Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

MusicSpeak @ Lit Hop 2024

Saturday, August 24

MusicSpeak

EV | SARAH RUTH | CLANCY MANUEL

STEFAN GONZALES | AARON GONZALES

2-4pm @ Lucky Dog Books

10534 Garland Rd. (East Dallas)

EV | SARAH RUTH | CLANCY MANUEL | STEFAN GONZALES | AARON GONZALES

Stefan Gonzalez is a drummer, vibraphonist, percussionist, and vocalist featured on over thirty musical releases; their music groups have toured with throughout North America, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Portugal, Switzerland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sardinia, Poland, Russia, France, Denmark, and Austria. Having been raised in avant-garde jazz and in an overall creative household, Gonzalez rebelled through the often visceral and cacophonous expressions of punk and grindcore, only to re-discover and officially fall in love with jazz in their late teens. They studied drums with W.A. Richardson, Alvin Fielder, and Ronald Shannon Jackson and are best known for playing in their defunct family free jazz trio, Yells at Eels, with their late father, the world renowned trumpeter, Dennis Gonzalez, and their older brother Aaron Gonzalez on bass.  The trio had a 22-year run.  The Gonzalez siblings have a long running grindcore duo known as Akkolyte since1998 and still perform sporadically.  Additionally, Stefan and Aaron have played as the joint rhythm section for many groups including Luis Lopes Humanization 4tet (with Rodrigo Amado), Fire Life Trio (with Danny Kamins), Unconscious Collective (with Gregg Prickett), Curtis Clark Trio, Trio No Mas (with Mars Williams), and The Chadbourne/Gonzalez Collusion (with Eugene Chadbourne).  Other acts worth mentioning are Gonzalez’s long running industrial solo project turned duo, Orgullo Primitivo (with Abbas Khorasani), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten’s international supergroup The Young Mothers (with Frank Rosaly, Jonathan Horne, Jawwaad Taylor, and Jason Jackson), Denton psychedelic thrashers Heavy Baby Sea Slugs, the Dennis Gonzalez Legacy Band, a trio with Wendy Eisenberg and Damon Smith, and North Texas avant-garde jazz powerhouse Trio Glossia (with Joshua Miller and Matthew Frerck).  Other collaborators and past groups include Alvin Fielder, Joe McPhee, Mars Williams, Maria Valencia, Famoudou Don Moye, German Bringas, Sabir Mateen, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Sarah Ruth, Assif Tsahar, Alex Coke, Tatsuya Nakatani, Remi Alvarez, John Dikeman, Michel Doneda, Rob Mazurek, Itzam Cano, Gabriel Lauber, Elliott Levin, Dan Clucas, Jandek, Mike Watt, Asukubus, Imperial Slaughter, Just Another Consumer, and many more.  

Aaron Gonzales is a member of the illustrious Gonzales music family.  D Magazine refers to the family as an “institution.” He primarily plays upright bass and has been publicly performing since he was a child. He and his brother began their own bands when they were in middle school. He has collaborated on numerous projects with his brother, Stefan—and like Stefan, he grew up performing with Yells at Eels and has toured the world with his own music and has dozens of recordings. He is also an actor, performance artist and multiple appearances as stage accompanist and actor for Matthew Posey’s Ochre House Theatre. Gonzales past appearances also include a Darius Safavi production The Numerology of Money.With Greg Prickett and Stefan Gonzales, he created Unconscious Collective, a daunting side project with the intention of unsettling your musical horizons with theatrical tribal costumes and spoken word interludes. The “Collective” invoked ancient musical realms and inspired contemporary improvisation channeling punk, free jazz, funk, blues, and metal. It was one of WordSpace’s most memorable concert presentations. The police thought so too and tried to shut it down. But Gonzales claimed his aesthetic rights. The police gave up and let the audience enjoy. Be prepared for expanded sensibilities in his articulation of music-speak.

EV is the stage name for Alicia Borman. She was born in Claremore, Oklahoma at a Native American hospital to the sound of tribal drumming and chanting over the loudspeaker. As a young child, her mother would take her along to a piano jazz bar in Tulsa while the waitstaff brought her Shirley Temples. Alicia was allowed to sit in the adjoining restaurant space, and peek through the open doorway while her mother took turns singing Jazz standards and show tunes. Encountering singing and music in this space ignited a spark deep inside her. Alicia studied Fine Arts at Oklahoma State University, but realized the poetry she had been writing since middle school were actually songs. That long embedded spark grew into a blazing desire to sing in public. Alicia moved to Dallas in 2003, and has been writing songs and performing all over North Texas for the last twelve years with her three piece Avant-Rock band, Atom & EV. She also has booked small cultural events since 2015, including for Top Ten Records. You may also know her from her production work on Avant to Leave This Planet, Run With Scissors, and Caustic Beats. She also occasional sidelines as a Novelty Music DJ. EV is one Dallas’s most interesting new songwriters and performers. 

Sarah Ruth is the stage name of Sarah Ruth Alexander. She is a multi-instrumentalist, performer, music instructor, radio producer for Tiger D on KUZU 92.09 FM, co-curator for Molten Plains music series. She a recording artist with multiple albums, including God Made My Soul an Ornament. Her musical collaborations include productions with Aaron Gonzales and Greg PrickettSarah Ruth expands the notions of music and poetics with stunning soundscapes and atmospheric improvisations. 

Clancy Manuel hosts this event. She is the media chair for WordSpace, a DJ, staging and musical director for multiple DFW productions, including the Fort Worth Modern Museum and performance artist Laney Yarber.


Some of the Dharma @ Lit Hop 2024

Friday August 9

Some of the Dharma

Isabella Russell-Ides | Karen Minzer | Rod Russell-Ides

7-9pm @ Oak Cliff Cultural Center

223 Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208

Isabella Russell-Ides  will perform selections from her newly-released book Ova: Collected Works 1972-2024. She is the embodiment of the trickster feminist dakini and maestra of shapeshifting writing styles, a genre masher, poet, playwright, and author of two novels of speculative fiction —White Monkey Chronicles (International Book Award Finalist, Jemma Award) and The Godma’s Daughters (International Book Award, Visionary Fiction, Indie Reader Notable Book of the Year.) Her breakout book of poems, Getting Dangerously Close To Myself, is a landmark in the Austin poetry performance scene of the 1980s.  Her first play, a country western musical, Nashville Road, premiered in Austin, Texas at Center Stage on Sixth Street (co-written with Rod Russell-Ides.) She has also received critical acclaim for her works, Leonard’s Car (“Outstanding New Play”, 2009 Nora’s Playhouse, NYC,) Fortune Cookie Smash (2007 Best of Fest, Frontera.) She is noted for the poetic and heightened language of her texts. More recently, her two-woman show, Joe & Louisa (in which the character Jo March bargains with her author, Louisa May Alcott) won a 2019 DFW Critics Forum Award for Outstanding New Play. Coco & Gigi, her existential and feminist take on Waiting for Godot, won the 2008 DFW Critics Forum Award for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Ensemble. Her breakout play, Leonard’s Car, plunges into the deeps of a mother on the verge (“Outstanding New Play” 2009, Nora’s Playhouse, NYC.) She is noted for the poetic and heightened language of her texts.

Rod Russell-Ides is a landscape artist, musician, songwriter, novelist and poet—a former Dharma Broad. His music collaborations include Kenny Withrow of New Bohemians and Paul Simon (The.) He was born on a hospital gurney in Oklahoma in 1946. He grew up in Kansas until his father sent him to prep school in Connecticut thus ending his life as a cowboy. His family exploded when he was fourteen and he had to re-invent himself in the middle of nowhere in the great American tradition, a talent he has pursued ever since. At various times he has been a go cart and motorcycle racer, a Mad Man, a rocker in Texas, a composer, a garden designer (rodrussellides.net), a landscape sculptor, and author of a ground breaking memoir Sparky and the Dipshit. His work as a sculptor has carried him to the wilds of Alaska. He designed and built the largest man-made waterfall in the state. In France, he studied and mapped the Grotto of Lourdes to replicate it in Texas for the Archbishop of Houston. He lives in Dallas with his wife, Isabella Russell Ides. 

