Author Archive

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas


WHAT: ROSEMARY MEZA-DES PLAS at Dee Mitchell Salon
WHERE: RSVP to wordspace@wordspace.us
WHEN: Thursday, August 22 7:00 – 9:00

Farmington, NM-based Latina, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas is known for exploring gender, sexuality, identity, and socio-political topics in her spoken word performances.  A native Texan, she lived for many years in the Dallas/Ft.Worth metroplex. She received an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (Hoffberger School of Painting) and a BFA from The University of North Texas. In 2019, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas was featured in Santa Fe, NM’s the/magazine as “12 Artists in New Mexico to Know Now”.

Ms. Meza-DesPlas’ moves effortlessly through varying tempos and characters to create performances made up of frank and touching vignettes. The visual of her stage presence is accentuated by innovative costumes. Ms. Meza-DesPlas’ recent spoken word performances were at Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM; Amos Eno Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; FreeForm Art Space, Santa Fe, NM; Durango Arts Center, Durango, CO; and ARC Gallery, Chicago, IL. In 2018, she presented the academic paper Reclaiming the Tool of Anger: Year of the Angry Women at the 9th International Conference of the Image in Hong Kong. Her academic paper Heaviness, Hardship, Heft: Gender-based Burdens in Images was published in 2018 by the International Journal on the Image, Volume 9, Issue 3.

Dee Mitchell is a freelance writer based in Dallas. Locally he has been a contributor to The Dallas Observer and The Dallas Morning News, and he is a frequent contributor to Art in America. He has written essays for exhibitions at The Dallas Museum of Art, The Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art, The UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, and many other commercial and non-profit exhibition spaces. In 2008 he retired from Half Price Books, Records, and Magazines, where he was Executive Vice President of New Media Purchases and Proprietary Publishing. He is also active on the Dallas Video Festival board. Winner: 2015 Dallas Observer MasterMinds Award. Dee is curator and host of First Hearings @ The Wild Detectives.  How Dee Mitchell Helped Put WordSpace at the Heart of the Dallas Literary Renaissance by Lee Escobedo (D Magazine)


Watchtowers : An ArtSpeak evening at Dallas Contemporary

In partnership with Dallas Contemporary, WordSpace is pleased to host a sequenced, performance and spoken word showcase of artists and poets responding to Francesco Clemente’s exhibition “Watchtowers, Keys, Threads, Gates.”

Free and open to the public. No reservations required.
For more information: learning@dallascontemporary.org

In order of appearance:

LGB, Kalvin J, Mz. Jolie, Nova, Gabby, Shandhra: Dallas Poetry Slam
2019 Dallas Poetry Slam Team performs highlights of their team performance work.

Laney Yarber: Giving Up The Farm; Part 2-Skin Care
Laney Yarber performs a vignette history that fuses personal and Texas history, using props, composed interviews and storytelling audio elements.

Randall Garrett: Un Corazón Dos Piezas
Garrett performs a travelogue drawn from his cultural and social interactions in Mexico City’s Neza barrio.

Tammy Melody Gomez: Doña Marina, also known as “Malintzin” and “La Malinche,” attained mythical stature because of her association with Hernan Cortes–as his personal translator during the conquest of Mexico. In MALINCHUCA: THE MALINCHE SPEAKS, Doña Marina reappears as a mad-as-hell ‘chuca with a tongue-lashing for historical revisionists. 

Abel Flores Jr: Polar Self
AFJ appeals to the metaphysical elements of the self by capturing his persona between live video and human presence. By subsiding an attachment to identity, he invites higher consciousness to intervene through means of ritualistic movement and the natural elements: earth and air.


Watchtowers: ArtSpeak

WHAT: Watchtowers: ArtSpeak! A sequenced performance art showcase of artists in response to the oeuvre of Francesco Clemente’s work.
WHEN: Thursday, August 8 7-9 p.m.
WHERE: Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass Street Dallas Texas 75207

In order of appearance:

LGB, Kalvin J, Mz. Jolie, Nova, Gabby, Shandhra: Dallas Poetry Slam

2019 Dallas Poetry Slam Team performs highlights of their team performance work

Bio: Dallas Poetry Slam is a Dallas poetry organization in Dallas, whose motto is “One Slam, One Movement.” The group reflects Dallas’ vibrant poetry and arts scene and diverse population. DPS has hosted numerous regional competitions including the 2017 and 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Established by Clebo Rainey, The Dallas Poetry Slam Organization has garnered awards as National Champions and three-time national finalists. Dallas Slam poets, Joaquin Zihuatanejo and Rage won the Individuals World Poetry Slam competition. Zihuatanejo also won the International World Cup in Paris. DPS poets contribute important educational outreach through Youth Poets, a project facilitated by Rage and Teri Odis. Sherrie Zantea is SlamMaster and CEO of DPS, and Individual World Poetry Slam Event Coordinator with Poetry Slam Inc. More can found on the individuals of the 2019 Dallas Slam Team at thedallaspoetryslam.com

Laney Yarber: Giving Up The Farm; Part 2-Skin Care

Laney Yarber performs a vignette history that fuses personal and Texas history, using props, composed interviews and storytelling audio elements. 

