A Bookish Weekend in Dallas: DallasSITES & Read Rite Market


It’s a rare and beautiful thing when Dallasites get together and celebrate the written word, but this weekend there are actually a couple of awesome events going down that celebrate reading, writing, and books, like the physical things your parents had on shelves throughout your house growing up, some of which are awesome and beautiful and some of which are cheap paperbacks not worth the paper they’re printed on, BUT this weekend you can get together in Dallas with like-minded fellow lovers of books and things and party hard.

TONIGHT there is a cool exhibit of local Dallas artists opening up at the Dallas Museum of Art called DallasSITES: Available Space. The piece of particular note to book lovers at this exhibit is local booklover/bookexpert/bookdude/artist Brandon Kennedy’s new piece, NFS.(2013), which features a 1973 Jaguar XJ6 packed with most of his inimitable book collection stacked in orderly and meaningful piles throughout the car, including an unbelievable stack of old-school New Directions first editions on the center console and a killer stack of Larry McMurtry, John Graves, & other Texas writers’ first editions writing shotgun. You can click this link for a brief writeup on the exhibition, including Kennedy’s piece. And there is a full schedule of events for tonight’s opening night bonanza, be there at 10pm for Kennedy’s talk, you can ask him why the hell putting books in a car is art (I may ask that question for fun just to see the look on his face), or what his favorite book in the car is.

Here’s a quick video of  a team of folks from The Art Foundation pushing the Jaguar, drained of all fluids to make it able to be put in the DMA’s pristine space, into the DMA’s back entrance through the Sculpture Garden. I was there for it, and it was hilarious and superfun to make happen. And I helped stack a few books, which was great, so come out tonight to the Dallas Museum of Art, 6pm-12am. Late nights at museums in the sexy Arts District, Dallas book nerds go wild.


Then after you wake up from a night of partying at the DMA tomorrow, head down to the Tyler-Davis Arts District (this is a thing, right? Just west of Bishop Arts District) & grab some breakfast tacos and join the festivities at the Read Rite Market, 10am-6pm out in front of Oil & Cotton. From the Oak Cliff edition of Advocate Magazine, we get this lovely preview and a list of events, of which I highly recommend the Writer’s Garret reading at 4pm and the paella dinner at 5pm prepared by the legitimately Spanish & bookish dudes who are set to open Dallas’s only independent bookstore this fall, The Wild Detectives:


A daylong celebration of the written word is in store at Oil and Cotton this Saturday, July 20. The free event, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. includes typography-related artwork, a small-press and artisanal book sale, a book swap, a poetry workshop and more.

Here is the full schedule of events, from Oil and Cotton:

10-10:30 a.m.
Coffee, Cigarettes and a Newspaper — Local journalists will choose an article from a variety of newspapers and read aloud as we enjoy coffee from Liz Goulding’s roving coffee shop featuring Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters. Liz will provide a coffee recipe book with instructions on how to make a perfect cup of coffee

11-11:30 a.m.
Blackout and cut up poems — Cut and paste found words gleaned from the newspaper, books and other printed media to create poems with The Wild Detectives, a soon to be book store on 8th Street. Poets from Spain and New York will Skype in and present readings as we work

11-11:30 a.m.
Intuitive calligraphy — Artist Andrea Estrada will gaze into your soul and gift you with a word handwritten in her fine script

11:30 a.m.-noon
Flash book with Evan Cleveland – Make a small book super fast

noon-12:30 p.m.
Silent song — Jennifer McNabb from Resolana will share artwork and writing projects made with women incarcerated at the Dallas County jail

noon-1 p.m.
Ex Libris — Artist Kyle Hobratschk will lead you through the making of a bookplate etched into a copper plate on his beautiful press

12:30-1 p.m.
Print proof — Pull a screen printed READ-RITE poster with Ryan and Rachel Rushing

1-1:30 p.m.
Oral Fixation reading

1:30-2 p.m.
Carve Magazine reading

2-2:30 p.m.
Dallas poets community reading

2:30-3 p.m.
Word Space youth reading

3-3:30 p.m.
Book dissection with Candice McKay — Learn the anatomy of a book with book restorer and owner of the Book Doctor. Book cadavers and scalpels will be provided

3-3:30 p.m.
Carve literary services

3:30-4 p.m.
Mad Swirl reading

4-4:30 p.m.
The Writer’s Garret reading

4:30-5 p.m.
Deconstruct and reconstruct – Make a book from the pages of discarded books

5-5:30 p.m.
Robin Myrick/The Town Crier

5-6 p.m. The Wild Detectives are cook and serve a free paella dinner

See if you can spot me ogling the New Directions first editions tonight or drinking all the coffee on W. 7th tomorrow. Dallas, get your read on!

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