Many changes in the autumn air. Last year, we found our new “forever home” inside Metropolitan Press. This Fall, after 23 years, we say goodbye to co-founder Thea Temple.
Temple co-founded The Writer’s Garret in Fall 1994 with her late husband, SMU poet / Texas Poet Laureate, Jack Myers, as a writers’ critique group conducting outreach while offering reading opportunities. Incorporated in 1994 as a Texas nonprofit, by May 1995 The Garret had been awarded 501(c)(3) status. Inside of a year, The Writer’s Garret was a full-service literary center, fostering partnerships with the MAC, DMA, Mesquite Arts Center, WordSpace, Bath House Cultural Center, Young Audiences, and many others.
The Garret’s earliest programs centered on putting writers to work with seniors and producing its lauded “Word of Mouth” reading series. WoM paired established writers and poets with emerging artists, usually intermixing genres to cross-pollinate audiences. Working with SMU’s ICE program in 2000 led to Writers in Neighborhoods & Schools (WINS) and ongoing partnerships with Arts Partners (i.e., Big Thought), DISD, and others, which continue to this day.
In 2004, Yolette Garcia developed with Temple the Writers Studio. This acclaimed series won “Best of Big D” and “Best of the Observer” for bringing to Dallas the finest living authors and recording them before a live audience for KERA and national PRX broadcast. Alice Walker, Julia Alvarez, Louise Erdrich, Junot Diaz, and Ernest Gaines, were among the many esteemed writers and poets appearing in the Studio series.
Other ground-breaking initiatives included ¡TEX! Magazine (in partnership with the Today Foundation), and, more recently, Rail Writers, which will continue to grow under the direction of Temple’s successors, Co-Executive Directors Michael Clay and Aaron Glover.  

Michael Clay

Co-Executive Director

Clay has a background in international business, notably marketing, operations / sales analysis, and special projects. As M.H. Clay, he is a practicing poet published in numerous journals with experience as a WINS instructor and Poetry Editor for the Mad Swirl zine and website. Over the last year, he has also served as Garret Board Treasurer.

Aaron Glover

Co-Executive Director

Glover joins The Writer’s Garret after five years on faculty in the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A&M University. As a practicing and published poet, Glover first taught as a WINS instructor and was most recently Educational Outreach Coordinator.

Together, their individual skills and combined experience bring a fresh perspective to The Writer’s Garret. Watch early 2018 for more on Glover and Clay and their growing vision for The Garret.
As for Temple, often a woman of extremes, she is leaving the Dallas heat to reside in the subarctic temperatures of Fairbanks, Alaska. Starting in early 2018, she will be developing a number of national initiatives as “Special Projects Director” for The Writer’s Garret.

Further Reading:

Thea Temple, long at the heart of literary Dallas, is moving on — with a few parting words (Michael Merschel, Dallas News)

The Next Chapter: A Word from the New Leadership Team (Co-Executive Directors Michael Clay and Aaron Glover)