Bio: Laney Yarber is a multi-award winning performance artist and patron of all arts. Her works have been funded by the Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment of the Arts and City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, among others. Her lifelong love of opera stages and studies with Robert Wilson; her early passion for the avant-garde inspired a sense of purpose and mission to create performance art. Her works weave together persona and place histories, free association, original script, movement, composed audio and visual surprises. Other works include Xstatic-The Reveries of St. Theresa; Readings; Exorcize It!; Subterranean Samba.

Randall Garrett: Un Corazón Dos Piezas
Garrett performs a travelogue drawn from his cultural and social interactions in Mexico City’s Neza barrio.

Bio: Randall Garrett is a Dallas-based artist whose performance work combines elements of theatre, body art, spoken word, objects, artifacts, and time-based media. The artist choreographs and participates in ritual performances that explore aspects of individual and cultural identity. Garrett has shown his work and performed in numerous galleries. He created “Seven Story Mountain”, a permanent sculpture on the banks of the Song Huong River in Hué, Vietnam. Among his collaborative spoken word projects, Garrett co-produced the Freefall Festival, a month long event, funded by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Vitality Program. He currently teaches as full-time faculty at Richland College in Dallas. Garrett is owner / director of Plush Gallery. In 2017, Garrett became part of a group of artists in Neza, a working-class barrio of 2 million people on the edge of Mexico City. He has since curated shows for Neza artists’ showcases in Dallas.

Tammy Melody Gomez: Malinche

Tammy Gomez performs an alternative portrait of Malinche, a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast, who played a key role in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, acting as an interpreter, advisor, and intermediary for the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés. She was also purported to be his romantic partner.

Bio: Tammy Gomez is an award winning poet, multimedia performer, playwright and director. She has performed throughout the U.S., in Mexico and Nepal. Her poems and essays are featured in numerous collections and documentaries, including Yellow Medicine Review (2009); Women in Nature: An Anthology (Louise Grace Publishing, 2014); “Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History” (UT Press, 2003). Her staged works include She: Bike/Spoke/Love. She is founder of Sound Culture, an intermedia production lab for collaborative and individual creative expression and social justice literacy through stage performance, print, online, and neighborhood cultivation programs. Gomez studied with Chicano greats; Lorna Dee Cervantes, José Montoya, Raul R. Salinas, and Octavio Solis; has been artist-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Urbana-Champaign, Texas A&M-Kingsville, and Headlands Center for the  Arts (Sausalito, CA), and has received grants from Humanities Texas, the Ford Foundation, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Puffin Foundation, the Writers’ League of Texas, Moonifest Foundation, and the City of Austin. She is an urban gardener who has not owned a car in over eight years, and bicycles everywhere

Abel Flores Jr: AFJ:Polar Self

AFJ appeals to the metaphysical elements of the self by capturing his persona between live video and human presence. By subsiding an attachment to identity, he invites higher consciousness to intervene through means of ritualistic movement and the natural elements: earth and air.

Bio: Abel Flores Jr. Abel Flores Jr. is a visual and performing artist. Originally a theatre actor, he pursued ritualistic performance at the University of Texas at Dallas. While studying under Thomas Riccio, he co-founded Riccio’s group Dead White Zombies with fellow alumni as a resident artist. In 2016, he co-founded the arts nonprofit, Artstillery, to empower marginalized peoples and communities through art projects, partnership, and advocacy. He has performed with other companies, bands, and festivals including Therefore, SUPERMOOK, Shakespeare in the Bar, Tropic Pictures, WaterTower Theater’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, Dallas Video Fest, and the Elevator Project at AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Rosemary Meza DesPlas: Too Angry
Rosemary Meza DesPlas performs feminist-centric spoken word infused with visual elements.Bio: Rosemary Meza DesPlas is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work has been shown in China, New York and Europe. Her spoken word performances are often presented in conjunction with her exhibitions. Her visual and performance work is used as a vehicle to discuss gender issues. She explore issues of disparity between the sexes within the context of dissonant relationships. The expressions on the women serve as a direct contradiction to the stereotypical character of the overwrought and hysterical female. Ultimately, her work is a series of contrasts. The contrasts revolve around the beauty and the grotesque in humanity. It seeks to address the invariables of the human condition: good & bad, body & soul and love & death. They constitute the very core of the human predicament.