Karen X aka Karen Minzer is a writer/poet/wanderer, published by the Austin Sun in the 70s, Paris Records in the 80s, Wowapi in the 90s, and Lamar State University’s anthology of Texas Beat Poets in 2018. Minzer was born in the mid-1900s and went to high school in an obscure Texas town. She rode horses and did country chores. She moved to UT Austin and gravitated into the leftovers of the SDS publishing scene. #Another flop of a revolution. In 1975, she moved to Dallas and collaborated in art escapades while working for Roxy and Judy Gordon’s graphics company. One day after the fly-by-night Yippie Smoke-in at City Hall, she discovered the poet Robert Trammell reading poetry at Old City Park–across the street from her home at the historic (grungy) Ambassador Hotel. She was the only audience member. Reading poems to an empty room became a life-mission. Instead, Minzer became a punk band lyricist-shouter with The Panics and toured sketchy clubs. #EnoughAlready. She produced Dial a Poet Television for Cable Access TV and archived the work of dozens of writers from all over the USA. Beginning in 2005, she staged the poetry pageants Dharma Boards I-IV. In 2010, she became executive director of WordSpace, curated hundreds of visiting and local writers, washed the dishes and took out the trash. #NeverEnough. She is co-recipient, with Dee Mitchell, of the 2015 Dallas Observer MasterMind Awards. Minzer holds an MFA from Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, where she once studied with Allen Ginsberg & good friends. She is currently a Humanities PhD candidate at UTD. The Final Oral Defense for her creative writing dissertation, Outrider Witness takes place a week before her Lit Hop reading. #RideAndDie. The whole academia thing has just about killed her, except that she has practiced and taught yoga for decades. She claims it has played an integral role in her health and resilience


ARTSPEAK @ Lit Hop 2024

Janet Chaffee and Benito Huerta with Sandy Bates Emmons

6-9pm @ Bathhouse Cultural Center

 521 E Lawther Dr 75218

ABOUT JANET CHAFFEE: “My Current Work Is An Intuitive And Playful Exploration Of Abstract Composition, Color And Nature. The Initial Drawings for this work are derived from found rock formations along the border of California and Mexico, as well as, the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains. I also draw from found lace work. The lace is found both regionally and abroad, including locations in Germany, Italy and Cuba. In these paintings, I use a narrow range of dry pigments, beeswax and oil paint. Both materials and imagery are combined in layers recomposing landscape and nature to suggest metaphorical connections between the thrill of making and my awe for nature. Calcium Carbonate, one of the the dry pigments used, is a common compound comprising three elements—carbon, oxygen and calcium. It is found in pearls, seashells, limestone, in streams and lakebeds throughout Texas and the midwestern United States. Mica, another dry pigment, is found in the southeastern United States and is used iin various products from electronics to paper. This combination of imagery and material allow me the opportunity to intuit process, chance and discovery of unforeseen possibilities while making the work. The fluidity and stillness of the wax allows for the work to expand and explore implicit movement. Each encaustic painting becomes the custodian of past moments in time.” Janet Chaffee is originally from Denver, Colorado but has lived in Texas most of her life.  She earned her BFA in painting from The University of Texas at Arlington in 1999 and received her MFA in painting from Texas Christian University in May 2002.  After graduating, she taught drawing at TCU, UTA, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and has been in several individual as well as group shows throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico. She has been recognized with numerous awards for her work and has collaborated with Benito Huerto on an exhibition for The Art Museum of Southeast Texas. In 2006, she was awarded The Murrin Family Award for an exhibition held at The Fort Worth Community Arts Center.  During the summer of 2010 she was awarded a “Once Upon a Time” Grant from Trinity Valley School of Fort Worth to attend the residency, Atelier Hilmsen in Germany. 

ABOUT BENITO HUERTA Benito Huerta’s works are included in the public collections of the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Albuquerque Museum of Art, the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, the Sheldon Museum of Art in Omaha and the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas, to name a few. Huerta is the retired co-founding editor of theTexas art magazine Artlies, the retired director of the Gallery at the University of Texas at Arlington, curator of many exhibitions around the country, and participant in numerous public art commissions throughout Texas. Huerta’s work derives visual influence from many sources. From his ethnic background, history, art history, pop culture, movies, and books, he assimilates and interprets information into unique pictorial energy. Huerta’s subtle command of intellectualism mixed with his visual vocabulary demonstrates his maturity as a communicator and artist. Benito Huerta was selected for one of the public art commissions at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, International Terminal. He has completed public works for the Mexican-American Cultural Center in Austin, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Station Design Project, having created work integral to the architecture for the Richardson Station, and the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority Light Rail Station Design Project’s Medical Center station. The Dallas Center for Contemporary Art awarded Huerta with its Legend Award.

Sandy Emmons will introduce and facilitate a discussion between the artists. Emmons is an environmental activist, animals empath, gourmet chef, arts writer and supporter. She grew up in South America and has traveled extensively. She lives in Waxahachie with her husband, the painter Andy Don Emmons.

Sandy Emmons will introduce and facilitate a discussion between the artists. Emmons is an environmental activist, animals empath, gourmet chef, arts writer and supporter. She grew up in South America and has traveled extensively. She lives in Waxahachie with her husband, the painter Andy Don Emmons.


Roxy and Judy Gordon Fest @ Lit Hop 2024

Saturday, July 13

6-9 pm @ Top Ten Records

338 Jefferson Blvd in the 75208

Joseph Flaten | Roderick Richardson | Veronica Pamindanan | Michael Helsem | John Slate  | Chris Merlick | Insecto-Ray Orchestra | Opalina Salas

“Roxy Gordon” By Robert Trammell (From Hot Flashes #2 – January 1986)

The first time I met Roxy was when he & I were doing a reading together at 500 Exposition about 5 years ago.  That night he read a longish poem “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night, Alive As You Or Me,” a real angry, hostile bit of writing & I assumed that was who Roxy was.  I was prepared not to like him.  That was stupid of me.  My own work is at times violent & it really puts me off when people think therefor I am.  Maybe I am, maybe Roxy is too but we both exorcise those demons mostly thru our writing (but the gun is real).  As it turned out Roxy and Judy are about the most generous people I’ve ever met.  They are honest and direct.

I’ve come to respect them both.  I’ve also become a fan of Roxy’s no nonsense writing style.  I learn from him & his work (he also paints & draws), am provoked & inspired by him to write from the heart as he always does.

Starting young, in 1963 he won a Talpa-Centennial High School Letter Jacket for writing.  He may be the only person to have ever been so honored in Texas.

At the U. of Texas he was editor of Riata, the school’s literary mag.  Soon after graduation he wrote Some Things I Did (Encino Press, Austin, 1972), made some money & got some notoriety.  The book had a lot to do with his living on the Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation in Northern Montana.  Roxy is a Breed, part Choctaw.  His work often reflects that heritage.  In the ‘70s he published, edited & wrote for the small but influential monthly mag Picking Up The Tempo.  Lots of his friends (Townes Van Zandt, Butch Hancock, Billy Joe Shaver, Richard Dobson, Jimmy Gilmore & the Lubbock-by-way-of-Fresno Terry Allen) still write songs.  That makes sense cause, till now, this state has sure turned out better songwriters than poets.  In 1984 Place of Herons Press published Breeds, his most important collection/book.  In 1985 Judy Gordon started her Wowapi Press & published his most recent book Unfinished Business.  He has had work in Greenfield Review, Omaha Rainbow, The Sun, Art Magic (which he published) & Earth Power Coming.

Roxy & Judy have been building a kinda Comanchero camp/house/enclosure near Talpa.  They call it the HouseUp.  They spend as much time as they can out there but still have to make a living in Dallas.  They grew up together & both of their families still live there.  Judy’s father runs an old-fashioned ranch & traps game.  While we were visiting he trapped, skinned & gave me the pelt of a Ring Tail Cat.  He can only get $3 for them.  They are sent to Russia & made into mittens.  Roxy nailed it to a board, cured it with formaldehyde.  It’s on my hall wall next to the rattlesnake skin to remind me as Roxy & Judy always remind me that Dallas is just a stopping place on their way back home to Coleman County.

Roxy and Judy Gordon Fest 2024

Joseph Flaten | Roderick Richardson | Veronica Pamindanan | Michael Helsem | John Slate  | Chris Merlick | Insecto-Ray Orchestra | Opalina Salas

Joseph Flaten is a writer, actor and vocalist who grew up in a family of Dallas artists and their friends as extended household. These included Roxy and Judy Gordon and their sons Quanah and JC Gordon. As a child and into his teen years, Flaten performed in numerous Dallas productions, such as stage work with Laney Yarber, Caravan of Dreams, and worked with directors Kenneth Anger and James Hong. He performed Giving up the Farm, Part 2 Skincare in Roxy and Judy’s living room. After graduating from University of Texas he moved to New York and continued his film work, appearing in films by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and Jonathan Caouette (Tarnation). Flaten also appeared in Caouette’s All Flowers in Time, starring Chloe Sevigny. The film was showcased at Cannes. He’s also been featured on The Sopranos, Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, and a Tribeca Film Festival selection, directed by Dallas native Ash Christian. In 2009, he moved to Asia to merge his performance and writing skills with global business. In Bangkok he joined a gospel-soul choir to benefit tsunami orphans and sang at the Aksra Theatre, sponsored by the US Embassy, later traveling with the choir throughout Thailand. On Ko Samui Island, Flaten collaborated with Peter Dougal at the Den of Dionysus Theater to create and perform in original multimedia stage performance. He is committed to honoring the legacy of Roxy and Judy Gordon as part of his essential Dallas arts roots. He is pictured here with Quanah Parker Gordon (1991.)

Roderick Earl Richardson was born on February 28, 1972, and grew up in Calvert, Texas. Richardson graduated from Tarleton State University in 1995 with a BS degree in Mass Communications and minors in English and journalism. He has worked for several newspapers, including The Big Spring Herald, The Palestine Herald-PressThe Kilgore News Herald, and freelanced all across Texas. In 2001, Richardson left his career in journalism in 2001and moved to Arlington, Texas. However, his passion for writing never faded, and around 2006, he began performing at poetry open mics and slams all over the DFW Metroplex. He is the author of two chapbooks, Caterpillar Blues and Day by Day and co-wrote Points of View with Devorah Titunik. His poems and short stories have appeared in Mad Swirl and DFW Poetry Review.

Veronica Pamindanan is a poet, leader, event planner and more. She has been writing since elementary school and performing since she was eighteen. Pamindanan teaches creative writing and performs in Dallas schools. She writes on religion, Filipino heritage, and American culture. Pamindanan hosts a monthly open mic in the DFW area. She strives to be an outlet for upcoming artist and hopes to use her talents to touch others on a national scale. 

