• Charley Moon
Robert Trammell

WordSpace is a group of artists supporting artists.

Poet Robert Trammell founded WordSpace with Adrienne Trammell and Jerry Kelley in 1994. His goal was to provide public exposure for North Texas writers and to see that they got paid for their participation. From inception, WordSpace has produced programming celebrating the diversity of the local literary community, championing those voices that explore creative language in both traditional and experimental forms.

Since Robert Trammell’s passing in 2006, WordSpace has continued to honor his vision by expanding support for local writers and their interactive opportunities with national figures. Through partnerships with Dallas Cultural Centers, arts groups, local galleries, bookstores, and theaters, we place literary programs in diverse neighborhoods throughout the city.

WordSpace has presented nationally prominent writers such as Andrei Codrescu, Laurie Anderson, Anne Waldman, Nikki Giovanni, Saul Williams and Booker Prize winner James Kelman. Early programs included Robert Creeley, Ed Sanders, a forum of sports writers, panels and readings with internationally-based women writers, and musical events featuring Townes Van Zandt and Scottish writer Duncan McLean’s Lone Star Swing.

Presently, Dallas enjoys an explosion of public literary events. We are delighted to support the emergence of fresh voices in the literary scene. We hope our ongoing 25 years of fusion between visiting and local writers will place literary arts on a par with the nationally recognized visual and performing arts in Dallas.

WordSpace is honored to be recognized by the Dallas Observer as a recipient of the 2015 MasterMind Awards.

WordSpace has presented over 3000 artists

ARTSPEAK presents performance art and songwriters in conjunction with exhibition openings at Mighty Fine Arts. With a special leaning towards the avant-garde, performances by artists have covered a wide range. From the word unspoken in mime to body text jazz performers, from Laney Yarber extravaganzas to the “sounds” of visual artists, video installations–plus maybe a couple of disturbing play readings. Thought-stimulating art for arts sake. AFRICAN DIASPORA: NEW DIALOGUES focuses on work of nationally recognized writers presented at and partnered with the South Dallas Cultural Center. The authors pay school visits and offer writing workshops. The series has presented Chris Abani, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Vievee Francis, Tyehimba Jess, Lonnie Hollie, Dawn Lundi Martin, Duriel Harris, Douglas Kearney, Dallas Poetry Slam–and many more. DALLAS LIT HOP is a month long festival featuring local and state writers in readings, podcast recordings, performance art extravaganzas, parties, bar crawls and Headliner events. WS has produced a dozen literary festivals. What began as a summer residency at Undermain Theatre has migrated into a city-wide neighborhood strategy. DALLAS POETRY SLAM and WordSpace produce regional events together, such as special programs for Dallas Lit Hop, Women of the World Poetry Slam Festival and more. Rock Baby to Candy to Rage to GNO to Princess Macdowel–This partnership has produced ten years of monthly featured poets in the best of Slam. HEADLINERS brings celebrity artists in ticketed events to The Kessler Theater and Moody Performance Hall. The series has presented Anne Waldman, Laurie Anderson, John Waters, Amy Sedaris, Nikki Giovanni, Andrei Codrescu, Sandra Bernhard, Saul Williams, Amber Torn and Dan Savage, CA Conrad, and Mairead Case. Historic presentations include Lewis McAdams, Robert Creeley, Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ed Sanders, Terry Allen, Dharma Broads, and Johnny Dolphin. ORAL FIXATION: partnership with Nicole Schlesingerbrought true-life storytelling to theater audiences in ticketed events at Moody Performance Hall. POETS ON X+ READING SERIES AND OPEN MIC: Opalina and Carlos Salas host a spirited neighborhood showcase for poets near and far at MFA Gallery. SALONS present entertaining topics and language work installations from Dallas artist, educators and intellectuals in private homes. This ‘old school’ program was begun by Robert Trammel and continues to this day. Among historic and recent presenters: Ronaldo Wilson, Rosemary Meza Dez-Plaz, Fred Turner, Janice Kearney, Ben Fountain, Roger Reeves, Rose Alcala, Young Eui Choi, Andru Lemon, Susan Briante, Tai Joo, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Roxy Gordon, Martha Heimberg, Greg Browderville, Tisha Creer, Jeffrey Liles, Karen Minzer, Richard Bailey–and many more. TRANSNATIONAL IMPRESSIONS: Award winning visiting Latinx and indigenous writers are presented at and partnered with the Latino Cultural Center. The series has featured Natalia Toledo Paz, Natalie Diaz, Yuri Gutierrez-Herrera, Tim Z. Hernandez, Christopher Carmona, Rosemary Catacallas, Joaquin Zihuatanejo, Tammy Gomez, Farid Matuk– and more. FIRST READINGS at The Wild Detectives has hosted newly published books by Harry Hunsicker, Brian Alan Carr, Sanderia Faye, David Searcy, Christopher Carmona, Chuck Taylor, Rene Rosse, Carol Adams, Isabella Russell-Ides, and many more.


