Past Board Members


Shin Yu Pai grew up in the Inland Empire of Southern California and has lived and worked in Boston, Madrid, Boulder, Chicago, Dallas, Taipei, and Seattle. Currently, she serves as managing director of the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language. She is former Assistant Curator for Acquisitions for The Wittliff Collections, which specializes in Southwestern and Mexican photography, as well as literary archives related to the Southwest. She is the author of seven books of poetry, as well as being an oral historian, photographer, and editor. Recent titles include Adamantine (White Pine), Haiku Not Bombs (Booklyn), Sightings: Selected Works (1913 Press), and Works on Paper (Convivio Bookworks). She has completed residencies at The Seattle Art Museum,The MacDowell Colony, the Ragdale FoundationSoul Mountain, the Centrum Foundation,Taipei Artists Village, and the U.S. National Park Service. Her work is featured in the Poetry-in-Motion program on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit and her work has been commissioned twice by the Dallas Museum of Art. Former Programming Director of WordSpace (2006-2007) and a Board member prior to her service as a curator of programming, Shin Yu has worked closely with arts agencies that have included the Women’s Museum, the Trammell Crow Collection of Asian Art, Gemini Ink, and the Writers Garret to produce literary programming. She is the recipient of awards from 4Culture, the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, the Cambridge Arts Council and The Puffin Foundation. Shin Yu is represented by the Lecture Bureau.

Susan Briante is the author of Pioneers in the Study of Motion (Ahsahta Press 2007) andUtopia Minus (Ahsahta Press 2011). Recent poems have appeared inPloughsharesCourt Green, and POOL. A translator and essayist, Briante lived in Mexico City from 1991-1997 working for the magazines Artes de Mexico and Mandorla. She has received awards from the Atlantic Monthly, MacDowell Colony,The Academy of American Poets, & the Djerassi Foundation. Currently, she is translating the work of Uruguayan writer Marosa di Giorgio, as well as writing about industrial ruins and abandoned buildings in American cities. Briante holds an MFA from Florida International University and a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. She is an assistant professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas. Susan is a former WordSpace Board Member and continues to serve on the Programming Committee.

Carlos Salas is a poet and co-owner of Cliff Notes Prolonged Media with his wife, poet Opalina Herebia-Salas. He has co-produced numerous Literary Events in Oak Cliff, including Mighty Fine Arts and The Kessler X+ Art Gallery.

Ben Fountain is a past Board President. He is the author of the short story collection Brief Encounters with Che Guevara (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2006), which received the 2007 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2006 Barnes & Noble Discover Award. His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Zoetrope: All-Story, and the Paris Review, among other magazines, and has received an O.Henry Award, two Pushcart Prizes, two short story awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, and the McGinnis Ritchie Prize for Fiction. His nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and New Letters. From 2004-2006 he served as fiction editor of the Southwest Review.

Christopher Soden received his MFA in Writing (Poetry) from Vermont College in January 2005. He is a writer, teacher, lecture, performer and critic. In August 2010 he received a full fellowship to Lambda Literary Foundation’s Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices. In 2007, his performance piece : Queer Anarchy received Dallas Voice’s People’s Voice Award for Best Stage Performance. Additional honors include: Dallas Public Library’s Distinguished Poets of Dallas, Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion Series, Founding Member, President and President Emeritus of The Dallas Poets Community. He was a finalist for The Dobie Paisano Fellowship, LSU Outworks Drama Festival, Pudding House, Robin Becker and Refined Savage Chapbook Contests. His work has appeared in : Ganymede, Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, The Texas Observer, Sentence, Borderlands, Cafe Review, Off the Rocks, The James White Review, Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians, Best Texas Writing 2.

Sarah Riehm has been active in the Dallas-area nonprofit community as a writer, educator and leader for a number of years. A published author, she has written four nonfiction books, several national magazine articles and three produced plays. Her last book, 50 Great Business Ideas for Teens was published by Simon & Schuster/Arco and translated into several languages. Liberty, a stage play about Patrick Henry and his wife Sarah, won two national awards and was produced at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Her nonprofit arts management experience includes founding and managing the Playwrights Project, a regional play development organization, and also serving as the Executive Director of the Composers Forum. Riehm served four years on the Richardson Commission for the Arts and as a grants panelist for the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. She has also been a Board officer for two international nonprofits, Radio for Peace in Costa Rica and the Institute for Global Education, a United Nations NGO. She also serves on the Arts and Humanities Advisory Board at UTD.

