Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Freedman’s Town to Botham Jean: Stories for Racial Healing

“Freedman’s Town to Botham Jean: Stories For Racial Healing” is a live storytelling show featuring 7 diverse Dallasites sharing their true, personal stories about racial tension in Dallas.

Have you experienced racism? Are you dealing with your privilege? We are actively seeking storytellers for this show from all generations. Send in your story today for consideration! Details at www.freedmanstownshow.com.

Directed by master storyteller Dr. Njoki McElroy and produced by Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales)’s Nicole Stewart, this magical storytelling experience will provide historical context to racial tension between blacks and whites in Dallas while offering a very personal lens through which to understand what our wounds are so we may acknowledge and heal them. The 75-minute show features seven individuals performing their 8-minute stories, one-by-one with short musical interludes in between speakers.

The greatest tool we have for racial healing and understanding each other is sharing our stories. Together, we can transform our city!

Dr. Njoki McElroy

Oral Fixation is honored to welcome Dr. Njoki McElroy, playwright, storyteller, and scholar as the director of its upcoming show “Freedman’s Town to Botham Jean: Stories for Racial Healing.”

Dr. McElroy is a Dallas native who moved to Chicago during the Great Migration. Her development of theatre with urban youth in the Chicago area drew notice from a professor at Northwestern University where she ultimately earned her doctorate in Performance Studies and taught for over 30 years. She developed the courses Performance of Black Literature and African American Folklore, which she continued to teach at Southern Methodist University in the Master of Liberal Studies program when she returned to Dallas in the 1980s.

Dr. McElroy comes to “Freedman’s Town to Botham Jean: Stories for Racial Healing” after directing “Our Stories: Bridging Communities, Building Trust” in collaboration with Cara Mia Theatre in 2018



Martha Heimberg Salon: Robert Bly w/ special guest Laney Yarber

Photo by Alan Smithers

What: Martha Heimberg Salon
Topic: Robert Bly
When: Thursday, May 23, 7 pm
Where: Private residence
RSVP: Wordspace@wordspace.us
Special Guest Performance! Laney Yarber presents her latest work Pedestrian Dance.

Former long-time WordSpace Board Member Martha Heimberg facilitates an evening of analytical review and comparative investigations of works by Robert Bly. All with her inimitable warm hospitality and refreshments provided by WordSpace.

Martha Heimberg is assistant professor of English at Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Texas, creative writing instructor at Richland College and arts critic for Turtle Creek News and Theater Jones.
. Five-time winner of Dallas Press Club’s Katie Award for arts criticism, community affairs and business writing, she has also won the Texas Historic Commission Griffin Award and the Sierra Club Award for writing. She has written over 200 features and reviews on live theater, visual and literary arts, and community affairs for Texas publications, including D Magazine, Texas Monthly, Lone Star Book Review and others. She originated DART’s Poetry in Motion program, a national project placing contemporary and classic poems on buses and trains, and is a founding member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE!Pedestrian Dance. Award winning performance artist Laney Yarber presents her most recent work. Based on the dance theory and performance work of Steve Paxton.

Poet Robert Bly stands out even among the celebrated, revolutionary generation of American artists who burst forth in the 1950s; A Thousand Years of Joy charts Bly’s singular path from farmer’s son on a wintry Minnesota farm to radical anti-Vietnam War activist to wild man of the 1990’s men’s movement. The bespectacled, white-haired Bly is every inch the politically and spiritually engaged mystic, seeking each moment’s fervid heart as well as the eternal, intuitive bedrock beneath our cultivated ideologies and “personas.” He was one of the first to translate Pablo Neruda, Rumi and other ecstatic Sufi poets, and his work with Joseph Campbell—exploring the metaphorical, psychological terrain of myth and ritual—led to the unexpected pop culture phenomenon of Iron John. A confounding whirling dervish, Bly’s life embodies the quest for personal honesty and shared truth.

Filmed over four years in five states and two countries, his film features Louise Erdrich, Jeff Gordinier, Donald Hall, Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirshfield, Garrison Keillor, James Lenfestey, Philip Levine, Michael Meade, Mark Rylance, Martin Shaw, Martin Sheen, Gary Snyder, Tracy K. Smith, Gioia Timpanelli, Lewis Hyde, Martin Prechtel, Roger Bonair-Agard, and other luminaries from the world of culture.

Poet Jane Hirshfield says, “Robert Bly, as few other poets have done, has changed the world for all who now share it.” Bly’s prolific output has nourished the American cultural landscape for over half a century and influenced countless generations of writers and thinkers.