Michael Helselm writes “m. h. was born in dallas in 1958. shortly afterwards, fish fell from the sky” for his promo bio. WordSpace would like to add that Helselm is a seminal collaborator and contributor to the Dallas poetry scene and author of many books. Some are in “constructed” languages, such as Esperanto. He was co-creator of what might be considered Dallas’s first grassroots poetry festival, the Eisteddfod. It took place in the 80s at the Bath House Cultural Center. A bit younger than the Gordons, but in the stir of some of their literary mixes.

Chris Merlick and his Duchampaphone. Merlick is a visual artist, musician and performance artist. For Roxy and Judy Gordon Fest, he brings his iconic Duchampian found-object bicycle wheel sculpture and morphs it into a captivating musical device. Literally spinning out beats and songs with true Dada-esque fervor and mad invention! Merlick is the artistic director of Top Ten Records nonprofit site. He has performed in numerous Dallas bands and on citywide galleries and stages. In May 2024, Merlick appeared with Lithium Xmas at the Starck Club 40th Reunion Party at the Kessler Theater—another one for the history books.

Insecto-Ray Orchestra features the immensely talented Marco Villalobos and his awesome musical partner Werner Heimlich, They are a neo-psychedelic mutant jazz spoken word disco dance band constantly overstepping musical boundaries and endlessly improvising and experimenting. This is only possible and intriguing due to the virtuosity of the players and their immense talents. Get ready!

John H. Slate has presented multiple Salons for WordSpace at Dee Mitchell’s home. “Confessions and Revelations of a Teen Punk Fanzine Editor” was an uber-entertaining evening of powerpoint, handouts and reconteurship relating to his years in Austin as a teen punk zine editor and some commetary on his appearance in the iconic film Slacker. Other Salon topics he’s tacked for WordSpace include “Outlaw Poetics” featuring the work of Bonnie Parker, Candy Barr and others. Slate is the archivist for the City of Dallas, where he is responsible for historic city government records in the Dallas Municipal Archives. Slate is the author of “Lost Austin,” in the “Images of America” series. “Lost Austin” records some of the city’s rich and unique history and most of the images depicted in the book are of seminal Austin places and institutions that no longer exist but that played an important role in shaping Austin’s special character. He is also the author of “Historic Dallas Parks” and “Dealey Plaza.” 

Opalina Salas is a poet, performer, and founding host of the popular Poets on X+ reading series. She lives and creates in her beloved Dallas Oak Cliff neighborhood. Her collaborative performances include Tejana Cosmica, a feminist spoken word trio and plays synth/sampler in Your Loving Son, a spoken word duo with poet Carlos Salas. She is the former co-owner of Oak Cliff Notes bookstore, editor of the femme lit zine, Let It Bleed and a regular contributor to The Mad Swirl, an online literary forum. Salas has been featured in numerous literary festivals, including the Texas Beat Poetry Festival, Forest Fest, and New Orleans Poetry Fest. Her 2019 book Black Sparrow Dress (MadSwirl, 2019) garnered critical acclaim. 


2024 Lit Hop Bios

Saturday, July 13

Roxy and Judy Gordon Fest

6-9 pm @ Top Ten Records

338 Jefferson Blvd in the 75208

Joseph Flaten | Roderick Richardson | Veronica Pamindanan | Michael Helsem | John Slate  Chris Merlick | Insecto-Ray Orchestra | Opalina Salas

Joseph Flaten is a writer, actor and vocalist who grew up in a family of Dallas artists and their friends as extended household. These included Roxy and Judy Gordon and their sons Quanah and JC Gordon. As a child and into his teen years, Flaten performed in numerous Dallas productions, such as stage work with Laney Yarber, Caravan of Dreams, and films of Kenneth Anger and James Hong. After graduating from University of Texas he moved to New York and was featured or appeared in numerous other films. His acting credits include John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation. Flaten also appeared in Caouette’s All Flowers in Time, starring Chloe Sevigny. The film was showcased at Cannes. He’s also been featured on The Sopranos, Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, and a Tribeca Film Festival selection, directed by Ash Christian. In 2009, he moved to Asia to merge his performance and writing skills with global business. He was featured in a Vietnamese TV historical war drama that toured all over Thailand. In Bangkok he joined a gospel-soul choir to benefit tsunami orphans and sang at the Apsara Theatre, sponsored by the US Embassy. On Ko Samui island, Flaten collaborated with Peter Dougal at the Den of Dionysus Theater to create an origami multimedia stage performance. His arts and business networks are worldwide; his socio-cultural scholarship is exhaustive and spans many continents. He is committed to honoring the legacy of Roxy and Judy Gordon as part of his essential Dallas arts roots. He is pictured here with Quanah Parker Gordon (1991.)

Roderick Earl Richardson was born on February 28, 1972, and grew up in Calvert, Texas. Richardson graduated from Tarleton State University in 1995 with a BS degree in Mass Communications and minors in English and journalism. He has worked for several newspapers, including The Big Spring Herald, The Palestine Herald-PressThe Kilgore News Herald, and freelanced all across Texas. In 2001, Richardson left his career in journalism in 2001and moved to Arlington, Texas. However, his passion for writing never faded, and around 2006, he began performing at poetry open mics and slams all over the DFW Metroplex. He is the author of two chapbooks, Caterpillar Blues and Day by Day and co-wrote Points of View with Devorah Titunik. His poems and short stories have appeared in Mad Swirl and DFW Poetry Review.

Veronica Pamindanan is a poet, leader, event planner and more. She has been writing since elementary school and performing since she was eighteen. Pamindanan teaches creative writing and performs in Dallas schools. She writes on religion, Filipino heritage, and American culture. Pamindanan hosts a monthly open mic in the DFW area. She strives to be an outlet for upcoming artist and hopes to use her talents to touch others on a national scale. 

Michael Helselm writes “m. h. was born in dallas in 1958. shortly afterwards, fish fell from the sky” for his promo bio. WordSpace would like to add that Helselm is a seminal collaborator and contributor to the Dallas poetry scene and author of many books. Some are in “constructed” languages, such as Esperanto. He was co-creator of what might be considered Dallas’s first grassroots poetry festival, the Eisteddfod. It took place in the 80s at the Bath House Cultural Center. A bit younger than the Gordons, but in the stir of some of their literary mixes.

Chris Merlick and his Duchampaphone. Merlick is a visual artist, musician and performance artist. For Roxy and Judy Gordon Fest, he brings his iconic Duchampian found-object bicycle wheel sculpture and morphs it into a captivating musical device. Literally spinning out beats and songs with true Dada-esque fervor and mad invention! Merlick is the artistic director of Top Ten Records nonprofit site. He has performed in numerous Dallas bands and on citywide galleries and stages. In May 2024, Merlick appeared with Lithium Xmas at the Starck Club 40th Reunion Party at the Kessler Theater—another one for the history books.

Insecto-Ray Orchestra features the immensely talented Marco Villalobos and his awesome musical partner Werner Heimlich, They are a neo-psychedelic mutant jazz spoken word disco dance band constantly overstepping musical boundaries and endlessly improvising and experimenting. This is only possible and intriguing due to the virtuosity of the players and their immense talents. Get ready!

John H. Slate has presented multiple Salons for WordSpace at Dee Mitchell’s home. “Confessions and Revelations of a Teen Punk Fanzine Editor” was an uber-entertaining evening of powerpoint, handouts and reconteurship relating to his years in Austin as a teen punk zine editor and some commetary on his appearance in the iconic film Slacker. Other Salon topics he’s tacked for WordSpace include “Outlaw Poetics” featuring the work of Bonnie Parker, Candy Barr and others. Slate is the archivist for the City of Dallas, where he is responsible for historic city government records in the Dallas Municipal Archives. Slate is the author of “Lost Austin,” in the “Images of America” series. “Lost Austin” records some of the city’s rich and unique history and most of the images depicted in the book are of seminal Austin places and institutions that no longer exist but that played an important role in shaping Austin’s special character. He is also the author of “Historic Dallas Parks” and “Dealey Plaza.” 

Saturday July 23

ArtSpeak

Janet Chaffee and Benito Huerta with Sandy Bates Emmons

6-9pm @ Bathhouse Cultural Center

 521 E Lawther Dr 75218

ABOUT JANET CHAFFEE

“My Current Work Is An Intuitive And Playful Exploration Of Abstract Composition, Color And Nature. The Initial Drawings for this work are derived from found rock formations along the border of California and Mexico, s well as, the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains. I also draw from found lace work. The lace is found both regionally and abroad, including locations in Germany, Italy and Cuba. In these paintings, I use a narrow range of dry pigments, beeswax and oil paint. Both materials and imagery are combined in layers recomposing landscape and nature to suggest metaphorical connections between the thrill of making and my awe for nature. Calcium Carbonate, on of the the dry pigments used, is a common compound comprising three elements—carbon, oxygen and calcium. It is found in pearls, seashells, limestone, in streams and lakebeds throughout Texas and the midwestern United States. Mica, another dry pigment, is found in the southeastern United States and is used iin various products from electronics to paper. This combination of imagery and material allow me the opportunity to intuit process, chance and discovery of unforeseen possibilities while making the work. The fluidity and stillness of the wax allows for the work to expand and explore implicit movement. Each encaustic painting becomes the custodian of past moments in time.” Janet Chaffee is originally from Denver, Colorado but has lived in Texas most of her life.  She earned her BFA in painting from The University of Texas at Arlington in 1999 and received her MFA in painting from Texas Christian University in May 2002.  After graduating, she taught drawing at TCU, UTA, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and has been in several individual as well as group shows throughout the state of Texas and New Mexico. She has been recognized with numerous awards for her work and has collaborated with Benito Huerto on an exhibition for The Art Museum of Southeast Texas. In 2006, she was awarded The Murrin Family Award in the, Preservation Is The Art of The City, an exhibition held at The Fort Worth Community Arts Center in Fort Worth, Texas.  During the summer of 2010 she was awarded a “Once Upon a Time” Grant from Trinity Valley School of Fort Worth to attend the residency, Atelier Hilmsen in Germany. 