Michael Stanford is a consumer rather than a producer of literature. Michael is former Chair of New Media and continues to volunteer website consultation.

Dr. Tim Cloward teaches at Yavneh Academy and is the founder of the performance poetry ensemble Dancing Tongue. He is a co-founding member of Club Dada’s Poetry Circus, in the 80s. He lives in Dallas with his wife, poet and Dallas Opera performer, Lisa Huffaker. Dr. Cloward is a former Board member and has served as curator and Program Director.

Catherine Mitchell has received various awards for her fiction and poetry, including the
Editor’s Choice Awardfrom WriteCorner Press and the Mississippi Review’s Emerging
Voices Award. She has taught writing, journalism, and communications courses at UT-
Dallas, SMU, Stephen F. Austin State University, and the University of Wisconsin-
Marshfield. In her career as a professional communicator, she served as director of
communications for the Denver Chamber of Commerce, marketing manager for Gerber
Technologies, and regional marketing director for Alexander O’Neill Haas & Martin, a philanthropic consulting firm. She has volunteered at the Dallas Zoo, the Dallas International Association of Business Communicators, and the Tejas Girl Scout Council. Currently, she is working on a retail marketing start-up campaign and revising a novel.

Rod Russell-Ides is a pubished singer/songwriter, prose and poetry writer.
He lives in Dallas with his wife, poet/playwright Isabella Russell-Ides.

Jerry Kelley is a charter signing original member of WordSpace Board of Directors, published writer, Harvard in the 60s, Canadian Bush in the 70s. He lives in Dallas with his wife, poet Patty Turner.His work has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Southwest Review.

David Searcy is a recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant for Fiction and one of WordSpace founder Robert Trammell’s OGs. He holds a BFA in painting from SMU and is the author of Last Things and Ordinary Horror (Viking Press).

Dr. Simone Roberts is a former instructor at UTD, currently living and teaching in St. Louis.

Bill Swart is an attorney with K&L Gates, LLP, having practiced in the corporate and finance areas for thirty years. He has written three novels, as well as numerous short stories and plays. An excerpt from his first novel was read at the “Texas Bound” series of Arts & Letters Live. One of his plays was produced at a play festival sponsored by the Playwrights’ Project. His legal nonfiction has been published in Texas Banker and Texas Bar Journal. Bill Swart has served as Chair of Resource Committee.

John Fullinwider teaches at Otto M. Fridia Alternative High School in Dallas, is an anti-poverty activist and politically themed playwright.

Willie Sims won first prize in the Storytelling and Performance Poetry Contest at the Fullerton Museum, and was also a prizewinner in the annual poetry competition sponsored by the Pacificus Foundation. He has appeared on local TV and radio, and has released two audio recordings, “GOOD TALK” and “HOT STUFF”. A third recording, “StoryYeller”, was issued by New Alliance Records. “Autobiography” appeared in the annual anthology “Beyond the Valley of the Contemporary Poets,” a publication from the Valley Contemporary Poetry Series in Los Angeles. Willie has served on the Coordinating Committee of the L.A. Poetry Festival, and was on the artistic staff at L.A. Theatre Works, where he conducted writing workshops for incarcerated juveniles.

Nikhil Burman is a 30-year-old Dallas native and fan of the literary arts. He has worked in publishing in an editorial capacity for the last seven years, holding such positions as the copy editor for Home Theater Magazine and, more recently, editor for the graphic-novel publisher TOKYOPOP. Additionally, he has served as a contributing writer for magazines such as Flaunt and Los Angeles. He continues a variety of freelance editorial jobs.

David Parry is an assistant professor of Emerging Media and Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas. His research focuses on analyzing how literacy and knowledge changes as we move from analog to digital presentations. He has published and presented on areas ranging from digital games to Wikipedia and microblogging. He can be found online at OutsidetheText or Academhack or on Twitter

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