Archive for the ‘First Hearings’ Category


When: September 8, 7:30 pm
Where: The Wild Detectives, 314 West 8th St, Dallas 75208
Hosted by: Charles Dee Mitchell

willardWith pleasure and excitement, WordSpace kicks off our 2016 – 17 season with a reading and conversation with Willard Spiegelman, Willard has been the Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University, and from 1984 – 2016 served as the editor of Southwest Review. Never known to be a man at a loss for words or opinions, his latest thoughts have been collected into his second book of essays, Senior Moments.

“If you are a living, breathing member of the human race, then Willard Spiegelman’s exemplary Senior Moments is for you. Aging is our universal condition: the only question is whether we approach our seniority kicking and screaming, or proceed with some degree of style and, let us hope, capacity for happiness. Spiegelman’s wise, witty, spirited essays show how we might work our way over to the style-and-happiness route, and are as good a guide for living well — at any age — that I know.” — Ben Fountain

At The Wild Detectives, Willard will read from his new book and be joined in conversation by Greg Brownderville, professor of poetry at SMU and the man stepping into Willard’s position as editor of Southwest Review.

Please join us for an evening celebrating Dallas writing, Dallas history, and with luck some Dallas gossip. senior







Who: Renee Rossi and Jeff Davis
What: First Hearings
When: June 2, 2016, 7:30 pm

Where: The Wild Detectives, 314 West 8th St, Dallas 75208
Hosted by: Charles Dee Mitchell


WordSpace welcomes back Renée Rossi and Jeffrey Davis, two poets who have read for WordSpace before and both of whom have new books out.

Renée Rossi

Renée Rossi

How’s this for a resume? Renée Rossi, who lives in Dallas, is a practicing otolaryngologist, holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is a certified practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine. She has published two poetry chapbooks, and at First Hearings will be reading from her new collection, Triage.





Jeffrey Davis

Jeffrey Davis

Jeffrey Davis, who has lived in Dallas in the past but is now based in New York, is a writer, speaker, and consultant. Through his Tracking Wonder project he is often interviewed for his views on the role of creative mastery in shaping a meaningful life and , as he puts it, “doing business as unusual.” He is a poet who also has a regular column in Psychology Today. At first hearings he will read from his 2016 book, Coat Thief.

Following their readings, the two friends will discuss how their professional lives and poetry combine to make them the writers they are.






When: Thursday, March 24, 7:30 pm
WhereThe Wild Detectives, 314 West 8th Street, Dallas, 75208
Hosted by: Charles Dee Mitchell

miroslav-penkovMiroslav Penkov was born in Bulgaria in 1982 and came to the United States in 2001. The Guardian praised is first story collection, East of the West (2012) for its combination of “toughness, vulnerability and bravado.” The New Republic wrote, “These stories are not the promising work of a first-time author. They are already a promise fulfilled—wise, bright, and deep with sympathy.” East of the West was published in eleven countries, and Penkov’s translation of his work was the bestselling book in Bulgaria in 2013.

Miroslav publishes is first novel, Stork Mountain, this month. The novel tells the story of an emigrant who returns from America to search for his grandfather, a man who disappeared three years before into the Strandja Mountains on the Bulgarian-Turkey border. The young man encounters the ecstatic Christianity of the region, the mysteries surrounding his grandfather’s life, and the shameful secrets of the past.

WordSpace sponsors Miroslav Penkov for a reading and book signing at The Wild Detectives, March 24 at 7:30 pm.




FIRST HEARINGS: David Langlinais
WHEN: December 10, 7:00pm
WHERE: The Wild Detectives, 314 West Eighth St, Dallas, 75208
HOSTED BY: Charles Dee Mitchell

david-langlinaisDavid Langlinais is a Dallas author who was born and raised in Abbeville, Louisiana. Duck Thief, his first collection of short stories, is part of the Louisiana Writers Series distributed by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press. David’s stories feature characters making sense of their lives in a world where tradition and change exert equal pull.

