Author Archive

Claire Lane

Laney Yarber is an award winning Performance Artist from Dallas. This work was created as a presentation curated by faculty for the Guadalajara Tech Institute.

Carolina Reyes__Areola Eyes

Carolina Reyes is visual and performance artist from NYC.

Ekphrastic Writing Contest

$1 Submission fee.

$100 1st prize, $50 2nd prize, $25 3rd.

Submit through Submittable. Link will be up soon.

Contact WordSpace if you don’t have a bank account to enter through submittable.

$1 Submission fee.

Got Ojas?

Ojas is the juiciness of life, made possible by mental, emotion, physical and spiritual balance. Think about the qualities of a person who is healthy. They are strong yet supple, easy to smile, generous with their time and energy, resilient and a visible radiance. The Sanskrit word ojas describes this glow. This video is a first person documentary, free associatively constructed around a poem by Karen Minzer. The video explores the relationship of Ojas and its parallels in zen and socratic philosophies, referring to essential nature residing within us. What’s inside of you is outside of you. And vice versa. This video defines ojas and essential nature through home movies of three generations of the same family. Audio of Minzer’s poem is similarly layered to suggest generational overtones. The video incorporates iPhone call-in readings by Karen Minzer, Monika Bell and Imogene Bell. Visuals were collaged by Monika Bell, using Karen’s family videos, some clips from both Monika and Karen’s performances, Suze Riddle’s ambient film work, and audio of Karen defining Ojas in an interview by Brian Townley. Music is public domain. 


Got Ojas?

Holey Chirping of a bird that loves it when the sun comes up

                     A flower that loves it when it rains, and not too much

                                  the colors that love any kind of light

                                               the wood that loves the ancestry of the tree 

                                                          the tree that casts a dance of leaves 

                                                                       to have kin so near

                                                                             though a park bench it may now be 

                                                                                       the bed that loves your sleep 

                                                                             the water that loves your drink

                                                                     the people that let you watch them 

                                                           the people that watch you

                                      what you imagine you share in a stare

                           the spoon that loves to stir

              the book that loves it pages 

and holds them tight in its arms

        the spirits of the Dead

                  did love die when they did?

                           Holy the truth that loves to surface 

                                       the journeys that love us to pieces

                                               the pieces apart

                                                           attracted to a whole

                                                                   or picked up piecemeal

                                                                           loved individually 

                                                                                 the splinters of the self

                                                                   divided, multiplied physically altered

                                                          but never wavering  in the soul’s composition

                                                 the composition that loves your soul 

                                         the soul that loves you

                               the you that loves them

                      the Them that is You

             the All that is the It 

     the Them with  You

The All is nothing more 

       than nothingness plus 

              all deathlessness, birthlessness

                         living, dead, and in-between. 

                               the shining of nothing in a hole

                                          the hair that grows down a river

                                                   the river that perches on a tree

                                                                                the tree made of a tv

                                                                    the tv that is nature

                                    the nature that is the furniture

`                                    the silence that speaks

               the ceiling that rains thought

         a floor’s cradle of the heart

the walls that cheat the  feet

Start to finish

Finish to be started 

    the in-between bleeding into 

              opposite attractions— All of it!

                        the eye of the daisy staring 

                                  at the face of the chair

                                         the choir of voicelessness 

                                                   the danceless rhythm

                                                          the un-seeable obvious

                                                                  the oblivion of the known 

                                                                           refusing and accepting



                                                                                                 Vacuum the rain

                                                                                                            Publish the sun

                                                                                                                      Fax the clouds 

                                                                                                                 Pressure a void

                                                                                                  You can be loved 

                                                                                     by millions of people

                                                                         a spaceless of people

                                                             Unless you love yourself

                                           You will never feel their love

                              It’s not all or nothing. 

                  It’s everything that’s nothing
Be the problem and its solution

    Be as empty as you are full

        Be a dimensional plane

                             Be dimensionless 

                                      Be aimlessly passionate

                                                Be passionately aimless 

                                                          Lose the answer

                                                                     Find the question 

                                                                                Dawn is never wrong!

