiction and has been the recipient of fellowships from Urban Artist Initiative and The Center For Fiction and the Hurston Wright Foundation’s award. Jackson teaches writing at New York University. His novel The Residue Years was praised by publications such as The New York Times, The Times of London, and O, the Oprah Magazine. The novel was a finalist for the Center For Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First novel prize, the PEN/ Hemingway award for first fiction, The Hurston / Wright Legacy Award for best fiction by a writer of African descent; it was long-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize for writing.

We will notify you by Feb. 5th if accepted. Payment will be due immediately. 

Mary Helen Specht

What: First Hearings
Who: Mary Helen Specht

When: Thursday, February 19, 7 pm
Where: The Wild Detectives, 14 West Eighth Street, 75208, in Bishop Arts District
Hosted by: Charles Dee Mitchell
Charles Dee Mitchell curates and hosts the series First Hearings. Meet authors. Hear them read. Buy their books. Get their autographs. (And the bar will be open for business.)
Mary Helen Specht  was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. She has a B.A. in English from Rice University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College, where she won the department’s fiction award. Her writing has been nominated for multiple Pushcart Prizes and has appeared in numerous publications, including: The New York TimesThe Colorado ReviewPrairie SchoonerMichigan Quarterly ReviewThe Southwest ReviewFlorida ReviewSouthwestern American LiteratureWorld Literature TodayBlue MesaHunger MountainBookslutThe Texas Observer; and Night Train, where she won the Richard Yates Short Story Award.
A past Fulbright Scholar to Nigeria and Dobie-Paisano Writing Fellow, Specht teaches creative writing at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
“An ambitious, highly accomplished debut. . . . Specht moves among a deep cast of characters and corresponding perspectives with absolute mastery. . . . Most important, and impressive, is Specht’s sure handling of the interior life.”
Ben Fountain, author ofBilly Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk


Val B @ Dallas Poetry Slam

What: WordSpace Feature Series @ Dallas Poetry Slam
: Friday, February 20, 8 pm
Where: Heroes, 7402 Greenville Avenue
Hosted by: RockBaby and GNO
Admission: $5, WordSpace Members Free

IMG_20140611_150745-300x300My government name is Vallerie Birdow. I’m 26 years old. I was born in Fort Worth, raised in Cuney, Texas, and went to school k-12 in Palestine, Texas. I graduated from PHS in 2006, then moved to Houston to attend Texas Southern University. I transferred to UT Tyler after my junior year where I’m currently completing the Bachelors of Arts in psychology degree program.

I got into poetry while going out to open mic venues when I was living in Houston. I was intrigued by the energy in the places. It was always calm, yet exciting. I loved watching artists bare their souls before crowds. I started writing as a way to release stress and tension and decided to perform a personal poem one night at an open mic. I got a great response from the audience and they seemed to like it so I started writing more and releasing on stage at whatever open mics I could find. After an open mic performance at Heroes Lounge for the first time, I was asked to be a feature, and that has been my only breakthrough in poetry thus far but I hope to have more.


Mitchell S. Jackson




























When: February 6, 7:30 pm
Where: South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 Fitzhugh
VIP Reception: 6:30-7:30, Refreshments provided by Buttons!
More Info:

Mitchell S. Jackson is a Portland, Oregon native who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He received an M.A. in writing from Portland State University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University. He has been the recipient of fellowships from Urban Artist Initiative and The Center For Fiction and is the former winner of the Hurston Wright Foundation’s award for college writers. Jackson teaches writing at New York University. He published the e-book Oversoul: Stories and Essays in the summer of 2012. His novel The Residue Years was released in the summer of 2013 and was praised by publications such as The New York Times, The Times of London, and O, the Oprah Magazine. The novel was a finalist for the Center For Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First novel prize, the PEN/ Hemingway award for first fiction, The Hurston / Wright Legacy Award for best fiction by a writer of African descent; it was long-listed for the William Saroyan International Prize for writing and the Chautauqua Prize. As well, it was named an “Honor Book” by the BCALA

WordSpace is honored to partner with South Dallas Cultural Center to present great writers in conjunction with their theater series “Black Pain Black Power”. 

