Board of Directors and Collective
WordSpace is comprised of working writers, critics, musicians, artists and educators:
Charles 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. Read Dee’s Blog at www.potatoweather.blogspot.com. Dee also serves as Programs co-chair with Karen X Minzer.
Roderick Goudy, aka Rock Baby, is a graduate of University of North Texas with a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Science with an emphasis in education. He began his career as an educator with P.A.C.E. Head Start in Mississippi. In 1999, Roderick began his career as a poet where he has become a nationally known performance poet performing across North America including television appearances. From 1999-2002, he held the position of PTA President of DISD. Roderick began organizing poetry competitions as the City of Dallas Slam Master for Dallas Poetry Slam in 2003. As a Slam Master, he has combined his love for art and education to organize and implement area writing and performance workshops, mentor young artists, guest lecture for community colleges and universities throughout the DFW Metroplex and nationally. Roderick has served as an art instructor with Junior Players Guild for over 3 years providing instruction in dance, writing, and theatre while addressing issues of bullying, self-esteem, and healthy conflict resolution. He is a frequent guest speaker for area schools addressing life skills critical to student success. Since 1988, he has held positions in the U.S. Army as a communications specialist, a pre-school, after-school and substitute teacher, committee member with WordSpace, a literary non-profit, board member with Family Care Connections, a social service non-profit with emphasis on healthy families and fatherhood initiatives, and Slam Master of Dallas Poetry Slam.
Alexandra Marie Thurston hosted her own open mic venue, “Connected Through Art,” from 2006 to 2007, and assisted the 2006 Los Angeles Slam Team at the National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas. She has published two chapbooks: Love in Bits and Pieces in June of 2007, and You Are Between the Vowels and Consonants in My Every Sentence in November of 2007. Alexandra Marie Thurston is Slam Master/Director of the Dallas Poetry Slam. She has served as lead instructor for WordSpace Next Generation Project’s Youth Poets Workshops and is a co-founder of Dallas Youth Poets.
Jerry Kelley is a charter signing original member of WordSpace Board of Directors, published writer, Harvard in the 60s, Canadian Bush in the 70s. He lives in Dallas with his wife, poet Patty Turner.His work has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Southwest Review.
Jean Lamberty has been an educator in a variety of roles for the past 17 years. Her publications include An Extreme Risk, Illya’s Honey, Sentence,and the Houston Poetry Festival. She currently also works with the nonprofit Room to Read.
Steve Cruz is a Latino/Philipino artist, community activist, educator and owner of Mighty Fine Arts Gallery, with deep ties in multi-cultural, inter-disciplinary programming and exhibitions. He is the founder of many city festivals and events, partnered with Latino Cultural Center, Oak Cliff Cultural Center, the Kessler Theater, universities, high schools and other civic and non profit organizations. He is a former City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs panelist.
Laney Yarber is multi-award winning performance artist and patron of all arts. She is supporter of the Dallas and Ft. Worth Operas and has served on many boards, including African American Cancer Survivors and countless arts collaborations with many Dallas arts organizations. 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. Performances include X-Static: The Reveries of St. Theresa, Hippolytus, Saving the Farm and many other avant garde, multi-media extravaganzas.
Richard Bailey: Richard grew up on fifty-two acres in East Texas. Like many creative Texans, he found his way to Austin, where he studied film at The University of Texas. Later, he earned a M.A. degree in Literature from the University of Texas at Dallas. His poetry collection REVIVAL was awarded Finalist for the 2012 Emily Dickinson First Book Award. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for a short story. His short films have shown in festivals across the country, including SXSW, Focus, Black Maria, Snake Alley, and at Anthology Film Archives in NYC. His play A SHIP OF HUMAN SKIN was a Semifinalist at The Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2012 and The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, 2012.
Executive Director/Program Director
Karen Minzer (Karen X) is a writer/poet/gypsy, published by the Austin Sun in the 70s, Paris Records in the 80s and Wowapi, 90s to present. In 1976 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 former student and special friend to Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, studied in poetics apprenticeship with Allen Ginsberg. She has also studied with Robert Creeley, Ed Sanders, Galway Kinnell, Anne Waldman, Jack Myers. With a lot of help from a lot of friends, she has curated thousands of writers for over 30 years–including Dial A Poet Television in Dallas and Boulder, Starck Club, Caravan of Dreams, and Morrison Street for Paris Records. Ms. X is a veteran performer/warm up shouter for songwriter-poets such as Frank Black, John Cale, Bad Brains, et al. She is a Dharma Broad and yoga student of Angela Farmer and Michelle Andrie and instructor with 500 hour E-RYT. She has served WordSpace for 13 years as program curator, coordinator, board member, board programming chair, program director and executive director. Contact: Karen@WordSpace.us. A fun read on Karen and WordSpace by Jennifer Smart in the Dallas Observer. 100 Dallas Creatives: No. 70 Underground Culture Mainstay Karen X. Minzer
Adrienne Cox Clay
Ben E. Fountain
(2014) Sebastian Paramo, BA University of North Texas; MFA, Sarah Lawrence College
(2014) Libby Hayhurst, Washington Lee University
(2013) Darius Safavi, New York University
(2012) Jessical Tolbert, Oberlin College
(2011) John Fountain, University of Texas at Dallas
(2010) Anna Avery, Naropa University
Past Board Members–THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
Check out the distinguished and wonderful writers, artists, indie business owners, and educators who have served on the WordSpace Board of Directors.