Board of Directors



WordSpace boards and staff are comprised of working writers, critics, musicians, artists and educators

Auxiliary Board 2017-18

Artists That Support Artists!

Karen X Minzer: Executive Director / Program Director (2009)
Karen 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 co-recipient of the 2015 Dallas Observer MasterMind Awards and has served WordSpace for 13 years as program curator, coordinator, board member, programs chair, program director and executive director, since 2009. Karen is a current MFA student at Naropa U’s Jack Kerouac School, and a former poetics apprentice of Allen Ginsberg. She has curated thousands of writers for over 30 years in DFW, Boulder and Santa Fe.  Ms. X is a veteran punk band shouter, a Dharma Broad, 500 hour E-RYT yoga instructor and honored to be one of Thomas Riccio’s  Zombies.
Jennifer Smart: Dallas Observer100 Dallas Creatives: Underground Culture Mainstay Karen X. Minzer.

Charles Dee Mitchell (2010, ret.9/2018) 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 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)

2018-19 Incoming President!
Monika Bell (2017)
is a visual artist, musician, writer and performance artist. Her work has been shown in numerous galleries, including The Dallas Public Library and Mighty Fine Arts. Along with her husband, software superman, Max Bell, she teaches monthly youth computer education programming to the Dallas Public Library as “The Dallas Young Makers Club”. Monika recently performed in Thomas Riccio’s “Holy Bone” iteration of Dead White Zombies project and is the former co-curator of special events at Incense and Peppermints.

Vice President
Steve Cruz (2012)  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. Steve hosts ArtSpeak @ Mighty Fine Arts, a performance art series in conjunction with exhibition openings.

2018-19 Incoming Vice President!
Opalina Salas (2017)
is the former co-owner, with her husband Carlos Salas, of Cliff Notes bookstore and founder and host of the Poets on X+ Reading Series, now at Lucky Dog Books. She has published and performed her work at venues all over Texas and is indefatigable in her support of other writers. Read More!

Richard Bailey (2014): 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. 

2018-19 Incoming Secretary!
Brenda Randall (2015) is a poet and organizational leader for the longest running showcase of women’s poetry in Dallas at South Dallas Cultural Center. She is co-host of “Verse and Rhythm” at Oak Cliff Cultural Center, “In the Words of a Sista” at Dallas Black Academy of Arts and Letters and numerous other readings.  She studied at Texas Women’s University.

Jerry Kelley (1997-ret. 9/2018) is the 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.

Laney Yarber (2014-ret. 9/2018) 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.

Manuel Pecina (2017) is a photographer, collector, gallery owner of Ant Colony and former professor of art at Tarrant County Community College.

Clancy Manuel (2017) is a musician, songwriter, and Happenings collaborator. She works in services and technical support for Fort Worth Modern Museum.


2017-18 WordSpace Auxiliary Board

Tammy Gomez (2017) is a multiple award winning artist, a Mexican-American Texas-born writer, performance artist, and media producer. Tammy Gomez has over 20 years of experience in producing, directing, and hosting literary performance events, and has collaborated with over 100 artist/writers. She curated the Poetry Tent readings for the Texas Book Festival for six consecutive years. Read More!

Priscilla Rice (2017) is a poet and co-host of the venerable Verse and Rhythm performance nights at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. She is a translator and works for numerous media corporations.


WordSpace Advisory Board

Sara Cardona (WS board secretary 2015-17): Sara Cardona is an educator, artist and humanities scholar with an extensive resume of leadership roles in arts education and international performing arts programs in Dallas, Mexico and India.  Her scholarship includes numerous translations and cultural conference leadership roles. Her work is included in numerous exhibitions. She is a Professor of Arts and Humanities.
Ben E. Fountain (WS board president 2007-2009)Fountain is the recipient of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award. His book “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” has been made into a film by Ang Lee. He is the author of the short story collection Brief Encounters with Che Guevara(Ecco/HarperCollins, 2006), which received the 2007 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2006 Barnes & Noble Discover Award. His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Zoetrope: All-Story, and the Paris Review, among other magazines, and has received an O.Henry Award, two Pushcart Prizes, two short story awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, and the McGinnis Ritchie Prize for Fiction. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and New Letters. From 2004-2006 he served as fiction editor of the Southwest Review.
Vicki Meek (Ret. Manager South Dallas Cultural Center, 1996-2016) Internationally celebrated artist and co-founder with WordSpace of the African Diaspora: New Dialogues series at SDCC. During her tenure as manager of the SDCC she initiated ground breaking education and artistic programs that created the internationally recognized cultural center that it is today. Ms. Meeks is a leader, a voice for the voiceless, an activist, a teacher and above all, an artist. 

Adrienne Cox Trammell (Retired Ws board, 2011is a co-founder of WordSpace. She has worked in nonprofit administration for over 20 years in fund development, program coordination, management consulting services, database administration and office management. She has served as board president, immediate past president, programming committee and chair of governance.


Past Board Members

Check out the distinguished and wonderful writers, artists, indie business owners, and educators who have served on the WordSpace Board of Directors. We wouldn’t be here now without them. 

Graphic Support: Paloma Salas
Data Therapist: Teri Walker
WordSpace Logo: Art Garcia, GraphicContent
Video: Tropic Pictures
Music: Cygnus: Phillip Washington
Website: Steve Paul

Intern Program:
(2016) Suza Kanon, University of Texas at Dallas
(2015) Paloma SalasMaryland Institute College of Art

(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


 Thank you to our 2017-18 Season Sponsors:



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