Wednesday, April 30, 2008

set list for friday, april 25th reading

So much has been going on this month. I find that, as my foot heals, my pace becomes increasingly hectic--and that is something I somewhat lament. Funny, before--in the first few weeks of my temporary incapacitation--I lamented not being able to be so active and productive. Oh well, humans are funny people...

The reading last week seems like it happened months ago. The folks from the Writer's Garret were sweet and supportive; co-founders-directors Thea Temple and Jack Myers seemed remarkably chill, as they sat, slung low on a couch, hearing the poets of the night. I was on second, after Carol Nace, whose near-whisper-delivered reading felt incantatory. Before the reading, she and I exchanged battle wound stories, as we both have broken our feet. I'd like to read her stuff on the page, to get a better sense of it.

Michael Grabell (writer for the Dallas Morning News) had some funny poems, pulling alot of laughs from the audience of about forty folks. Jack Myers finished up the evening with some very nice flavors--why does his name now make me think of Jack Daniels and Myer's Rum? All in all, a very nice reading experience. I sold a bunch of books, without even trying--now that's a nice way to top off the night. Got to chat w/ Beatriz Terrazas about Macondo and future lit stuff together. Special nod to Karen X, who had her own event to host at the Priya Yoga space, yet rushed upstairs to give me a quick greeting hug before rushing off to do her thing.

Note to self: "A Piece Based on Two Incidents at the Same Lake" might actually be full-complete, in its final version. That's what Thea Temple kept telling me, as she raved about this poem. I'm glad to hear this feedback, as the poem is so personal that I think I've quite lost my ability to be objective about it as a work of literature. See--this is another great reason to get out and read your stuff in public!

National Poetry Month reading - April 25, 2008, Paperbacks Plus

poems performed by Tammy M. Gomez: my set list for the event, accompanied (with stellar precision) by Ramsey Sprague
aka The Shortest Distance:

published online at:, posted on Thursday, November 01, 2007, Poem #305 of 365

"Donde Esta’ Adam"
published in Terra Firma (Austin: Agave Noir, 2004)

"In This Love"
published in North Texas Neruda Love: poems, essays, testimonios in tribute to Pablo Neruda
(Fort Worth: Tejana Tongue Press, 2006)

"A Piece Based on Two Incidents at the Same Lake"
(unpublished, NFS)

"Delivery of Nouns"
published online at:, posted on Friday, November 02, 2007, Poem #306 of 365

"Nepal Child Poem 2"
published in Terra Firma (Austin: Agave Noir, 2004)

for more info:
about Tammy -
about Ramsey -

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My two most recent publication credits: 2 poems and an essay

Read 'em online now.

Judy Gordon, based in N. Dallas, is the wife and artist-colleague of legendary Texas "outlaw poet" Roxy Gordon (R.I.P., Roxy), who is highly-lauded by many (sometimes they play recordings of Roxy's recorded readings on the Native American music show "Bows and Arrows" which airs on KNON-FM, 88.7, on Sundays at 6pm). Judy's a great organizer and late-blossoming visual artist, and in the wake of Roxy's passing, she's kept pretty busy with literary/art activities. PUTT (Pickin Up the Tempo) is her latest project, and she's been publishing it for about a year now.

Read it online here or sign up to receive each monthly issue via email. Two of my newest poems are featured in the current issue. Click on "TAMMY GOMEZ" in the sidebar to read 'em.

You may also consider submitting some of your latest scribbles and raw words to Judy for a future issue. I like the feel of what she's doing with this publication. Think of it as a literary equivalent to "No Depression," the insurgent country, alt-Americana roots music zine. I guess that might be a useful comparison, maybe not...

Hey, I also have a new essay published online for my compa Bronmin Shumway's new zine HERE THERE MAGAZINE, which just launched in March. My essay describes the history of taking my play "She: Bike/Spoke/Love" from the page to the stage. It was a very useful process for me, writing down some of the tools, steps, and decisions that were necessary to this project gettin' done. In writing the essay, I was very thankful for having taken the time to maintain a a blog that charted this seemingly (to me, at least) epic journey.

My friend, Vicki Grise, has started her own process blog, to document the creative path of her current performance project, "rasgos asiaticos, which she's developing at Cal-Arts in L.A.

Sometimes we forget to leave crumbs, helping us recognize and remember the way we got from point A to point B. If we blog about it, then maybe the mystical magic of our creative productions might actually be replicate-able. Or, at least, it could help others just starting out to know how we accomplished the minor miracles of our artistry.