                                                                      Nobel worm awaken!

                                                     A red-breasted robin 

                                     pecks the earth        for you!   


Photo by Anna Minzer

Karen  is a writer/poet/wanderer, published by the Austin Sun in the 70s, Paris Records in the 80s and Wowapi, 90s to present. Her most recent work is published in Entropy (2019.) In 1977 she discovered WordSpace founder, Robert Trammell, reading his poetry at Old City Park across the street from her home at the historic (grundgy) Ambassador Hotel. She is a co-recipient, with Dee Mitchell, of the 2015 Dallas Observer MasterMind Awards and has served WordSpace as program curator, coordinator, board member, programs chair, program director, and executive director 2009-2018. She is currently a WordSpace Advisor and co-chair of Special Events; and Humanities doctoral (old) student. She holds an MFA from Naropa University Jack Kerouac School, where she also studied as a poetics apprentice to Allen Ginsberg, back in the day.  She has curated thousands of writers for over 30 years in DFW, Boulder and Santa Fe. Karen is a veteran punk band shouter, but is pretty quiet and retired these days, a Dharma Broad, 500 hour E-RYT yoga instructor; and sometimes participates in Thomas Riccio’s  Zombies. Jennifer Smart: Dallas Observer100 Dallas Creatives: Underground Culture Mainstay Karen X. Minzer

Yoga Hall Eftalou, Greece: with Angela Farmer (Acharya)


WHAT: 50 Miles, Book Launch (free event)
WHEN: MARCH 3, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Interabang Books 5600 W. Lovers Lane #142 Dallas, TX 75209

Etruscan Press, 2020

WordSpace is pleased to partner with Interabang Books to present this book release celebration!

50 Miles, (Etruscan Press, 2020) by Sheryl St. Germain is a memoir in linked essays that addresses addiction and alcoholism. The book traces the life of the author’s son, Gray, a talented but troubled young man, and his death from a drug overdose at thirty, as well as the author’s own recovery from substance abuse.She was named Louisiana Writer of the Year in November 2018.

Sheryl has taught at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Knox College, Iowa State University and Chatham University, where she served as Director of the MFA in Creative Writing for 14 years. She is the co-founder and director of the Words Without Walls Program.

Sheryl’s poetry books include Going Home (Perivale), The Mask of Medusa (Cross Cultural Communications), (chapbooks) Making Bread at Midnight, (Slough Press) How Heavy the Breath of God, The Journals of Scheherazade (University of North Texas Press), and Let it Be a Dark Roux: New and Selected Poems (Autumn House Press). She has also published a chapbook of translations of the Cajun poet Jean Arceneaux, Je Suis Cadien (Cross Cultural Communications).

She has published three memoirs, Swamp Songs: the Making of an Unruly Woman (University of Utah Press), Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair (Louisiana Literature Press), and, most recently, Fifty Miles, Etruscan Press, 2020.

She co-edited, with Margaret Whitford, Between Song and Story: Essays for the 21st Century (Autumn House Press). With Sarah Shotland she co-edited Words Without Walls: Writers on Addiction, Violence and Incarceration, (Trinity University Press).

She published a new poetry collection, The Small Door of Your Death, in Spring 2018 with Autumn House Press. A collection of essays, Fifty Miles, is forthcoming with Etruscan Press in January 2020.

A native of New Orleans, Sheryl has taught creative writing at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Knox College, and Iowa State University. Her work has received several awards, including two NEA Fellowships, an NEH Fellowship, the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship, the Ki Davis Award from the Aspen Writers Foundation, and the William Faulkner Award for the personal essay.

Harry McNabb

What: Poets on X+ Feature Reading Series and Open Mic
 Friday, October 11, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Mighty Fine Arts Gallery, 409A N. Tyler St. Dallas, TX 75214
Hosted by: Opalina and Carlos Salas

Harry McNabb is a writer of short fiction. He has just published his first collection of funny and emotionally intimate yarns in a book titled Vacuum Stories.