ABOUT BENITO HUERTA

Benito Huerta’s works are included in the public collections of the Menil Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Albuquerque Museum of Art, the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, the Sheldon Museum of Art in Omaha and the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, Kansas, to name a few. Huerta is the retired co-founding editor of theTexas art magazine Artlies, the retired director of the Gallery at the University of Texas at Arlington, curator of many exhibitions around the country, and participant in numerous public art commissions throughout Texas. Huerta’s work derives visual influence from many sources. From his ethnic background, history, art history, pop culture, movies, and books, he assimilates and interprets information into unique pictorial energy. Huerta’s subtle command of intellectualism mixed with his visual vocabulary demonstrates his maturity as a communicator and artist. Benito Huerta was selected for one of the public art commissions at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, International Terminal. He has completed public works for the Mexican-American Cultural Center in Austin, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Station Design Project, having created work integral to the architecture for the Richardson Station, and the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority Light Rail Station Design Project’s Medical Center station. The Dallas Center for Contemporary Art awarded Huerta with its Legend Award.

Friday August 9

Some of the Dharma

Isabella Russell-Ides | Karen Minzer | Rod Russell-Ides

7-9pm @ Oak Cliff Cultural Center

223 Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208

Isabella Russell-Ides is an American poetplaywright, and novelist She is the author of two novels of speculative fiction: White Monkey Chronicles and The Godma’s Daughters, several award-winning plays, and one book of poetry: Getting Dangerously Close To Myself. Her first play, a country western musical, Nashville Road, premiered in Austin, Texas at Center Stage on Sixth Street (co-written with Rod Russell-Ides). She was a notable voice in the Austin performance poetry scene in the 1980s. Her two-woman showJo & Louisa (May Alcott), won a 2019 DFW Critics Forum Award for Outstanding New Play. Coco & Gigi, her existential and feminist take on Waiting for Godot, won the 2008 DFW Critics Forum Award for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Ensemble. She has also received critical acclaim for her works, Leonard’s Car (“Outstanding New Play”, 2009 Nora’s Playhouse, NYC), Fortune Cookie Smash (2007 Best of Fest, Frontera.) She is noted for the poetic and heightened language of her texts. She is a seminal member of Dharma Broads productions at Undermain Theatre– and embodiment of the trickster feminist dakini and maestra of shapeshifting writing styles.

Rod Russell-Ides is a landscape artist, musician, songwriter, novelist and poet—a former Dharma Broad. His music collaborations include Kenny Withrow of New Bohemians and Paul Simon (The.) He was born on a hospital gurney in Oklahoma in 1946. He grew up in Kansas until his father sent him to prep school in Connecticut thus ending his life as a cowboy. His family exploded when he was fourteen and he had to re-invent himself in the middle of nowhere in the great American tradition, a talent he has pursued ever since. At various times he has been a go cart and motorcycle racer, a Mad Man, a rocker in Texas, a composer, a garden designer (rodrussellides.net), a landscape sculptor, and author of a breakout memoir Sparky and the Dipshit. His work as a sculptor has carried him to the wilds of Alaska. He designed and built the largest man-made waterfall in the state. In France, he studied and mapped the Grotto of Lourdes to replicate it in Texas for the Archbishop of Houston. He lives in Dallas with his wife, Isabella Russell Ides. 

Karen X aka Karen Minzer is a writer/poet/wanderer, published by the Austin Sun in the 70s, Paris Records in the 80s, Wowapi in the 90s, and Lamar State University’s anthology of Texas Beat Poets in 2018. Minzer was born in the mid-1900s and went to high school in an obscure Texas town. She rode horses and did country chores. She moved to UT Austin and gravitated into the leftovers of the SDS publishing scene. #Another flop of a revolution. In 1975, she moved to Dallas and collaborated in art escapades while working for Roxy and Judy Gordon’s graphics company. One day after the fly-by-night Yippie Smoke-in at City Hall, she discovered the poet Robert Trammell reading poetry at Old City Park, across the street from her home at the historic (grungy) Ambassador Hotel. She was the only audience member. Reading poems to an empty room became a life-mission. Instead, Minzer became a punk band lyricist-shouter with The Panics and toured sketchy clubs. #EnoughAlready. She produced Dial a Poet Television for Cable Access TV and archived the work of dozens of writers from all over the USA. Beginning in 2005, she staged the poetry pageants Dharma Boards I-IV. In 2010, she became executive director of WordSpace, curated hundreds of visiting and local writers, washed the dishes and took out the trash. #NeverEnough. She is co-recipient, with Dee Mitchell, of the 2015 Dallas Observer MasterMind Awards. Minzer holds an MFA from Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, where she once studied with Allen Ginsberg & good friends. She is currently a Humanities PhD candidate at UTD. The Final Oral Defense for her creative writing dissertation, Outrider Witness takes place a week before her Lit Hop reading. #RideAndDie. 

Saturday, August 24

MusicSpeak

EV | SARAH RUTH | CLANCY MANUEL

STEFAN GONZALES | AARON GONZALES

2-4pm @Lucky Dog Books

911 Jefferson Blvd. (75208)

Stefan Gonzalez is a drummer, vibraphonist, percussionist, and vocalist featured on over thirty musical releases; their music groups have toured with throughout North America, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Portugal, Switzerland, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Sardinia, Poland, Russia, France, Denmark, and Austria. Having been raised in avant-garde jazz and in an overall creative household, Gonzalez rebelled through the often visceral and cacophonous expressions of punk and grindcore, only to re-discover and officially fall in love with jazz in their late teens. They studied drums with W.A. Richardson, Alvin Fielder, and Ronald Shannon Jackson and are best known for playing in their defunct family free jazz trio, Yells at Eels, with their late father, the world renowned trumpeter, Dennis Gonzalez, and their older brother Aaron Gonzalez on bass.  The trio had a 22-year run.  The Gonzalez siblings have a long running grindcore duo known as Akkolyte since1998 and still perform sporadically.  Additionally, Stefan and Aaron have played as the joint rhythm section for many groups including Luis Lopes Humanization 4tet (with Rodrigo Amado), Fire Life Trio (with Danny Kamins), Unconscious Collective (with Gregg Prickett), Curtis Clark Trio, Trio No Mas (with Mars Williams), and The Chadbourne/Gonzalez Collusion (with Eugene Chadbourne).  Other acts worth mentioning are Gonzalez’s long running industrial solo project turned duo, Orgullo Primitivo (with Abbas Khorasani), Ingebrigt Haker

Flaten’s international supergroup The Young Mothers (with Frank Rosaly, Jonathan Horne, Jawwaad Taylor, and Jason Jackson), Denton psychedelic thrashers Heavy Baby Sea Slugs, the Dennis Gonzalez Legacy Band, a trio with Wendy Eisenberg and Damon Smith, and North Texas avant-garde jazz powerhouse Trio Glossia (with Joshua Miller and Matthew Frerck).  Other collaborators and past groups include Alvin Fielder, Joe McPhee, Mars Williams, Maria Valencia, Famoudou Don Moye, German Bringas, Sabir Mateen, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Sarah Ruth, Assif Tsahar, Alex Coke, Tatsuya Nakatani, Remi Alvarez, John Dikeman, Michel Doneda, Rob Mazurek, Itzam Cano, Gabriel Lauber, Elliott Levin, Dan Clucas, Jandek, Mike Watt, Asukubus, Imperial Slaughter, Just Another Consumer, and many more.  

Aaron Gonzales is a member of the illustrious Gonzales music family.  D Magazine refers to the family as an “institution.” He primarily plays upright bass and has been publicly performing since he was a child. He and his brother began their own bands when they were in middle school. He has collaborated on numerous projects with his brother, Stefan—and like Stefan, he grew up performing with Yells at Eels and has toured the world with his own music and has dozens of recordings. He is also an actor, performance artist and multiple appearances as stage accompanist and actor for Matthew Posey’s Ochre House Theatre. Gonzales past appearances also include a Darius Safavi production The Numerology of Money.With Greg Prickett and Stefan Gonzales, he created Unconscious Collective, a daunting side project with the intention of unsettling your musical horizons with theatrical tribal costumes and spoken word interludes. The “Collective” invoked ancient musical realms and inspired contemporary improvisation channeling punk, free jazz, funk, blues, and metal. It was one of WordSpace’s most memorable concert presentations. The police thought so too and tried to shut it down. But Gonzales claimed his aesthetic rights. The police gave up and let the audience enjoy. Be prepared for expanded sensibilities in his articulation of music-speak.