About South Dallas Cultural Center: 

With everything from classes for the education-minded to finger-poppin’ jazz jams for the young and the old hipsters, the SDCC, located just outside the Fair Park complex, is a community resource for all Dallas residents. With a wide variety of programs inspired by the vibrancy and diversity of the African Diaspora, the SDCC seeks to educate and inspire through the visual, media, literary and performing arts.
Join the South Dallas Cultural Center on facebook and sign up to receive our e-newsletter!

About Buttons: 15207 ADDISON ROAD, Addison, Texas, 972.503.2888
Buttons is built around the idea that the ‘love of great food’ and ‘music’ are universal, the idea that diversity is beautiful and that all people have much in common. We strive to offer much more than a plate of great food…we create a great experience. 

Buttons has been creating this Vibe since our opening in Fort Worth in 2008. The vision caught on so well in Fort Worth, and so many of our guests were coming all the way from Dallas and Addison, we decided to bring the Vibe to Addison and opened our second location, Buttons Addison there in September of 2009. The response in Addison was overwhelmingly positive and we are grateful that our new location was so readily embraced. We also believed that many of our guests would like a more intimate, supper club feel so we decided to launch the Buttons Jazz Cafe in Desoto in April of 2011. The Jazz Cafe focuses on Chef Hicks’ signature cuisine combined with a more intimate style of musical offerings. We have had requests to expand to numerous other cities and it is our ambition to expand nationally. We have received many awards for our upscale Southern cuisine and for our Live Music, but in many ways we measure our success by our guests. We love being a diverse venue, where people of different backgrounds and races mingle, eat, laugh and dance together. It is our mission to bring that experience around the country, to be a place where our guests have joyful experiences and where people from different backgrounds get to know one another. Chef Keith Hicks is known for his signature upscale Southern menu featuring classics like Chicken and Waffles and Shrimp Fish and Gritz, and Old School Pot Roast. Chef Hicks has made comfort food into an art form and above all we are a restaurant with outstanding food. To help create the ambience we crave, we feature live music in all Buttons locations. Jazz, R&B, Blues and Motown era music are the staples, and most evenings many of our guests are dancing by the end of the night. We have a unique mission for a restaurant, and our staff are the ones who make it a reality. They are passionate about what we stand for as a company and are partners in the movement. They have become the Buttons family. We operate on a few simple principals:

  • Create a great experience by serving award winning food accompanied by soulful live music.
  • Treat each and every guest like we were inviting them into our homes.
  • Show respect for each and every guest and each and every staff member

Those are the guiding lights for Buttons, and while they are few we believe if we follow them we can achieve great things together.


Cancelled: LeAnne Howe

Due to unforeseen circumstances LeAnne Howe has cancelled her upcoming Dallas appearance. Stay tuned for new dates.

What: 1st Hearings presents LeAnne Howe
When: Sunday, February 22, 7 pm

Where: The Wild Detectives
Hosted by: Charles Dee Mitchell

Student Readers from Yavneh Academy: Denise Folz & Cassie Gross

LeAnne will be guest presenter at the Yavneh Academy Arts Day, annually organized by Dr. Tim Cloward.

LeAnne Howe (born in 1951) is an American author and English Department Chair at University of Georgia. An enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Howe’s work has been published in a variety of journals and anthologies. Her book Shell Shaker received the Before Columbus Foundation‘s American Book Award for 2002.

Howe is an author, playwright, and scholar. Born and educated in Oklahoma, she writes fiction, creative non-fiction, plays, poetry, and screenplays that primarily deal with American Indian experiences. She has read her fiction and been an invited lecturer in Japan, Jordan, Israel, Romania, and Spain. Founder and director of WagonBurner Theatre Troop, her plays have been produced in Los Angeles, New York City, New Mexico, Maine, Texas, and Colorado.

