• 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.

Your WordSpace

Click here for Lit Hop 2024 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
Oak Cliff Cultural Center
Mighty Fine Arts
Good Friends
WS board of directors
 & our iconic former board president
Charles Dee Mitchell
Thank You!

From Artists, Educators, and Media: 

“I did my first public reading at a WordSpace event in 2002 and the thriving literary community centered around WordSpace has been an essential part of my development as a writer.”
Ben E. Fountain, National Book Critics Award Winner

“Since the WordSpace organization has relocated to Oak Cliff, the subsequent heightened interest in literature and creative writing here has proven to be both inspirational and enlightening. WordSpace’s presence here genuinely feels like a gift to the neighborhood.”
Jeff Liles, Artistic Director, Kessler Theater

“Thank you for such a fine time and soul cleansing experience in Dallas.”   
Andrei Codrescu

“…in addition to its willingness to blur the lines between written word and other art forms, WordSpace has remained a source of support across a broad spectrum of local literary interests.”
Peter Simek, D Magazine

“The effect of WordSpace programs and the role they play in the positive development of young people is invaluable. These programs deserve your support.”
Scott Davison, Booker T. Washington School for the Visual and Performing Arts

WordSpace has presented programs with thousands of poets, prose writers, songwriters, playwrights, performance artists, storytellers and scholars across the broadest possible spectrum. Ongoing series include ArtSpeak, Pegasus, First Hearings, African Diaspora: New Dialogues, Salons, Next Generation, WordSpace at The Kessler, Oral Fixation and Dallas Poetry Slam Features.

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