EV is the stage name for Alicia Borman. She was born in Claremore, Oklahoma at a Native American hospital to the sound of tribal drumming and chanting over the loudspeaker. As a young child, her mother would take her along to a piano jazz bar in Tulsa while the waitstaff brought her Shirley Temples. Alicia was allowed to sit in the adjoining restaurant space, and peek through the open doorway while her mother took turns singing Jazz standards and show tunes. Encountering singing and music in this space ignited a spark deep inside her. Alicia studied Fine Arts at Oklahoma State University, but realized the poetry she had been writing since middle school were actually songs. That long embedded spark grew into a blazing desire to sing in public. Alicia moved to Dallas in 2003, and has been writing songs and performing all over North Texas for the last twelve years with her three piece Avant-Rock band, Atom & EV. She also has booked small cultural events since 2015, including for Top Ten Records. You may also know her from her production work on Avant to Leave This Planet, Run With Scissors, and Caustic Beats. She also occasional sidelines as a Novelty Music DJ. EV is one Dallas’s most interesting new songwriters and performers. 

Sarah Ruth is the stage name of Sarah Ruth Alexander. She is a multi-instrumentalist, performer, music instructor, radio producer for Tiger D on KUZU 92.09 FM, co-curator for Molten Plains music series. She a recording artist with multiple albums, including God Made My Soul an Ornament. Her musical collaborations include productions with Aaron Gonzales and Greg PrickettSarah Ruth expands the notions of music and poetics with stunning soundscapes and atmospheric improvisations. Clancy Manuel hosts this event. She is the media chair for WordSpace, a DJ, staging and musical director for multiple DFW productions, including the Fort Worth Modern Museum and performance artist Laney Yarber.

Lit Hop 2023

7/8: ArtSpeak @ MFA Gallery in the 75208

Brian K. Scott has worked as an artist freelancing and collaborating all of his life. In 1993 Brian graduated from the University of North Texas with a B.F.A in Printmaking with a minor in film. Brian has been an active artist in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for over two decades, in addition to showing in art galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Chicago, and the entire state of Texas. In the past, Brian K. Scott has had extended affiliations with several Dallas art galleries such as Ro2 Art, Gray Matters Gallery, and 500X Gallery. He was a founding and principal artist with the Holton and Associates from 1993-99. He has collaborated with Brian Jones since 1990 in the art group Chuck & George. Currently, Brian is the Technical Facilities Manager for the School of Arts and Performance at the University of Texas Dallas, where he’s responsible for running the new 6,000 square foot SP/N Gallery. He is also founder and a principal artist of the Art Services Collective, and co-founder of the Oak Cliff Studio Tour. Brian Scott is represented by Ro2 Art in Dallas. Read more!

Brian Keith Jones earned his BFA in Painting from The University of North Texas in 1998. After completing his degree, he established a studio in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, where he has lived and worked for over 20 years, co-founding the annual Oak Cliff Visual SpeedBump Art Tour. Jones is also widely known for his role in the acclaimed Dallas art duo Chuck & George. The wild, yet symbiotic collaboration of Brian K. Jones and Brian K. Scott influences, and is influenced by each artist’s individual work, serving as a constant source of inspiration. They both own and operate Art Services Collective which offers many art related services such as murals and trompe l’oeil for the private and design community. As well as creating his individual art for the galleries, Brian K Jones has created many privately commissioned works. ​​Read more!

Charles Hancock is one half of infamous “low-tech” print masters, Texas-born The Amazing Hancock Brothers who look to shock as much as inform. Their bold, unabashed style combines screen printing, woodcuts, and acrylic into mixed-use pieces that resemble part Circus Freak posters, part insane patterns, and all crazy, in-your-face attitude. Brothers Charles and John often chuck all sense of propriety out the window, then rip down the curtains, screen clowns or skulls or grotesque portraits on them, and then chuck that out the window, too. As members of Dirty Printmakers of America, they are able to use their ferocious, fearless talent to push the awareness and accessibility of printmaking to the huddled masses, democratizing art and technique. Read more!

Buddy Mohmed: “I started the band ‘American Bedouin’ to more fully express myself as an artist. I have been lucky to have some great musicians record my music. I came up with the name because I am a born, raised, trained, American musician, from a family of immigrants, so I was also listening and learning music from other cultures – specifically Arabic, but also ‘Gypsy’, Greek, Latin, African, etc., so I use the Arabic word ‘Bedouin’ to describe my style as ‘nomadic’, i.e., ‘All Over the Map’. American Bedouin has played music festivals and theater. We were ‘Off Broadway’ accompanying a one-man show ‘Down a Long Road’. I personally relocated to Montreal Ca and created the bass-player Clown role for the Cirque du Soleil show ‘Corteo’, and toured with the show for 2 years.” (courtesy Dallas Voyage Magazine.) Read More!

Dana Sudborough is a vibraphonist, composer, photographer, union organizer, father and nature lover. He will be performing as half of the American Bedouin duo with Buddy Mohmed. Read more!

7/22 ArtSpeak @ Bathhouse Cultural Center
You know, next to White Rock Lake

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas: “ I was born and raised in Garland, Texas; a manufacturing-based suburb of Dallas. My parents’ heritage is rooted south of the US border: my mother was born in Allende located in Coahuila, Mexico. My father, born in Santa Maria, Texas, grew up in Tampico situated within Tamaulipas, Mexico. The tenacity of my eight aunts in the face of personal tragedies and adversities was an early inspiration; their narratives contributed to my embrace of feminist ideology.” Rosemary Meza-DesPlas currently lives in Farmington, New Mexico. The cornerstone of her artwork is the female experience within a patriarchal society. She is a 2022 recipient of the prestigious Ford, Mellon Foundations Latinix Artist Fellowship and numerous other awards. Her work is exhibited internationally. She is also a spoken word artist, often incorporating her performance art into her exhibitions. Read more!

Benito Huerta is the recently retired Director and Curator of The Gallery at UTA, at the University of Texas at Arlington. By far the longest-serving director in the gallery’s nearly 40-year history, Huerta has created an enduring legacy that will be hard to match. Though he is stepping down from his gallery position, Mr.  Huerta will continue to teach studio art classes part-time in the Department of Art and Art History as part of a phased retirement program. Mr. Huerta earned his BFA from the University of Houston and his MA from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. As an undergraduate studying commercial design, he discovered his talent for painting in his last year before graduation, and was encouraged to continue his studies by mentors such as artist Gael Stack. Once he earned his MA in 1978, his artistic career blossomed, and he has been a prolific studio artist ever since, exhibiting extensively both nationally and internationally. Read more!

8/5 Roxy and Judy Gordon Fest @ Top Ten Records on Jefferson Blvd–(where it’s at)

Roxy and Judy Gordon were publishers, writers, artists, thinkers, influencers of Dallas lit scene, 70s to 90s. Their works were internationally recognized by artists and critics, including Richard Brautigan, Leonard Cohen, Peter O’Brien and Townes Van Zandt. Rolling Stone  Magazine  included Gordon in a cover story for readers to keep their eyes on for the future of literary arts. Roxy was editor of the UT literary magazine in college at a time when numerous future distinguished writers were incubated. He was published by Scribner while he was barely out of college. He and Judy then joined the Vista Volunteers and relocated to the Assiniboine Sioux Reservation at Lodgepole, Montana. Roxy was eventually adopted by tribal leaders and given the name First Coyote Boy. The Gordons moved to California and did a lot of things, then Albuquerque, where they founded a magazine centered on Texas songwriters. They brought their dedicated activism on behalf of the American Indian Movement, and Wowapi Press imprint to Dallas in 1977. They subsequently published a number of writers, focusing on women writers of diverse backgrounds. A number of interdisciplinary artists and scholars could be found at their home any hour of the day. WordSpace founder, Robert Trammell, lived in a camper in their front yard for a spell–many artists found a temporary home with the Gordons. Their friends from around the world visited often and introduced a sophisticated network, exchange of ideas and collaborations to interact with Dallas artists. The Gordons were essential catalysts and building blocks for developing the Dallas literary scene. Roxy passed on to the other side in 1997. Judy recently followed. Their energy, altruistic intentions and open-hearted personalities will always be missed. Roxy’s work is currently being archived at the Bill Witliff Collection. Read more!

For this event, some of their friends and fans will present performances and tributes to this iconic art couple:

Performance artist Laney Yarber will reprise a staged tableau vivant that incorporates a music recording by Roxy. It was originally created at the Gordons west Texas ranch. The performance will include cameo appearance of Yarber’s son, Joe Flaten, and will be videotaped by the great filmmaker, Jonathan Caouette (Tarnation.) You heard right: Jonathan Caouette will be in the house! Yarbers first large-staged performance, Patty Duke Meets Patty Hearst was made possible by Murray Smithers at Delahunty Gallery. Other works have been funded by the NEA and City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture. Her iconic avant garde performances include The Reveries of St. Theresa, Giving up the Farm, Dallas Travelogue, Pedestrian Dance and Dharma Broads I, II, and III (co-produced with kx Minzer.) She regularly collaborates in internet performances for artist and professor Lou Garza’s arts classes in Guadalajara.

Jeffrey Liles is an important writer whose subject matter crosses many topics. His many music articles can often be found in  Dallas Observer. He’s written on Roxy more than once. Liles has performed as an Island Records touring artist (Decadent Dub Team) and spoken word recording under the persona-inscription Cottonmouth, Texas. He is the talent buyer for The Kessler Theater and Longhorn Ballroom, drawing on past experiences at LA’s Roxy Theater and Dallas’s Theater Gallery, where he booked bands ranging from New Bohemians to Nirvana. He also booked a play by Roxy Gordon and Cherokee writer LeAnne Howe. Liles was a great friend of the Gordons and a regular visitor at their house on Oram Street.