I'm reading @ Paperbacks Plus in Lakewood, Dallas, on Friday, April 25th

Because it's NATIONAL POETRY MONTH--all of April, that is--poets like me get trotted out for some show-and-tell time more often than during other months. That's cool with me, as I always enjoy a good social opportunity with spoken word/poetry in the mix. The Writer's Garret has engaged my "services" at least a dozen times over the past decade, and this Dallas-based nonprofit literary organization does more for the engagement of poet/writers with a live audience than most literary orgs in Texas.

Join us on Friday, April 25th, at the Upstairs Salon - above Paperbacks Plus in the Lakewood neighborhood of Dallas.

Wine 'n' cheese reception: 6:30pm
Reading/performance: 7pm

Featuring: Jack Myers (former Poet Laureate of Texas and SMU professor), Michael Grabell, Carol Nace, and Tammy Gomez
(accompanied by musician"The Shortest Distance" aka Ramsey Sprague)

FREE and open to the public.

Prairie Fest 2008 - Saturday, April 26 in FW - schedule/info

first: Happy, green, productive, pro-active EARTH DAY to you !!

second: Prairie Fest is only 3 days away on April 26.

Says organizer/founder Don Young: "Come dance barefoot on the prairie--at the Tandy Hills Natural Area
in E. Fort Worth--while you help us save some of it. Our solar-powered stage makes Grammy-winning musicians Brave Combo sound way better."

Who: Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area.

What: The third annual Fort Worth Prairie Fest "Celebrating our connection to the natural world"

When: April 26, 2008. 11am - 7 pm

Where: Tandy Hills Natural Area - 3400 View Street, Fort Worth

Website: http://tandyhills. org/prairiefest. htm/

Contact: Don Young @ 817-731-2787

Prairie Fest is:

- Wildflower/Prairie tours led by master naturalists at the best place to see spring wildflowers, Tandy Hills Natural Area.

- Sustainable and green living exhibitors representing clean energy, green building, yard & garden, recycling, transportation, food & agriculture and conservation. (over 60 booths)

- A forum for all environmental organizations in the the north Texas region, with a keynote speech by Jarid Manos, founder of Great Plains Restoration Council.

- A special gathering of North Texas artists (including Alison Aldrich, Tina Bohlman, Rachel Bounds, Georgia Clarke, Sarah Green, Ginger Head Gearheart, Tom Huckabee, Carol Ivey, Debob Jacob, Sheri Jones, Sunnie LeBlanc, Victor Manuel, Chris McHenery, Rose Marie Mercado, Cecilia Robertson, Julie Wende, and Trish Wise) creating works inspired by Tandy Hills Natural Area in our "Plein Air" painting event. Take one or more of these paintings home with you by bidding on them in an auction during the festival.

- MUSIC, DANCE, POETRY and other performances for all ages.


11am – 12:15pm / The Ackermans (music)

12:15 – 12:30pm / Mimi Kayl-Vaughn (modern dance)

12:30 – 12:45pm / John Snowden |(speaker, Bluestem Farms)

12:45 – 2:00pm / "Trigger Fish" (music)

2:00 – 2:15pm / "Footprints" (dance, music, poetry with Lori Sundeen Soderbergh, Tammy Gomez, Chris Curiel)

2:15 – 3:00pm / Kerri Arista (music)

3:00 – 3:15pm / Elizabeth Samudio (speaker, Elizabeth Anna’s Old World Garden)

3:15 - 4:30pm / Blackland River Devils/Darrin Kobetich (music)

4:30 – 4:45pm / Kathleen Hicks (speaker)

4:45 – 5:00pm / "Footprints" (dance, music, poetry with Lori Sundeen Soderbergh, Tammy Gomez, Chris Curiel)

5:00 – 5:45pm / "The Walking Contradictions" (music)

5:45 – 6:00pm / Jarid Manos (speaker)

6:00 – 7:30pm / Brave Combo (music)

- Food and drink provided by Chadra Mezze and Grill; Hot Damn Tamales; New Belgian Brewing Company; Rahr Brothers Brewery; and Smokey's Barbecue.

- FREE and open to the public!

DIRECTIONS to festival site: 3400 View St. Fort Worth, TX 76103.

Go 13 blocks on Meadowbrook to Tandy Ave. Turn right on Tandy, the park is one block straight ahead.

