Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordcraft -- Write on: The Garret's alive and kicking

On the front of its Sunday Arts & Life section, the Dallas Morning News proclaimed the Dallas Writer’s Garret to be an institution “at the heart of Dallas’ literary community.” Like many nonprofit organizations, the Garret feels the pain of the current economic situation. But it’s operated under an the additional burden of grief since 2008 when Jack Myers -- poet, SMU professor and husband of the Garret’s founder Thea Temple -- learned he had cancer.

Although Myers died in late 2009, his latest book of poetry, The Memory of Water, was published this spring by New Issues Press. And the Garret continues its work as well, with the help of staff members Joe Milazzo, director of community and education outreach, and program and operations administrator Grace Kenney. They plan an open house Saturday, September 10, from 3-5 p.m. at the Garret’s location above Paperbacks Plus, 6115 La Vista Dr. in Dallas.

In addition to training writers, organizing youth programs and bringing world-renowned authors to the city, the Garret gives writers a place to hang out with other writers. Its several critique groups give us a chance to receive feedback on our work and listen to the work of other writers, as well as just talking about writing.

At this past Saturday’s meeting, participant Paul shared a quotation from Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk on the value of such groups -- a chance to make friends not because we share the proximity of working in adjacent cubicles or living in adjacent houses, but because we share a passion. The passion for writing.

Currently the Garret hosts regular writing critique groups in mixed genres on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 7-9 p.m. and on the second and fourth Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m. solely on poetry; and on the second and fourth Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon for prose and poetry. First visits to each group are free, and $3 thereafter.

It also hosts a reading for performance workshop on third Sundays from 4-6 p.m. (August 21) and a poetry discussion group on second Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. Participation in these groups is free.

For more information, see or contact the Garret at 214-828-1715 or

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