Author Archive

Tongo Eisen-Martin

African Diaspora – New Dialogues
Thursday, November 7th at 7:00 p.m.
South Dallas Cultural Center
3400 S. Fitzhugh Dallas, TX 75210

WordSpace is proud to partner with the South Dallas Cultural Center to produce the 6th season of African Diaspora – New Dialogues Series.

Tongo Eisen-Martin was born in San Francisco and earned his MA at Columbia University. He is the author of someone’s dead already (Bootstrap Press, 2015), nominated for a California Book Award; and Heaven Is All Goodbyes (City Lights, 2017), which received a 2018 American Book Award, a 2018 California Book Award, was named a 2018 National California Booksellers Association Poetry Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Griffin International Poetry Prize. In their citation, the judges for the Griffin Prize wrote that Eisen-Martin’s work “moves between trenchant political critique and dreamlike association, demonstrating how, in the right hands, one mode might energize the other—keeping alternative orders of meaning alive in the face of radical injustice … His poems are places where discourses and vernaculars collide and recombine into new configurations capable of expressing outrage and sorrow and love.”

Eisen-Martin is also an educator and organizer whose work centers on issues of mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings of Black people, and human rights. He has taught at detention centers around the country and at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. He lives in San Francisco.

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.


OddLot | ArtSpeak

Oddlot is a Dallas based band that features Chris Merlick, Dan Dobson, Chris Chapman and Jay Staton. Since 2011 they have been pursuing their own blend of eccentric music and original songs. Veterans of myriad infamous Dallas bands they have grouped together to become the “Oddlot”!

Mighty Fine Arts presents this exciting opening night of “Mandalas” featuring new work by Jason Cohen. This show opens Saturday Sept 28 with a reception for the artist and will run till Oct 27. The legendary Jason Cohen is a legacy bohemian artist of Dallas culture. He is a shameless practitioner of all things weird and wondrous and has dedicated his talents to undermining the tired and conventional. He is also a man of multiple abilities including artist, musician, entrepreneur, collector, fabricator and Dad.”Mandalas” features a selection of his psycho-meditative stream of consciousness art fungus pieces that eschew the spiritual for the surreal. Come out and get a full dose of Jason and get your mind Mandalazised! Ritual invocation will occur at Opening!

WordSpace is proud to partner with MFA Gallery to host ArtSpeak!


Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

African Diaspora – New Dialogues
Thursday, October 24th at 7:00 p.m.
South Dallas Cultural Center
3400 S. Fitzhugh Dallas, TX 75210

WordSpace is proud to partner with the South Dallas Cultural Center to produce the 6th season of African Diaspora – New Dialogues Series.

“My writing is wide-ranging and concerns the malleability of language and forms. I am interested in the intersections of the innovative and experimental with aspects race, gender, and the more-than-human world. My work is ground in inquiry, ways of knowing, and how language can (and cannot) communicate experiences felt in body and mind. Even at its most cerebral my work is centered in notions of embodiment and the lived experience of seeing and being seen. My practice and process includes photographic and video work and mixed media composition. Current projects include computational poetics and emerging technologies, spell-casting, and collaborative writing.” – Lillian-Yvonne Bertram describes her work. Courtesy of Jack Jones Literary Arts.

African Diaspora-New Dialogues is in its 6th official season. It was unofficially kicked off in 2013 with Nikki Giovanni. The past five seasons have featured distinguished writers such as Duriel Harris, Vievee Francis, Tyehimba Jess, Roger Reeves, Dawn Lundy Martin, Chris Abani, Tim Seibles, Mitchell Jackson, Douglas Kearney, Tina McElroy Ansa, Walter Mosley, Lonnie Holley and Nicole Dennis-Benn.

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.


The Work of Robert Pinsky

A Martha Heimberg Salon!