The Latest

What: ArtSpeak 
When: Saturday Nov 11 | 7-9 pm
Where: Mighty Fine Arts
409A N Tyler St, 75208
Who: The Sutcliffs perform in conjunction with Exhibition Opening of new work by infamous artist Franklin Ackerley..

“Erratic Developments” features new work with a reception for the artist and will run till Dec 17. Widely known for his over the top pop concoctions Ackerley rose to prominence in the early 1990’s while still in graduate school at Central Washington University. He has become known as much for his secretive nomadic lifestyle as for his iconic and ever changing artwork. Despite shunning the spotlight for decades Ackerley’s fame continues to rise as he has been featured in exhibits and collections throughout the world. This exhibit will be Ackerley’s first in the DFW Metromess and as luck will have it, he has agreed to make what will be his first appearance at an opening since 1997 at the Tucson Museum of Art. On view will be a selection of new work never before seen in public. To help celebrate this special appearance Wordspace will present musical performances by Direct from Lubbock Bryan Wheeler and notorious Dallas party icons The Sutcliffes! And if we are fortunate enough perhaps Ackerley himself might play a tune or two.

What: A commemorative reading of Robert Trammell’sJack Ruby and the Origins of the Avant-Garde in Dallas:
When: Saturday, 11-25 | 7 pm
Where: Deep Vellum Books
3000 Commerce St., 75226
Featuring: Tim Cloward, Ben Fountain, David Searcy, Isabella Russell Ides, Lisa Huffaker, Joe Milazzo & Surprise Guest Readers.
MORE: At the 60th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas, the most significant local poem addressing that event remains Robert Trammell’s Jack Ruby & the Origins of the Avant-Garde in Dallas. Robert Trammell, who passed away in 2006, was “the essential grass-roots poet of Dallas.”  He was an early member of the Dallas Institute of Culture and Humanities and the founder of the influential literary organization WordSpace, Trammell made himself a Dallas literary icon.  Deep Vellum Press re-published his ground-breaking Jack Ruby poem in 2021 (in an edition that also includes  The Quiet Man Stories, his literary history of a quintessential Dallas dive bar). The tribute at Deep Vellum Bookstore will feature a who’s-who of the city’s literary talent Moderated by Tim Cloward, author of  The City That Killed the President: A Cultural History of Dallas and the Assassination, the event will pay tribute to a unique Dallas talent and reckon with this city’s literary response to the trauma of the Kennedy assassination.

Click Events on our Menu Bar and see past events. Click anywhere on our bar and see what’s up with us. Write us a note to say hi! WordSpace@WordSpace.Us. We’d love to hear from you.


This poster was created by the great Andy Don Emmons.
Unfortunately, we forgot to proofread it.
Our bad and we’re sorry, Rosemary Meza-DesPlas.
WordSpace website is wordspacedallas.com / wordspace.us works too.

Otherwise, all good to go!
Special Thanks, Andy.

Click here for Artist Bios

Dallas Lit Hop is sponsored by
City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture
Lucky Dog Books
Top Ten Records
Bath House Cultural Center
Mighty Fine Arts
Good Friends
WS board of directors
 & our iconic former board president
Charles Dee Mitchell
Thank You!

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