Karen x Minzer worked for the Gordons’ graphic business when she moved to Dallas and started living at the Ambassador Hotel in the mid-70s (1900s.) One of her books is published by the Gordon’s Wowapi Press. She collaborated with the Gordons on a number of projects and literary events (good parties and garage-publishing projects.) Roxy wrote a song about her on one of his albums. You can read more on her on the WordSpace directors’ page.

Joseph Justin is a writer and music anthologist. His music-love most often focuses on blues, jazz, psychedelic and country music contributions of Texas music makers. Roxy and Judy would have been honored to have him in the house talking about them.

Joey Cloudy is a Beat writer and founding editor of a the early 21st century literary magazine, Death List Five. He was a co-host of Bill’s Open Mic and a favorite subject of Peter Orozco’s historic documentary film and recording project, PAO Productions. Cloudy’s published chapbooks include Howl, 108 Poems for Allen.

Carlos Salas is a Beat poet and co-founder of Poets on X+. He regularly performs at numerous venues. He regularly visited with Judy at WordSpace and Kessler Theater events during her later years,

Josh Weir is a Dallas poet and regular reader at Mad Swirl and Poets on X+.
He is a published author and spent hours talking with Judy at gallery openings.

Oblong Cassidy and Space Horse is a music project with poet Brett Ardoin, featuring Scott Krakowski, Andrew Jenkins, and Les Bewley. 

8/22 MusicSpeak @ Lucky Dog Books
Down Garland Rd in E Dallas

Mark Ridlen is a seminal music maker and producer of the Dallas youth culture scene arts 80s onward: Quad Pi to Lithium Xmas, with Greg Synodis and Chris Merlick. Past collaborators of his music projects are a who’s who list of Dallas musicians. He’s a DJ and personality-with-the-mostest who keeps his pulse running with the interdisciplinary arts scene, 24/7. Read more!

Wanz Dover is a writer and happening electronic composer and DJ. “I make Electro as Blixaboy. Postpunk Bass/vocals in Black Dotz. I love Detroit,Berlin,sci-fi,comic books, Nick Cave, The Stooges, Afrobeat, & krautrock—to name a few. He’s provided stage music for a number of bands, including MC 900 Ft Jesus. Listen up!

Brandon Jemeyson is a musician and songwriter in the popular Dallas band, The Sutcliffes. Learn more!

Chris Merlick is a musician, visual and performance artist. He regular performs his Duchampaphone conceptual art. He’s played in numerous bands and is a member of Lithium Xmas. Um, Chris is this really you?

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


Lopez | Tran | Hamzeh | Suarez | Romero

VICTORIA LOPEZ | ANNIE TRAN | SHAHRZAD HAMZEH | PRISCILLA SUAREZ |LINDA ROMERO | HOSTED BY OPALINA SALAS

When and Where: 7-9 pm | Saturday July 30 | Top Ten Records (Oak Cliff)

Victoria Lopez is an author and the 2022 City of McAllen Poet Laureate. In 2015, she began to introduce herself as a writer and built her confidence by engaging with the community. Her first novel, Fire in May, was published in 2016, the same year she was selected as a tenant of the McAllen Creative Incubator. Victoria writes “Poetry on Demand,” a performative demonstration of spontaneous writing. Using her typewriter, you may give her a word, topic, phrase, question, feeling, or thought and she’ll write you a poem to either keep or share with someone you love! “The most important thing about being a writer is identifying who you are and what you represent, what is your mission? What are you putting into the world? Spend time with yourself and be gentle, the words will come, and when they do, let them be authentic.” You can join Victoria for “Unfolded: Poetry Project” workshops at the McAllen Creative Incubator. 

Annie Tran is Assistant Editor of Reunion Literary Magazine at University of Texas at Dallas. She is a second-year M.A. Literature student with a B.A. in Literary Studies, and a minor in Creative Writing from UTD. She is a cisgender asexual writer, train enthusiast, lover of Greek mythology, and she experiments with the concept of“word butter” in her writing. Her work appears in Oddball MagazineWingless DreamerDrunk Monkeys, and more.

Shahrzad Hamzeh is a doctoral student at The University of Texas at Dallas majoring in Visual and Performance studies with a focus on dance. She hopes to influence the inclusion of Persian dance and other Iranian performances to the dance curriculum. She is an Iranian Researcher, Dancer, Choreographer, Model, Actress, Producer, Director, Dramaturge, Poet, Writer, Photographer, and Artist. Hamzeh’s current research interests are dance and religion, dance and sexuality, dances of Silk Road, ritualistic dance, and healing by dance. She left her home country to pursue her passion for dance due to the illegality of dance in Iran. She first started dancing when she was five years old with her sister’s guidance and continued to self-train through instructional CDs and movies, classes on aerobics and rhythmic movements at the local gyms and trained to be a Zumba instructor by the time she was 20 years old. Her love of dance lead her to Arezou Zare, who taught her the intricacies of Bollywood and some amateur Russian dancing. While she was getting her BA in Urdu Language & Literature at the University of Tehran she studied Kurdish dancing with Vria Boojar and Asu Naderi. This led to her appearance in Aziz-E Shahngal directed by Qodbeddin Sadeghi. She simultaneously trained in Classical and Modern Persian dances, Azeri, Turkish, Spanish Belly Dancing, and Sevianna with Mina Moradi for four years. She felt the need to know more about the history of what she was being taught. This decision led to her graduation with a MA in Theatre Studies from Illinois State University. While a student at Illinois State University she presented papers on dance and performance in Iran, and taught classes on Persian dances, Belly dancing, Kurdish, and Azeri, lectures and movement. 

Priscilla Celina “Lina” Suarez is a Mexican American author who was the 2015-17 McAllen Poet Laureate. She is co-founder of the Gloria Anzaldúa Legacy Project (GAL) which was formed to honor the legacy of Anzaldúa and share her work with a broader public. During her childhood, she lived surrounded by the farmlands of the then small colonia of Las Milpas, TX, where she first heard many of the cuentos she shares in Cuentos Wela Told Me. Her poetry collection, La La Landia: A Journey Through my Frontera CD Shuffle, was released in April 2022 from FlowerSong Press.

Linda Feliciana Romero is from Harlingen, Texas and has been published in Boundless, the anthology for the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival, Along the River 2: More Voices from the Rio Grande (VAO Publishing), Twenty: In Memoriam (El Zarape Press), and La Bloga. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018 for her poem, “In the Passenger Seat” by El Zarape Press which appeared in Boundless 2017. She is a Certified Academic Language Therapist and has a private practice providing dyslexia therapy. Photo by: Anaia Irish Funtanilla.

Opalina Salas is a Dallas-based poet queen of the Oak Cliff poetry scene, where she hosts the Poets on X+ Open Mic at MFA Gallery and popular host for many WordSpace events. She has performed in venues and lit fests all over the U.S. and regularly contributes to the Mad Swirl Open Mic. She and her poet husband, Carlos Salas also founded an electronica/spoken word duo, Your Loving Son. Salas is included in the Beatest State in the Union, and multiple lit zines. Her book Black Sparrow Dress. The title simultaneously puns and tributes one of the great historic poetry presses and publishers of many of her favorite books. In her own words, her poetry collection is “about recalling the past and letting go. It’s about the town I call home and the poets I call friends. It’s about love and remorse, outrage and abandonment, but also hope. It’s about a woman’s journey through changes; aging, addictions, laments, misgivings, to eventual empowerment.”


Vicki Meek |Sara Cardona

When and Where: 7-9 pm | Saturday August 27 | Mighty Fine Arts (Oak Cliff)

Vicki Meek is recognized as an artist, curator, writer, organizer and arts advocate, Meek’s career embodies the ethos of the Texas Artist of the Year award she received from Art League Houston in 2021. Meek’s multimedia, interdisciplinary practice focuses on cultural memory, identity, and social issues in relation to the African diaspora, underscored by an underlying hope and emphasis on collective healing. This sense of hopefulness is highlighted throughout much of Meek’s practice, which prioritizes and supports forgotten, left behind histories and identities. Meek’s singular aesthetic and artistic practice are related to the late Elizabeth Catlett (Meek’s mentor) and African cosmology and spiritual practices. “As an artist obtaining a Master of Fine Arts at the height of the Black Power Movement, it is not surprising that my work embraces a political outlook, especially given that my artistic idols are Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. The aesthetic I developed both the notion of utilizing text and symbolism derived from West Africa and other parts of the African diaspora, while striving to educate the viewer on lost history and social issues.  Born and raised in Philadelphia, Meek is a nationally recognized artist who has exhibited widely and represented by Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas, Texas. Her work can be found in the permanent collections of the African American Museum of Dallas; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Fort Wayne Museum of Art; Paul Quinn College; Serie Project; and Norwalk Community College. Meek was selected as one of ten national artists to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Nasher Sculpture Center with the commissioning of a site-specific installation that was part of Nasher XChange (October 2013 through February 2014). Meek’s retrospective, Vicki Meek: 3 Decades of Social Commentary, opened in November 2019 at the Houston Museum of African American Culture. In January 2020, she premiered an art video at Denton Black Film Festival, signaling a new period of creating work using video as the primary medium. Meek is the recipient of numerous grants and honors including the National Endowment for the Arts NFRIG Grant; the Dallas Observer MasterMind Award; the Dallas Museum of Art Otis and Velma Davis Dozier Travel Grant; Texas Black Filmmakers Mission Award; Women of Visionary Influence Mentor Award; and the Dallas Women’s Foundation Maura Award. She received the African American Museum of Dallas A. Maceo Smith Award for Cultural Achievement. In 2016, Meek retired as the Manager of the South Dallas Cultural Center. She has served on the board of the National Performance Network/Visual Artists Network, a Fellow in the Intercultural Leadership Institute, Voting Member of Alternate Roots, and as Chief Operating Officer of USEKRA: Center for Creative Investigation, a retreat for creatives in Costa Rica founded by internationally acclaimed performance artist Elia Arce. She is also Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s at-large appointment to the Arts and Culture Commission and the Public Art Committee. Meek is also writes cultural criticism for Dallas Weekly with her blog Art & Racenotes. (WordSpace also claims Vicki Meek as a valued Advisor collaborator on numerous programming partnerships. Thank you!)  www.vickimeekart.com