Wine available, BYOB

WordSpace is proud to sponsor the Poets on X + Feature Reading Series and Open Mic every second Friday of the month!

Farid Matuk

Friday, February 28 7:00 p.m.
Latino Cultural Center
2600 Live Oak Street
Dallas, TX 75204

Farid Matuk is the author of the poetry collections This Isa Nice Neighborhood and The Real Horse. The recipient of grants and residencies from The Headlands Center for the Arts and The Lannan Foundation, Matuk teaches in the MFA program at the University of Arizona and in 2020 will serve as the Holloway Visiting Professor in Poetry & Poetics at UC Berkeley. His collaboration with Colombian visual artist Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez is forthcoming from Singing Saw Press. 

Guillermo Gomez Pena

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.
Latino Cultural Center
2600 Live Oak Street Dallas, TX 75204

Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a Chicano performance artist, writer, activist, and educator. He was born in Mexico City, and moved to the U.S. in 1978, earning a BA and MA at California Institute of the Arts. He has created work in multiple media, including performance art, experimental radio, video, photography and installation art. Gómez-Peña’s eight books include essays, experimental poetry and chronicles in both English, Spanish, and Spanglish; his books include The New World Border: Prophecies, Poems, and Loqueras for the End of the Century (2001) and Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol (2001). He is a founding member of the art collective Border Arts Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo and artistic director of the performance art troupe La Pocha Nostra. Gómez-Peña received many honors, including a US Artists fellow award (2012) and a MacArthur fellowship (1991), the first Chicano artist to receive the award. He currently lives and works in San Francisco.

WordSpace is honored to partner with the Latino Cultural Center

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
Hosted by Ernest Mcmillan

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.

Host of the evening, Mr. Ernest McMillan is a veteran human rights activist with a history of working through the 60’s in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and throughout the 80’s with the National Black United Front and the United League of Mississippi. McMillan served as the Chairman of the Dallas SNCC from 1967- 1969.

Mr. McMillan received an Associate of Arts degree in History and Government at Brazos Junior College in Texas and has completed further study in history, government, and political science at Morehouse College in Atlanta, UT Arlington, and the University of Houston at Clear Lake City, Texas.

He has extensive experience in counseling of both youth and adults. Additionally, he has worked successfully in management positions involved with the delivery of social services, organizing and planning resources, and coordinating activities to meet specific objectives. Mr. McMillan initiated the first Drug Prevention Program for African-American youth in Houston in 1981. He has developed support systems for ex-offenders and drug abusers as founder of People United for Justice for Prisoners in Dallas, Texas, and as a counselor for the Alternative Drug Abuse Program of VGS, Houston, Texas. Mr. McMillan also served as project manager at the Communities-In-School program at Wesley Elementary School, Houston.

In 1984, McMillan founded the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program, a non-profit, community based, youth development initiative. He served as its Chief Executive Officer, and after twenty-three years at the helm, he became its Executive Coach and Senior Adviser.  The FWEP continues to operate in Houston’s inner city as an effective support and intervention system for young African-American and Hispanic males to this day

Currently, McMillan resides in Dallas, Texas where he volunteers extensively with several local and international efforts including the Dallas Peace Center, IFCO/ Pastors for Peace, and as a 2011 delegate to Witness For Peace’ Human Rights Delegation to Honduras. He became the Director of Educational Programs at Youth Believing in Change (YBC) after serving as a volunteer mentor, coordinator of the boys’ mentoring program and as a classroom facilitator there.

He most recently served as Curator for Community Action with Cara Mia Theatre Company. He is excited to be involved routinely in the work of connecting arts with the community and developing avenues to foster and engage multigenerational, multicultural bridges for community uplift.  He is currently volunteering with the Owenwood Farm and Neighbor Space engaging area residents and stakeholders to build and sustain a community garden.

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!

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