Threads: Open Mic

WHAT: Threads: a Spoken Word Open Mic
WHEN: SUNDAY JULY 21 3:30 – 5:30 P.M. Free event!
WHERE: Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass Street Dallas Texas 75207

WordSpace is honored to partner with the Dallas Contemporary to present a spoken word open mic in conjunction with Francesco Clemente’s Watchtowers, Keys, Threads, Gates exhibition. This Poetry Open Mic is coordinated by artist and poet Monika Bell. Bell works in response to themes common in Francesco Clemente’s work: the self, the double, the universe, and the divine. She invites you to respond to Clemente’s exhibition at Dallas Contemporary by writing an original piece for this Open Mic event. Come and participate!

Guidelines:
Sign-up is first come, first served.
All performances must be less than 6 minutes long.
Each poem must be of the poet’s own construction.

Free + Open to the Public
For more information: learning@dallascontemporary.org.

Monika Bell photograph by Rosie Lindsey

Bio: Monika Bell serves as WordSpace Board President. She is a visual and performance artist, poet, songwriter and musician. Her work has been presented in many Dallas galleries including Ro2, Mighty Fine Arts and the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library’s Lillian Bradshaw Gallery. She is former gallery and events co-curator of Incense and Peppermints in Oak Cliff’s X+ district. She performed her collaborative work at the 2017 Dead White Zombies immersive theater production, Holy Bone; and is currently vocalist of The Stoners and her solo project, Mad Mother Goblin.


Gates | Workshops

In conjunction with Francesco Clemente’s Watchtowers, Keys, Threads, Gates at Dallas Contemporary

WHEN: Saturday, June 22, 1-5:30
WHERE: Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass St, Dallas, TX 75207

1pm-3pm: Thomas Riccio. Post Disciplinary Dreaming

A writing and performance workshop using myth, ritual, writing exercise to inspire and generate creative work. Bring a cushion or blanket for floorwork. RSVP HERE

Bio: Thomas Riccio is a performance and media artist, writer and director, is Professor of Performance and Aesthetics at the University of Texas at Dallas and has taught internationally at numerous universities. Riccio works extensively in the area of indigenous performance, ritual and shamanism. He has developed performances through field work in South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Russia, Alaska, Korea, India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, and the Republic of Sakha (Siberia), which declared him a “Cultural Hero.”  He is the recipient of the International Distinction Prize in Playwriting from the Alexander Onassis Foundation. Riccio is the Artistic Director of Dead White Zombies, a Dallas-based, post-disciplinary performance group, creating/writing/directing performance immersions. He was Watermill Artist in Residence and is collaborating on a three year performance project at the Whitney Museum.

3:30pm-5:30pm: Karen Minzer. Body Text. (with special guest Michelle Andrie)
A writing workshop incorporating body stories through yoga, close reading of literary texts and experimental exercises generate work for participants. This is also your chance to work with a member of the International Association Of Yoga Therapists , Michelle Andrie. Bring a cushion or blanket for floor work. RSVP HERE

Bio: Karen Minzer: 50s/60s: Texas country towns; 70s: University of Texas, Austin Sun, Armadillo World Headquarters; 80/90s Allen Ginsberg, et al, Naropa Institute; Caravan of Dreams; The Panics; Paris Records; Art for Arts Sake; Starck Club; Bearsville Records; Dial A Poet Television, Wowapi Press; 2000-present: RYT 500 hour, Priya Yoga; Angela Farmer, Lesvos; Dharma Broads 1,2,3; WordSpace Executive Director; University of Texas at Dallas; Naropa University MFA; Entropy, other literary journals; Lamar University Press; Things That Are Delightful / Things That Are Not (Allen Ginsberg Library, Naropa University)
Bio: Michelle Andrie: International Association Of Yoga Therapists member, Michelle Andrie has been guiding students and clients to whole body healing for three decades. She’s successfully owned three yoga therapy studios, a yoga therapy retreat center, and a yoga therapy teacher training school. She is the author of four yoga therapy books and manuals; currently writes and teaches in Hawaii. She hosts an online blog, practice and training school at AgelessMovement.com