Duck Thief and Other Stories is a stunning collection by a fine new voice in Southern literature. David Langlinais comes from that great tradition of American storytellers that gave us Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and Richard Ford. The people who populate his stories are our friends and neighbors, and they live, work, and play where we do. His language is spare and unpretentious, and the rhythms of his prose lead us from moments of simple beauty to profound revelation. Haunting, compassionate, heart-breaking…these are some of the best stories I’ve read in a long time.”

–John Ed Bradley, author of It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium






David Searcy has been a friend and supporter of WordSpace since its inception in 1994. He is the author of two novels, and over the past few years his essays have begun to appear in The Paris Review, Esquire, and other of what they call your Prestige Publications.

Some of these essays have now been collected in Shame and Wonder, published by Random House on January 5, 2016. In this collection Searcy writes about – or thinks on paper about – everything from paper airplane construction to the Ken Burns documentary on Lewis and Clark. Along the way there are sidebars on cereal box prizes, El Caminos, and an enchanted tree near Fredericksberg.

Good things are already being said.

Shame and Wonder is a work of genius.  A very particular kind of genius, to be sure, one that bides more comfortably with questions, potentialities, mysteries and wonders than with the hard and fast answers that the information age has taught us to crave.  If you want to know things, real things, read Shame and Wonder.  It will knock you flat and lift you up.”Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk


“Strange, wonderful, and full of curiosity and nostalgia, David Searcy’s essays chip away at the world around us to lay bare the beauty and sadness at the heart of it all.”—Gay Talese

Please join WordSpace in honoring David Searcy on January 14.

Following the reading, David will be joined in conversation with award-winning novelist Ben Fountain.

David Searcy_AUTHOR PHOTO_credit Nancy Rebal


What: First Hearings with Joe R. Lansdale
When: Thursday, July 2, 7:30 pm
Where: The Wild Detectives, 314 West 8th Street, Dallas 75208
Hosted by: Charles Dee Mitchell,
More Info: Contact WordSpace@WordSpace.Us, 214-838-3554

Joe_lansdaleA recent reviewer said that it seems like Joe R. Lansdale has written about a thousand novels. That’s an exaggeration, but the man has written a lot of books — books that have earned him the reputation as the master of East Texas Gothic and gotten him compared to Mark Twain. And yes, he can make those two things work together.

Lansdale is best known for his crime novels featuring Hap and Leonard, two aging , East Texas good old boys who get into bad situations with very bad people. Those novels are funny, vulgar, and marked by outbursts of outrageous violence. In 2016, Hap and Leonard will appear in a six-episode series on Sundance Channel.

paradise_skyThis new novel, Paradise Sky, is a sprawling Western that offers a highly fictionalized life of Nat Love, the African American cowboy who became famous as the dime-novel hero, Deadwood Dick. The action moves from Texas to Arizona, up to South Dakota, and back to Arkansas. Along the way, Lansdale takes on every major trope of the Great American Western and plays
them to hilt. Nat Love is an engaging narrator who brings to life his short stint as a Buffalo soldier, his time as a bouncer at the Gem Theater in Deadwood, South Dakota, his friendship with Bill Hickock, and his battle with a psychopathically vindictive enemy who pursues him halfway across the continent. And since this is a Lansdale novel, you can bet it is also funny, vulgar, and marked by outbursts of outrageous violence.

This will be a great summer evening at The Wild Detectives.


Come hruizcamacho_colorear Antonio Ruiz-Camacho read from Barefoot Dogs, his book of linked short stories that follows the members of an elite Mexico City family who flee the country after the kidnapping and murder of their patriarch. Author Ben Fountain says of Barefoot Dogs, “Each of these stories is a straight-on jab to the soul, the kind of sharp fictional punch that wakes us up to our own flawed, fragile, essential humanity.”
Following the reading, Alfredo Corchado, author of Midnight in Mexico, will join the author in conversation and a discussion with the audience.

The reading and discussion takes place May 20, 7:00PM at The Wild Detectives, 314 West Eighth Street, Dallas, 75208. Food and drinks will be available, and Antonio will be signing books.

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