Howe is the screenwriter and on-camera narrator for the 90-minute PBS documentary Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire. The documentary takes Howe to the North Carolina homelands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to discover how their fusion of tourism, community, and cultural preservation is the key to the tribe’s health in the 21st century.

She is also writer/co-producer of a new documentary project, Playing Pastime: American Indian Fast-Pitch Softball, and Survival, with three-time Emmy award-winning filmmaker, James Fortier. The story is about the southeastern tribes and Indians who have been playing baseball and fast-pitch softball since the 1880s in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. Production began in August 2004.

Howe’s first novel, Shell Shaker (Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco), received an American Book Award in 2002 from the Before Columbus Foundation. The novel was a finalist for the 2003 Oklahoma Book Award, and awarded Wordcraft Circle Writer of the Year, 2002, Creative Prose.Equinoxes Rouge, the French translation, was the 2004 finalist for Prix Médicis étranger, one of France’s top literary awards.

Evidence of Red (Salt Publishing, UK, 2005), a collection of poetry and prose, rails against lost lands and lovers, heralds death and mad warriors, and celebrates a doomed love affair between Hollywood’s invented characters: “Noble Savage” and “Indian Sports Mascot”. This collection of lyric and prose poems won the Oklahoma States Book Award in 2005. Portions of the book were featured in the third edition of The World Is a Text(Prentice Hall, 2008) by Jonathan Silverman and Dean Rader.

Miko Kings, an Indian baseball novel set in Ada, Oklahoma in 1907 and also 1969 and 2006, was published in 2007 by Aunt Lute Books. The story centers on Choctaw journalist Lena Coulter and on Hope Little Leader, the Choctaw pitcher who had the most contorted windup in Indian baseball history. Other characters are slugger Blip Bleen, catcher Batteries Goingsnake, first baseman Lucius Mummy, also known as “the barrel” and Ezol Day, a Choctaw postal clerk in Indian Territory who tries to patent her Choctaw theory of relativity and inadvertently changes the course of history for the Indians and their baseball team. “This is where the ‘twentieth-century Indian’ really begins”, says Henri Day, “not in the abstractions of Congressional Acts—but on the prairie diamond.”

Though she is best known for her fiction, Howe is also an accomplished scholar. She has authored a book chapter on Choctaw history, contributed two important essays on her theory of “tribalography”, and collaborated on literary criticism projects with Craig Howe (no relation), Harvey Markowitz, and Dean Rader. Howe has been a visiting professor at Carleton College, Grinnell College, Sinte Gleska University in Mission, South Dakota, on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, and at the University of Cincinnati in the Women’s Studies Department. In 2003 she was the Louis D. Rubin Jr. Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University, Roanoke, Virginia. In 2006-07 she was the John and Renee Grisham’s Writer-in-Residence, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. In May 2008, Howe was awarded a Poetry Fellowship at Soul Mountain Retreat, sponsored by former Connecticut poet Laureate Marilyn Nelson in East Haddam, Connecticut. In March 2010, Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story was the 2009-10 Read-in Selection for Hampton University, Hampton VA. Hampton University also held a mini-literary conference on Miko Kings. Ten papers and 3 panel discussions were given on the novel during the conference. In March 2011, Howe was awarded the Tulsa Library Trust’s “American Indian Author Award” at the Central Library, Tulsa Oklahoma.

In 2010-2011, Howe was a J. William Fulbright Scholar in Amman, Jordan where she taught American Indian and American literatures at theUniversity of Jordan, Amman. She was also researching a new novel set in both Transjordan, 1917 and in Allen, Oklahoma, 2011. Currently Howe is a Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in American Indian Studies, English, and Theater.

Students who have worked with Howe have gone on to work for the Chicago Sun Times, and The New York Times. They are both native and non natives who have published memoir, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Some former students are now working in professional theater companies, while others are teachers.

In 2012 Ms. Howe was the recipient of a United States Artists Fellow award.


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February 2015
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