by Catherine Chambers
My little brother just turned twenty, which warranted a surprise visit to see my family. I have temporarily traded the cold rains of Denver for the warm, muggy rains of my hometown: Dallas, Texas. Over the past few years, my beloved Dallas has been experiencing an artistic facelift. Once a strictly business town, Dallas is now home to things like backyard Shakespeare, a huge burlesque population, Deep Vellum Publishing, and (luckily for me) a blossoming community of writers which includes organizations like WordSpace.
From their website: WordSpace is a non-profit literary organization that supports education and writers, connecting Dallas with the best of world literature. Founded in 1994, the organization hosts authors, readings, student workshops, concerts and salons to promote established and emerging artists who use imaginative language in traditional and experimental forms. Through diverse, multi-cultural programs, WordSpace enhances the development of language artists of all ages, facilitates communication throughout the literary community, and contributes to expanding the Dallas literary scene to the widest possible audience.
WordSpace has partnered with Kettle Arts, a Deep Ellum gallery, to create the Pegasus Reading Series. The reading I attended last night featured poets Tim Cloward, Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick, and Jenny Molberg, along with fiction writer Merritt Tierce. The art gallery was brightly lit but somehow intimate. All four authors were starkly different from each other, and yet with each one I found myself making that “mmph” sound of approval that those of us who have been to a few readings are familiar with. The work was engaging and heartfelt, and it made for a very pleasant evening.
This reading series occurs monthly and includes and open mic after the featured readings. If you should ever find yourself in Dallas and in need of poetry and free wine, I would definitely recommend this event.