RSVP for address HERE or write wordspace@wordspace.us

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

Martha Heimberg has been writing about theater, the arts and historic preservation for over 40 years for numerous Texas newspapers and magazines, including, D Magazine, Texas Monthly, and The Texas Tribune. She currently is a contributing theater critic and arts writer for Theater Jones and Dallas Weekly, and is a member of the American Theater Critics Association. She has won multiple awards from the Dallas Press Club and the Texas Historic Commission and is a founding member of the Dallas Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum, WordSpace, and the Historic Preservation League (now Preservation Dallas). Founder and coordinator of DART’s Poetry in Motion program, she currently serves on the board of directors of Junius Heights Historic District Association and Friends of Aldredge House. Her degrees in English and comparative literature are from Southern Methodist University. For over 40 years, she taught English and creative studies at Richland College, Southern Methodist University and Northwood University. She retired from full-time teaching in 2015, and now teaches a twice-weekly adult literacy class at Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT). She’s also a messy and ardent amateur painter, printer and potter.

ABOUT POET ROBERT PINSKY:
Robert Pinsky received a BA from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and earned both an MA and PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University, where he was a Stegner Fellow in creative writing, and studied under the poet and critic Yvor Winters.

He is the author of several collections of poetry, including Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011); Gulf Music: Poems (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 2007); Jersey Rain (2000); The Figured Wheel: New and Collected Poems 1966-1996 (1996), which received the 1997 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and was a Pulitzer Prize nominee; The Want Bone (1990); History of My Heart (1984); An Explanation of America (1980); and Sadness and Happiness (1975).

He is also the author of several prose titles, including Singing School: Learning to Write (and Read) Poetry by Studying with the Masters (W. W. Norton, 2013);The Life of David (Schocken, 2006); Democracy, Culture, and the Voice of Poetry (2002); The Sounds of Poetry (1998), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Poetry and the World (1988); and The Situation of Poetry(1977). In 1985 he also released a computerized novel, Mindwheel.

Pinsky has published two acclaimed works of translation: The Inferno of Dante (1994), which was a Book-of-the-Month-Club Editor’s Choice, and received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award; and The Separate Notebooks by Czeslaw Milosz (with Renata Gorczynski and Robert Hass).

About his work, the poet Louise Glück has said, “Robert Pinsky has what I think Shakespeare must have had: dexterity combined with worldliness, the magician’s dazzling quickness fused with subtle intelligence, a taste for tasks and assignments to which he devises ingenious solutions.”

From 1997 to 2000, he served as the United States Poet Laureate and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. During that time, he founded the Favorite Poem Project, a program dedicated to celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives.

In 1999, he co-edited Americans’ Favorite Poems: The Favorite Poem Project Anthology with Maggie Dietz. Other anthologies he has edited include An Invitation to Poetry (W. W. Norton, 2004); Poems to Read (2002); and Handbook of Heartbreak (1998).

His honors include an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, both the William Carlos Williams Award and the Shelley Memorial prize from the Poetry Society of America, the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently poetry editor of the weekly Internet magazine Slate.

Pinsky has taught at both Wellesley College and the University of California, Berkeley, and currently teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University. He served as a Chancellor for The Academy of American Poets from 2004 to 2010. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


V.P. CROWE at Poets on X +

V

V.P. Crowe
What:
Poets on X+ Feature Reading Series and Open Mic
When:
 Friday, September 13, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Mighty Fine Arts Gallery, 409A N. Tyler St. Dallas, TX 75214
Hosted by: Opalina and Carlos Salas

V. P. Crowe stumbled on the Dallas poetry scene waaay back when there wasn’t much more to it than Joe Stanco’s Poets Roundtable and Chumley’s open mic night down in Deep Ellum, and the Dallas poetry scene hasn’t quite been able to shake her loose since. Her work has appeared most recently at thewildword.com and as part of The Writer’s Garret’s 2018 Common Language Project. She lives in the suburbs with a mad scientist and a houseful of fur, and tends to only write when a thing takes her by the throat and won’t let go.

Link to VP Crowe’s poetry published in The Wild Word


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


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