Joey Cloudy and Your Loving Son at Poets on X+

Wordspace presents Poets on X+, showcase and open mic at Mighty Fine Arts, Oak Cliff featuring“The Artist Formerly Known as the Prince of Darkness,” Joey Cloudy began writing poetry in the winter of 1999. A former member of The Dallas Alternative Poetry Society, he mentored under Robert Cochran, and cites Allen Ginsberg and the Beat poets as among his primary influences. Drawing much of his inspiration from day to day events and observations, Joey credits everyday life with influencing the topics and content of much of his work, as well as drawing from his own personal experiences and those of people and artists he admires. Joey’s impassioned readings of his epic “Momma’s Dead,” and the brutally direct whimsicality of his signature piece “Bew” have garnered him a special notoriety in the local literary community. Among the many venues at which he has performed his work are the Deep Ellum Arts Fest, the Velvet Hookah, Insomnia (where he also served as host for a time), Paperbacks Plus, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Bill’s Records, Mighty Fine Arts, and, more recently, Johnny O’s Mad Swirl open mics at the Absinthe Lounge. He has worked with the Writer’s Garrett and the Imaginary Poetry Society (whose gatherings he co-hosted), and contributed his expertise to a program to introduce and promote poetry in local schools.
In 2006, Joey Cloudy and Jolee Davis formed Project 108, a non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting underground poets and artists. Project 108 subsequently took over the publication of Death List Five, a local poetry / art magazine he started with Jolee in 2004 and which published many of the spoken word artists featured on this site. His own chapbook, Howl: 18 Poems for Allen Ginsberg, was published by Max Blair’s Tomcat Press in 2002. Before picking up his pen, Joey spent time in the Marine Corps, practiced painting and photography, and worked as a fine art and antique restorer. He is currently at work on his first novel, tentatively titled Tramp.

“Real life – it’s poetry.”

Opening for Joey Cloudy will be experimental spoken word duo Your Loving Son, from Oak Cliff TX.

Open Mic to follow features, sign up at 7:00, Music at 7:30, Feature at 8pm.


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



The Poet Experience at the Dallas Festival of Books & Ideas

WordSpace Presents at Dallas Festival of Books & Ideas
When:
 Saturday, June 1, 11:00 a.m.
What: 
The Poet Experience, presented by WordSpace
Listen to local poets B Randall and Opalina Salas read from their work, talk about how they got started, what inspires their poetry, the experience of hosting poetry events, and more. Moderated by Monika Bell.
Where:
 J. Erik Jonsson Central Library 
1515 Young St. 75201

B Randall,  is an Author, Director, Host, Poet, Producer, and Visionary.  B Randall is the host of Poetry Smash at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and Verse & Rhythm at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. B. Randall is host/producer of “In The Words Of A Sistah” now in its 11th season it is the longest running all female cast poetry show of its kind. In 2012, Randall launched her first touring show, “Poetry Is My Praise,” an inspirational, motivational, and spiritual poetry show. Randall was commissioned by the Multicultural Alumni Association of Texas A&M –Commerce to pen a poem commemorating the 50th Anniversary desegregation. Randall’s recorded work has been featured at 500X Gallery. She currently serves on the board of directors for WordSpace. Randall is the writer, producer, director of A Poets Tribute to Nina. In May 2017, B Randall was invited to present at the National Day of Prayer Luncheon Celebrating 40th year anniversary of Thanks-Giving Square. Randall continues to create works and encourage writers of all genres to produce work that touch moves and inspires.

Opalina Salas is a poet, a former Oak Cliff bookstore owner, an editor of femme lit zine, Let It Bleed, and creator and host of Poets on X+ reading series held in her beloved home of Oak Cliff TX. She serves as Vice President on the board of WordSpace Dallas. She is a regular contributor to The Mad Swirl, and was a featured performer at The Texas Beat Poetry Festival 2012, Forest Fest in Lamesa TX in 2011, and a participant in the first annual New Orleans Poetry Fest of 2016. Her Poem was featured in CITY OF ____________: DISPATCHES FROM 16 DALLAS POETS, she has been a performer for OPP: Other People’s Poetry, and has featured at Pandora’s Box and Arte y Pan Dulce a PoC Art Show. She is a host and co- conspirator for ATTACK OF THE POETS, an annual multi day festival hosting poets from around the US, bridging the gaps between various literary communities far and wide. She has been writing and performing in and around the DFW area for 20 years with her comrade, partner and fellow poet, Carlos Salas, and got her start at the legendary Club Clearview Dallas Poetry Slam. Her collection of work, Black Sparrow Dress from Mad Swirl Press was released this April. Photo Credit Dan Rodriguez

CJ Critt @ Poets on X+

When: Friday, March 22, 8 pm
Where: Mighty Fine Arts, 409A N. Tyler St.
Hosted by: Opalina and Carlos Salas
Open Mic to follow: Sign up at 7:30 pm

Join us for the thrilling CJ Critt! An award winning creative artist and producer, educator: writing, audio, performance and promotion projects. Her audio narration workshops are among the most popular in the metroplex. You can check out more about CJ here.

Poets on X+ is a reading series founded and hosted by Opaline and Carlos Salas.



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