Director Haydn Reiss has made a series of documentaries on poets that have aired on PBS, including William Stafford & Robert Bly: A Literary Friendship and the award-winning Rumi: Poet of the Heart. Reiss’ 2009 film, Every War Has Two Loserswas a 2011 winner at the Canadian International Film Festival and an official selection of the 2011 United National Film Festival.

“Robert is mercurial, no matter what you think you know about him, he will surprise you again and again,” says Reiss. “Bly’s metamorphosis from Midwestern farm boy to global troubadour, and all the troublemaking and gift-giving in between, is what keeps drawing me back to him as a subject.”S


Roger Reeves @ South Dallas Cultural Center

When: Thursday, May 16, 7:30 pm
What: African Diaspora-New Dialogues, Season 5
Where: South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave, 75210
Special Guest: RonAmber Deloney
Books Available: Interabang Books – Thank You!

Photo: Beowolf Sheehan

 

Roger Reeves was born and raised in southern New Jersey, just outside Philadelphia. He earned a B.A. in English from Morehouse College, an M.A. in English from Texas A & M University, an MFA from the James A. Michener Center for Creative Writing and PhD from the University of Texas at Austin.His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Tin House, Best American Poetry, and the Indiana Review, among other publications, and he was included in Best New Poets 2009. Reeves has been awarded a 2015 Whiting Award, a 2013 NEA Fellowship, a 2013 Pushcart Prize, a 2008 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, two Bread Loaf Scholarships, an Alberta H. Walker Scholarship from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, two Cave Canem Fellowships and a Hodder Fellow of Princeton University. Reeves is currently an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

 
 
 
 
 
ALSO IN THIS SERIES:

When: Thursday, February 21, 7:30 pm
What: African Diaspora-New Dialogues, Season 5
Where: South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave, 75210
Books Available: Interabang Books – Thank You!

Duriel Harris photo: Gina Sandrzyk

Poet, sound artist, and scholar, Duriel E. Harris is author of three print poetry collections including No Dictionary of a Living Tongue (2017), winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize and finalist for the Publishing Triangle’s Audre Lorde Award. Current undertakings include the solo performance project Thingification, which has been featured at the Greenhouse Theater (Chicago), the Wild Project (NYC), and Babylon Cinema (Berlin). Recent writing is featured with Harriet Blog (The Poetry Foundation), the Academy of American Poets, and Letters to the Future: Black WOMEN/Radical WRITING (Kore Press 2018). The 2018 Offen Poet, Harris is an associate professor of English in the graduate creative writing program at Illinois State University and the Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora. Visit her website at https://durielharris.com.

 
 
About This Series: WordSpace is honored to partner with South Dallas Cultural Center for the creation of African Diaspora-New Dialogues Series.  The African Diaspora–New Dialogues series has included Chris Abani, Vievee Francis, Mitchell Jackson, Tim Seibles, Tyehimba Jess, Douglas Kearney, Lonnie Holley, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Douglas Kearney, and Tina McElroy Anza.

About South Dallas Cultural Center: The South Dallas Cultural Center (SDCC) is a City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs owned community center 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.  SDCC has presented some of the most dynamic visual and performing arts in Dallas. Retired manager,Vicki Meek’s decades of service to promote art and racial equity have profoundly influenced the cultural life of Dallas and the development of a whole new generation of African American artists.  She is the co-developer of The Institute for Creative Investigation in Puerta Viejo, Costa Rica; Board Chair of Friends of the South Dallas Cultural Center; serves on the Advisory Board of WordSpace and co-founder of African Diaspora–New Dialogues with  Karen Minzer and Dee Mitchell of WordSpace. Marilyn Clark, SDCC’s Education Director arranges special DISD school visits for the visiting writers of this series. John Spriggins is the manager of SDCC. Daniel Hanchett, SDCC Theater Director, produces the technical presentation.

About WordSpace: WordSpace (WS) is a nonprofit literary arts organization made up of artists that support artists. Our board and team are comprised of volunteer working writers, educators and artists. WS presents world-renowned performers, supports artistic development in Dallas and prioritize programs for cultural equity. Since 1994, WS has presented and paid honoraria to over 2,000 artists. Many award winning writers had their start reading for WordSpace. TransNational Impressions is partnered with Latino Cultural Center. Artists have included Natalia Toleda Paz, Natalie Diaz, Yuri Herrera-Gutierrez, and upcoming: Tim Z Hernandez and Rosemary Catacalos. WS also hosts an annual literary festival; other writers participating in WS programs include Nikki Giovanni, Andrei Codrescu, Sandra Bernhard, John Waters, Anne Waldman, Dan Savage, Walter Mosley and Laurie Anderson. The 2019 Dallas Lit Hop will include Anne Waldman and many many more.