Don't miss being a part of the greenest of the green festivals. Come to the meadow, where the therapy is always pro bono.

Tammy Gomez performing in "Footprints" at the FringeFest at the Dallas Hub Theatre in Deep Ellum, Saturday, April 12th.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Facing the Change: Grassroots Encounters with Global Warming" - submit yr. writing

[Thanks to friend, poet, and world traveler Lorena Caputo for sending me the following call for submissions. Please respond to the email address/mailing address provided below. ]


"Greetings and best wishes!

Facing the Change: Grassroots Encounters with Global Warming will be a completely new kind of book about global climate change. Instead of experts talking at you, this hard-copy anthology will feature personal responses to global warming - what everyday people are feeling and thinking as well as what they are doing. Stories, essays, and poetry are welcome, from concerned citizens from all walks of life and all ages. Please go to for more information, writing suggestions, and submission instructions (including a printable version of the full Invitation to Submit).

Submission deadline: MAY FIRST, 2008 - 5/1/08.

Please consider submitting your own writing to the project. You can also help by forwarding this invitation to anyone who may be interested - colleagues, students, friends, family, or community members. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions you might have. Your interest and assistance will be much appreciated.

The world needs your insight, strength, and concern. Join with me in Facing the Change.

Thanks, Steve"

Steven Pavlos Holmes, Ph.D.
Independent Scholar in the Environmental Humanities
21 Eldridge Rd., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"Footprints" debuted at Barefoot Brigade show last weekend

"I step gently on the earth...You can hardly see the marks I leave behind."

"Mama, mama, look at the sky! The colors so bright at night!"

" i have trampled this territory."

We're onstage again this weekend to perform "Footprints", as part of the annual Dallas FringeFest in Deep Ellum. We do the piece at 4pm, and then again at 9:45pm. Come check us out if you are into seeing some experimental performance on Saturday, April 12th. The show's at the Dallas Hub Theater, which is located at 2809 Canton St.

12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, April 6, 2008

By MARGARET PUTNAM / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
Margaret Putnam is a Richardson-based writer who covers dance.

"I was worried there for a little while. What if no one in the Barefoot Brigade Dance Festival went weird Friday night?

I need not have worried. Footprints did the trick. Eight mannequin legs littered the floor, one leg rudely impaled with a Styrofoam cup, the rest stuffed with plastic bags.

Upside down, Lori Sundeen Soderbergh wiggled her feet. Eventually, she's was upright. The theme, or at least part of it, was to take responsibility for one's footprint that damages the Earth. But it was difficult to take seriously because of some props, such as a fish mask and a part that mocked strangulation.Next to that bit of nonsense, everything else seemed pretty straightforward from the area troupes at the dance festival."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Ruben Salazar - collaboration for Waco art exhibit in February 2008

I've always loved working with other artists in collaboration, especially when the artists involved are working in genres other than the ones I'm usually exploring. Back in January, I got to work with Waco-based visual artist RUBEN SALAZAR, who invited me to send him some of my political poems for possible use in some of his artwork. Ruben and I met via a phone call back in 2005, which kind of spooked me, because he 1) phoned after midnight and 2) he happened to know that I was about to board a train to travel to San Antonio for TeatroFest at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Disconcerting, for reals. I was polite but cautious, as Ruben listed off the names of some of our mutual friends. Turns out, Ruben was just super-friendly and maybe a bit lonely for Chicano/a artist kinship. He knows alot about Chicano/a art and has traveled a bit throughout the southwest to study, work, and network. I ended up on his email mailing list and began to figure--from the content of many of his forwards and messages--that he is an environmental activist and practitioner of what is often termed "advocacy art." He's really good at creating provocative "papel picado" ("cut paper") designs, a couple of which you can see here.

We've shared alot of musings online, and looked forward to the day that we might collaborate on some project together. He is trying to bring some "life" and "culture" to Waco, and I can tell that he often feels like he's waging a one-man campaign to do so.

Anyway, back in December (2007), Ruben announced that he was going to have a show of his work in McLennan Community College's art gallery. He invited me to submit a few pieces of my writing for his consideration, as he hoped to find inspiration for a couple new works from reading these poems. This, in turn, motivated me to pen a new piece, "Steps on the Earth", which Ruben included in a multimedia collage--as shown below--which he created specifically for his exhibit.