Sara Cardona was born in Mexico City and grew up in Texas. Her art has been exhibited all over the United States and Mexico. She holds an MFA in Fine Arts from Temple University and a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in the honors program, Plan II, where she specialized in the Latin American Studies Program. Sara was formerly a cultural program coordinator for the Latino Arts Initiative for the Office of Arts and Culture for the City of Dallas, a Humanities instructor at Richland Community College where she initiated the Mexican-American/Latin American Studies program and was chair, and as an independent researcher in the area of Latin American art for leading universities and museums such as UT Dallas, The Amon Carter Museum, and The Meadows Museum. A former board member of Teatro Dallas, she stepped into the position of executive director in 2018. Cardona’s elegant visual art has been widely exhibited and acclaimed. “Using the analog process of cut-and-paste collage, Sara Cardona’s works on paper are a nod to the tradition of assemblage and the pre-digital editing process of film. The forms created are based on the detritus of human movement across space and time, evolving and devolving into baroque and poetic forms.” Take a look: www.saracardona.com 
(WS is also proud to claim Cardona as former board member—Thank you for your service, Sara!


Celia Munoz | Nancy Real

When and Where: 7-9 pm | Wednesday August 10 | Bathhouse Cultural Center (East Dallas)

Celia Alvarez Munoz was born in El Paso, Texas in 1937, Álvarez Muñoz is a conceptual multimedia artist currently living and working in Arlington, Texas. She is recognized internationally for her diverse and multifaceted body of work including artist books, photography, painting, written text, installation and public art. Álvarez Muñoz states that the mission driving her artistic practice has always been one of an “Artivist”: an artist and activist. This ideology and philosophy underscores much of her career and work. As a child, her father was deployed to Alaska and Germany, leaving Álvarez Muñoz in the care of her mother, aunt and maternal grandmother in El Paso. Her childhood experiences and youth living in the borderlands inspired much of her later creative practice, referencing dichotomous cultures, values and language complexities found along the U.S.-Mexico border, along with the physical, psychological and socio-political issues of life along the border zone. In college she studied art of all levels, receiving her BA in Art from Texas Western University (now University of Texas, El Paso), and started a career in teaching art to children upon graduation. She also worked in advertising as a fashion illustrator prior to graduating from college. Álvarez Muñoz, her husband, and their two small children relocated throughout the U.S. several times before finally moving to Arlington. Álvarez Muñoz enrolled in graduate school at North Texas State University (now University of North Texas, Denton) in 1977, where she studied with known Texas artists Vernon Fisher and Al Souza. During her studies, she began work on her well-known Enlightenment series, a multimedia, conceptual visual book and language project including a total of ten works she created over a span of about five years. Enlightenment visually portrays the confusing and often erroneous misunderstandings caused by language barriers, cognitive development, and language acquisition. Throughout the series, the artist plays with text, puns, and double meanings she experienced growing up along the Mexican border. The dominant themes of her bilingual and bicultural heritage, as well as an emphasis on education and educational principles (referencing her work as a teacher throughout much of her career), are seen throughout the Enlightenment project, as well as her oeuvre, with later photographs and works addressing these still current and poignant experiences. Álvarez Muñoz recalls numerous moments of both a personal and historical importance as key landmarks in her practice and development as an artist. The following are key historical and personal moments that have impacted and continue to influence my career: 1)A dramatic demographic shift in El Paso with the settlement of The Chamizal Treaty. 2) Installations/collaborations with retirement communities remembering Snugg Harbor in New York’s Staten Island, and Cerveceria Carta Blanca in Monterrey, Mexico. 3) An airport in Phoenix, Arizona’s connection to WW II. 4) Protest to unfair women’s labor practice in the manufacturing industry in the USA and Manchester, England. 5) Roswell, New Mexico’s attitude towards its “aliens.” 6) A coming-out GBL Texas community’s move to San Francisco, California.  7) San Antonio’s convention center expansion hinge honoring regional music.  8) San Antonio River links a park to the history and function of its river.  9)San Antonio’s main plaza reveals a multitude of its stories.  10) A protest installation with SMU/West Dallas due to the Calatrava Bridge and the gentrification in the once segregated Hispanic demographic. 11) A protest to the feminicides in Mexico’s Cuidad Juárez NAFTA maquiladoras.  12) An Austin, Texas library’s acknowledgement to its power and water treatment plants. 13) Participation in “Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985” at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California (2017), followed by travel to The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, and Pinacoteca de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (2018).  My mission in art making has always been one of an Artivist – I am an artist and an activist.”These experiences and accomplishments as an Artivist have left an indelible impact on Álvarez Muñoz’s laudable and prolific career, who is recognized by numerous awards and achievements. In 1995, she received the Honors Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts from the Women’s Caucus for Art. Prior to this award, Álvarez Muñoz received two National Endowment for the Arts grants for both Photography and New Genres (1988 and 1991); she is also the recipient of the CAA Committee on Women in the Arts Recognition Award, and the Outstanding Centennial Alumnus award by the University of North Texas College of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, Roberto Tejada (the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor at the University of Houston) published a book on Álvarez Muñoz and her work (Celia Álvarez Muñoz, (UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press; University of Minnesota Press.) Álvarez Muñoz’s work has been featured in numerous national and international solo and group exhibitions of note, including: University of Texas at El Paso; Whitney Biennial; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Dallas Museum of Fine Art; Capp Street Project; University of Texas at Arlington; Station Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-85, at the Hammer Museum and Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, followed by the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 2018), among others. She is represented in numerous public and private collections throughout the states, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Getty Research Institute; Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and Texas Commission on the Arts 2021 Artist of the Year.

Nancy Rebalreceived her BA from American University in Washington DC, studied design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and earned a MA and MFA from the University of Dallas. She was granted a residency at RockyMountain Women’s Institute and two from Vermont Studio Center. She is a co-creator of the interactive public art- workSTATIONS: creating the Collective Voice of Forgiveness which has traveled through the US, Ireland and Africa. NancyRebal’s artist-career spans over forty-five years in a wide variety of ap- plications. She spent years managing a design studio in Los Angeles after a stint as a graphic de- signer for The Hollywood Reporter. When she moved to Denver, she returned to painting and was represented by Kyle Belding Gallery and taught art at the University of Colorado. After moving to Texas she was represented by Edith Baker Gallery then Craighead Green Gallery. She resigned from galleryrepresentation in 2007. She taught art at the University of Dallas. Since 1995 she has painted major crucifixes, stations of the cross and shrines for Catholic churches, also designing numerous stained-glass programs for Foster-Stained Glass of Bryan, Texas. Rebal is a founding artist of Corsicana Artist & Writer Residency. Painting and sculpture are now herprimary concerns. She works in a 5000 sq.ft. studio, originally the 1924 L T Davis grocery store, across the street from the100W building of the Corsicana Residency. Recently, she became business partners with Jean Searcy in co-foundingArtTown Corsicana, LLC, restoring historic buildings in Corsicana to be used as studio spaces for visiting artists and writers. She lives in both Corsicana and Dallas with her husband David Searcy.

Karen Minzer (aka with an X) is a beat up beat down phoenixed neo beat still tripping poet performer and recent humanities abd phd primarily mentored by the great Fred Curchack, Dr. Shilyh Warren and Dr. Kimberly Hill at University of Texas at Dallas, where she also enjoys the privilege of teaching rhetoric and u.s. history. She has six chapbooks of poetry–all published by either historic Paris Records label or the legendary Roxy and Judy Gordon’s Wowapi. She’s included in Christopher Carmona and Chuck Taylor’s edited anthology, Beatest State in the Union and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University where in the ’70s she began a long-term mentorship with Allen Ginsberg. Mairead Case was influential and integral to the more recent Naropa certification adventure. Minzer’s most recent manuscript resides in the Allen Ginsberg Library. Subsequently, Joe Milazzo recently lent a helping hand to re-sequence the pieces. Since then, it’s been kind of dead in the water publishing-wise due to the time-consuming rigors of doctoral process. But an excerpt appears in a cool lit mag, Entropy: “What Kind of Person—A Playlist.” The full manuscript has the same title and can be described as a sui generis collection of subjective, sometimes gossipy biographical sketches, essays and a few contemplative poems mostly influenced by Sei Shonagon, Michel de Montaigne, and Harry Matthews—and beat confessional tendencies. Minzer has worn many hats for WordSpace—as producer and performer in multiply-staged iterations of Dharma Broads; assisting Robert Trammell and later Ben Fountain as a series coordinator and event dishwasher—evolving into a nine-year tenure as director of this awesome literary organization started by The Trammells and Jerry Kelley–and pushed through by other brilliant and talented writers and thinkers. You should check out the list of former WordSpace board members on the website to get an idea of the history of influences on WordSpace. Minzer is currently compiling a creative nonfiction storytelling project of Dallas lit arts comprising oral interviews and gossip, archival research, and Dallas socio/political history.

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Sophia Dembling | Debbie Scally

When and Where: 2-4 pm |Saturday, July 16 | Lucky Dog Books (East Dallas)

Sophia Dembling is author of The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy Worldand Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After. Sophia also is the author of 100 Places in the USA Every Woman Must GoThe Yankee Chick’s Survival Guide to Texas and co-author ofThe Making of Dr. Phil: The Straight-Talking True Story of Everyone’s Favorite Therapist and I Can Still Laugh: Stories of Inspiration and Hope from Individuals Living with Alzheimer’s.Her essays and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide, including regularly penned articles in Psychology Today.She is a native of New York City who transplanted to Dallas to work as a staff writer for the Dallas Morning News. She is widely traveled and was married for thirty years to Dallas musician Tom Battles, who passed away in 2020. She is a political activist and focuses much energy on voter registration and women’s rights, placing herself in active protests and support of political candidates that advocate on behalf of equal rights. www.sophisdembling.com

Deborah Scally is an assistant professor of humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. She writes mostly about anime and manga. This book explores anime auteur Hayao Miyazaki’s films through the lens of the monomyth of the Heroic Quest Cycle. According to Joseph Campbell and other mythology researchers, the Quest is for boys and men, with women acting as either the Hero’s mother or the Prize at the end of the journey. Miyazaki nearly exclusively portrays girls and young women as heroes, arguing that we must reassess Campbell’s archetype. The text begins with a brief history of animation and anime, followed by Miyazaki’s background and rise to prominence. The following chapters look at each of Miyazaki’s films from the perspective of the Heroic Quest Cycle, with the last section outlining where Miyazaki and other animators can lead the archetype of the Hero in the future.


Karen Minzer (aka with an X) is a beat up beat down phoenixed neo beat still tripping poet performer and recent humanities abd phd primarily mentored by the great Fred Curchack, Dr. Shilyh Warren and Dr. Kimberly Hill at University of Texas at Dallas, where she also enjoys the privilege of teaching rhetoric and u.s. history. She has six chapbooks of poetry–all published by either historic Paris Records label or the legendary Roxy and Judy Gordon’s Wowapi. She’s included in Christopher Carmona and Chuck Taylor’s edited anthology, Beatest State in the Union and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University where in the ’70s she began a long-term mentorship with Allen Ginsberg. Mairead Case was influential and integral to the more recent Naropa certification adventure. Minzer’s most recent manuscript resides in the Allen Ginsberg Library. Subsequently, Joe Milazzo recently lent a helping hand to re-sequence the pieces. Since then, it’s been kind of dead in the water publishing-wise due to the time-consuming rigors of doctoral process. But an excerpt appears in a cool lit mag, Entropy: “What Kind of Person—A Playlist.” The full manuscript has the same title and can be described as a sui generis collection of subjective, sometimes gossipy biographical sketches, essays and a few contemplative poems mostly influenced by Sei Shonagon, Michel de Montaigne, and Harry Matthews—and beat confessional tendencies. Minzer has worn many hats for WordSpace—as producer and performer in multiply-staged iterations of Dharma Broads; assisting Robert Trammell and later Ben Fountain as a series coordinator and event dishwasher—evolving into a nine-year tenure as director of this awesome literary organization started by The Trammells and Jerry Kelley–and pushed through by other brilliant and talented writers and thinkers. You should check out the list of former WordSpace board members on the website to get an idea of the history of influences on WordSpace. Minzer is currently compiling a creative nonfiction storytelling project of Dallas lit arts comprising oral interviews and gossip, archival research, and Dallas socio/political history.


Watchtowers: ArtSpeak

WHAT: Watchtowers: ArtSpeak! A sequenced performance art showcase of artists in response to the oeuvre of Francesco Clemente’s work.
WHEN: Thursday, August 8 7-9 p.m.
WHERE: Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass Street Dallas Texas 75207

In order of appearance:

LGB, Kalvin J, Mz. Jolie, Nova, Gabby, Shandhra: Dallas Poetry Slam

2019 Dallas Poetry Slam Team performs highlights of their team performance work

Bio: Dallas Poetry Slam is a Dallas poetry organization in Dallas, whose motto is “One Slam, One Movement.” The group reflects Dallas’ vibrant poetry and arts scene and diverse population. DPS has hosted numerous regional competitions including the 2017 and 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam. Established by Clebo Rainey, The Dallas Poetry Slam Organization has garnered awards as National Champions and three-time national finalists. Dallas Slam poets, Joaquin Zihuatanejo and Rage won the Individuals World Poetry Slam competition. Zihuatanejo also won the International World Cup in Paris. DPS poets contribute important educational outreach through Youth Poets, a project facilitated by Rage and Teri Odis. Sherrie Zantea is SlamMaster and CEO of DPS, and Individual World Poetry Slam Event Coordinator with Poetry Slam Inc. More can found on the individuals of the 2019 Dallas Slam Team at thedallaspoetryslam.com

Laney Yarber: Giving Up The Farm; Part 2-Skin Care

Laney Yarber performs a vignette history that fuses personal and Texas history, using props, composed interviews and storytelling audio elements. 

Bio: Laney Yarber is a multi-award winning performance artist and patron of all arts. 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. Her lifelong love of opera stages and studies with Robert Wilson; her early passion for the avant-garde inspired a sense of purpose and mission to create performance art. Her works weave together persona and place histories, free association, original script, movement, composed audio and visual surprises. Other works include Xstatic-The Reveries of St. Theresa; Readings; Exorcize It!; Subterranean Samba.

Randall Garrett: Un Corazón Dos Piezas
Garrett performs a travelogue drawn from his cultural and social interactions in Mexico City’s Neza barrio.

Bio: Randall Garrett is a Dallas-based artist whose performance work combines elements of theatre, body art, spoken word, objects, artifacts, and time-based media. The artist choreographs and participates in ritual performances that explore aspects of individual and cultural identity. Garrett has shown his work and performed in numerous galleries. He created “Seven Story Mountain”, a permanent sculpture on the banks of the Song Huong River in Hué, Vietnam. Among his collaborative spoken word projects, Garrett co-produced the Freefall Festival, a month long event, funded by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural Vitality Program. He currently teaches as full-time faculty at Richland College in Dallas. Garrett is owner / director of Plush Gallery. In 2017, Garrett became part of a group of artists in Neza, a working-class barrio of 2 million people on the edge of Mexico City. He has since curated shows for Neza artists’ showcases in Dallas.

Tammy Melody Gomez: Malinche

Tammy Gomez performs an alternative portrait of Malinche, a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast, who played a key role in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, acting as an interpreter, advisor, and intermediary for the Spanish conquistador, Hernán Cortés. She was also purported to be his romantic partner.

Bio: Tammy Gomez is an award winning poet, multimedia performer, playwright and director. She has performed throughout the U.S., in Mexico and Nepal. Her poems and essays are featured in numerous collections and documentaries, including Yellow Medicine Review (2009); Women in Nature: An Anthology (Louise Grace Publishing, 2014); “Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History” (UT Press, 2003). Her staged works include She: Bike/Spoke/Love. She is founder of Sound Culture, an intermedia production lab for collaborative and individual creative expression and social justice literacy through stage performance, print, online, and neighborhood cultivation programs. Gomez studied with Chicano greats; Lorna Dee Cervantes, José Montoya, Raul R. Salinas, and Octavio Solis; has been artist-in-residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Urbana-Champaign, Texas A&M-Kingsville, and Headlands Center for the  Arts (Sausalito, CA), and has received grants from Humanities Texas, the Ford Foundation, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Puffin Foundation, the Writers’ League of Texas, Moonifest Foundation, and the City of Austin. She is an urban gardener who has not owned a car in over eight years, and bicycles everywhere

Abel Flores Jr: AFJ:Polar Self

AFJ appeals to the metaphysical elements of the self by capturing his persona between live video and human presence. By subsiding an attachment to identity, he invites higher consciousness to intervene through means of ritualistic movement and the natural elements: earth and air.

Bio: Abel Flores Jr. Abel Flores Jr. is a visual and performing artist. Originally a theatre actor, he pursued ritualistic performance at the University of Texas at Dallas. While studying under Thomas Riccio, he co-founded Riccio’s group Dead White Zombies with fellow alumni as a resident artist. In 2016, he co-founded the arts nonprofit, Artstillery, to empower marginalized peoples and communities through art projects, partnership, and advocacy. He has performed with other companies, bands, and festivals including Therefore, SUPERMOOK, Shakespeare in the Bar, Tropic Pictures, WaterTower Theater’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, Dallas Video Fest, and the Elevator Project at AT&T Performing Arts Center.

Rosemary Meza DesPlas: Too Angry
Rosemary Meza DesPlas performs feminist-centric spoken word infused with visual elements.Bio: Rosemary Meza DesPlas is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work has been shown in China, New York and Europe. Her spoken word performances are often presented in conjunction with her exhibitions. Her visual and performance work is used as a vehicle to discuss gender issues. She explore issues of disparity between the sexes within the context of dissonant relationships. The expressions on the women serve as a direct contradiction to the stereotypical character of the overwrought and hysterical female. Ultimately, her work is a series of contrasts. The contrasts revolve around the beauty and the grotesque in humanity. It seeks to address the invariables of the human condition: good & bad, body & soul and love & death. They constitute the very core of the human predicament.




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