 

Partial funding for this program is made possible by City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Ben E. Keith, National Endowment for the Arts and Moody Fund for the Arts.


Rosemary Catacalos @ Latino Cultural Center

What: TransNational Impressions, Season Finale
When: Wednesday, May 8, 7:30 pm
Where: Latino Cultural Center,  2600 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX 75204
Hosted by: Tammy Melody Gomez

WordSpace is honored to partner with Latino Cultural Center to present the TransNational Impressions reading series.

Rosemary Catacalos, 2013 Texas State Poet Laureate, was accidentally born in Florida during WWII of parents from San Antonio. She returned to San Antonio when she was three. Her poems are widely published in high school and college textbooks, among other venues. Her work has twice been collected in the annual Best American Poetry anthology and has earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Stegner Fellowship Program at Stanford University, and the Paisano Fellowship of the Texas Institute of Letters/University of Texas at Austin. One of her poems is included in Caroline Kennedy’s anthology, She Walks In Beauty, A Woman’s Journey Through Poems. Ms. Catacalos’ first full-length collection, Again for the First Time received the 1985 Texas Institute of Letters poetry prize. Again for the First Time was reissued in 2013 on its thirtieth anniversary. Also published in 2013 was a chapbook of newer poems, Begin Here, also from Wings Press.

 

Also In This Series:

November 28

WordSpace is honored to partner with Latino Cultural Center to present TransNational Impression reading series.

Tim Z. Hernandez is an award winning poet, novelist, and performance artist. His debut collection of poetry, Skin Tax (Heyday Books) received the 2006 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and the James Duval Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation. His debut novel, Breathing, In Dust (Texas Tech University Press) was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and went on to receive the 2010 Premio Aztlan Prize in Fiction. His second collection of poetry, Natural Takeover of Small Things was released in 2013 and received the 2014 Colorado Book Award, and his novel, Mañana Means Heaven, which is based on the life of Bea Franco, also released in 2013, went on the receive the 2014 International Latino Book Award in historical fiction. Both books are with the University of Arizona Press. His latest book, “All They Will Call You,” was released on January 28, 2017, also with the University of Arizona Press. A genre bending work labeled a Documentary Novel, it is based on the song by Woody Guthrie, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee).”

Most recently, Hernandez was one of four finalists for the inaugural Freedom Plow Award from the Split This RockFoundation for his work on locating the victims of the plane wreck at Los Gatos. As a performer he has collaborated with Grammy Award winning classical composer Eugene Freisen, and in 2001 was commissioned by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to write and perform an original play on homelessness. Since 2007, he has worked with Poets & Writers Inc. and the California Center for the Book at UCLA teaching poetry, fiction, and non-fiction workshops across the west coast. From 2010-14 he was the state-wide coordinator for Colorado Writers-in-the-Schools with focus on rural, under-served communities. He is a frequent guest artist at Universities, cultural institutions, and literary centers across the United States and internationally.

Hernandez holds a B.A. in Writing & Literature from Naropa University and an M.F.A. from Bennington College in Vermont. He is currently a full-time Assistant Professor in the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program.

NOVEMBER 7

Join us to celebrate the launch of Joaquin Zihuatanejo’s award winning new book, and national tour. 

Arsonist is the winner of the 2018 Robert Dana-Anhinga Prize for Poetry.

Photo: Jess Ewald

Joaquín is a poet, spoken word artist, and an award-winning teacher. In 2005, Joaquín was featured on season five of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry for HBO. For seven years, Joaquín was a highly esteemed public high school English teacher for ninth and eleventh grade students, inspiring a new collection of poems from the classroom entitled Stand Up and Be Heard. For the last three years,
Joaquín has taken a break from his teaching position to tour North America and Europe, teaching workshops and performing his one man spoken word show at hundreds of colleges, universities, conferences, and poetry slams. In his extensive journey as a professional performance poet, Joaquín has shared the stage with Billy
Collins, Saul Williams, E. Lynn Harris, Alicia Keys, and Maya Angelou among others.

As the current Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, Joaquín recently represented the United States at The World Cup of Poetry Slam Championship in Paris, France and won that title as well.

Joaquín has two passions in his life, his wife, Aída, and poetry, always in that order.


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