I took the train (yay, Amtrak!) on the afternoon of Friday, February 15th, so that I could check out his one-man show and also to perform at the reception. ((A long sidenote now ensues: Ramsey kindly dropped me off at the Amtrak station in time for my scheduled departure, but we didn't have time for him to swing by my bank ATM beforehand. No problem, I thought. I'll buy my ticket and then skip over to the ATM which was surely to be found in the rail station lobby. Problem: I had just received a replacement ATM card from my bank the day before and had neglected to test-drive it. Reason for getting a replacement card, in the first place, was because some bozo had been trying to do a heist using that bank's ATM system, so all customers were required to trash their old cards and pick up a new (safer) one. Okay, so I had just enough cash to purchase my one-way ticket to McGregor. Waco doesn't have a rail stop because the powers-that-were and the powers-that-be continue to resist having Amtrak service their city. Lame. Anyway--once I purchased my ticket, I was left with the equivalent of about $1.25 in coinage. Sad. I had no idea if my ATM card was going to work whatsover, in any machine. I had not the slightest clue if I'd be able to withdraw any money for my weekend journey, which would have me moving on to Austin from Waco--Cesar and Miguel were scheduled to pick me up in Waco, alongside the interstate, at one of the fast-food restaurants across from Baylor U. on Saturday morning. I realized that I had to fall back on my time-tested belief that things would all work out, and that my needs (food, drink, etc.) would be met without the safety net of money. In a pinch, I could also borrow from Cesar.))

Anyway, after my reading at the gallery on Friday night, Ruben passed around a basket for donations, and I was offered the total amount collected--which equaled almost exactly the amount I would have withdrawn from the ATM to cover my anticipated expenses for the weekend. The universe always provides a safety net; we only have to trust in it.

Ruben introducing me at his art show reception--McLennan Community College in Waco.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Premiere of new work "Footprints" in Barefoot Brigade showcase this weekend

Lori, Chris, and I have been developing this new performance piece--"Footprints", about the impact of our carbon footprint on the planet--since late January. It's been an easeful process, as Lori has coordinated this project in a way that has allowed us rehearsal studio time (at the Margo Dean Ballet Studios--thanks to Margo Dean!) for jamming on our ideas in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, moving towards precision. I met Lori--as I like to honor my collaborators with a memory of our meeting--at the "Save the Trees" rally last September. She heard and appreciated my poetry performance at the mic, and expressed her desire to get together on a project at some point. Lori also came out to see my bicycle play ("She: Bike/Spoke/Love") and was totally impressed. Now, we're premiering our first collaborative effort tonight (at the Bath House Cultural Center--see details below), and I must say, I'm pretty stoked about our conceptual and performative achievements in this work. Chris Curiel (co-founder, with his wife Tamitha, of the experimental musical project SWIRVE), as usual, is a 100% pleasure to work with--he's always spot-on with his musical accent choices. (I enlisted him as musical coordinator/composer/performer in last year's "365 Days, 365 Plays" project that I produced at the Jubilee Theater of one week's worth of plays from the Suzan Lori-Parks epic cycle.)

"Footprints" is part of the Spring 2008 Barefoot Brigade program, which showcases dance/movement and performance art works being created by some of DFW's most active (and sometimes prolific) artists. My personal favorites being performed alongside our work are the dances performed by MUSCLE MEMORY DANCE THEATER and the DALLAS BLACK DANCE THEATER companies. A very provocative program.

Also need to mention: "Footprints" will be performed multiple times in the Metroplex this month. Check it out next Saturday (details below) at the upcoming DALLAS FRINGE FESTIVAL, and again at the annual PRAIRIE FEST in Fort Worth towards the end of the month. Hope you can join us at one of these performances!

D/FW premiere performances in April

"What is our footprint on this planet? Is it time to get mad or get moving? Are we too late?"

"Footprints" is a new dance/music/poetry collaboration by choreographer Lori Sundeen Soderbergh (FW); musician/composer Chris Curiel (Dallas); and performance artist Tammy Gomez (FW).

Barefoot Brigade Dance Festival
Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas
Friday, April 4 at 8pm and Saturday, April 5 at 3pm
For more information:

3rd Annual DFW Fringe Festival
hosted by Dallas Hub Theater
Saturday, April 12 at 4pm and 9:45pm
For more information:

3rd Annual Fort Worth PrairieFest
Tandy Hills in Fort Worth
Saturday, April 26 -at 2:30pm and 5pm
FREE admission!
For more information: contact: