Author Archive

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!

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:

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

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

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
 Saturday, June 1, 11:00 a.m.
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.
 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.

Dallas Lit Hop Schedule

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
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 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.

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

Silver Skull at Artspeak Series

Who: Silver Skull
When:Friday March 8. 2019
What:Wordspace Artspeak Series
Where:Mighty Fine Arts 409A N.Tyler 75208

Buddy Mohmed at ArtSpeak

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