A Celebration of our State’s Big Appetite for Literature brought to you by Writing Workshops Dallas and Gemini Ink.

A Free Monthly Online Reading Series from Writing Workshops Dallas & Gemini Ink
(Zoom Meetings Monthly @ 7pm CST; RSVP for Zoom invite)

Unplug from the outside world and JOIN us at The Big Texas Read (TBTR) brought to you by Writing Workshops Dallas and Gemini Ink. As featured in Poets&WritersForbesThe Dallas Morning NewsSan Antonio Express-NewsU.S. News & World ReportSan Francisco ChronicleFort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Chronicle, and Texas Highways, we’ll be reading one work of prose or poetry written by a Texas author every month—with Zoom author chats and Q&A’s. It’s a big virtual book club and we’d love for you to join us!

UP NEXT: January 19th, 2022 via Zoom @ 7PM CST

We’re reading and discussing Marisol Cortez’s Luz at Midnight, 2021 Winner of the Texas Institute of Letters’ Sergio Troncoso Award for Best First Book of Fiction. Carmen Tafolla moderates.


Deeply embedded in the landscapes of South Texas, Luz at Midnight tells the story of an ill-timed love that unfolds in the time of climate change. Booksmart but naïve, Citlali Sanchez-O’Connor has just been hired to organize a San Antonio campaign against “gleaning,” a controversial new mining practice that promises a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. In the process, she soon encounters Joel Champlain, a journalist struggling to hide his manic-depression as he uncovers the corrupt politics that surround gleaning. During a chance trip together to Texas’s Gulf Coast, Lali is struck by a love as powerful and sudden as the electrical storm that birthed Luz, the unearthly canine trickster who has thrown them together. But Lali—married with a baby, poised to leave town for an academic job, and trained to think everything is explicable—finds she must decide what their connection means, if anything, for a path already set in motion.

A genre-hopping narrative that layers story with reporting, poetry, scholarship, and teatro, Luz questions the nature of desire and power—along the way considering the humorous (and not-so-humorous) inner workings of the nonprofit industrial complex; Newtonian and Quantum theory; and the perambulations of birds and dogs. Luz also centrally explores what we call mental illness, including the possibility that love may be pathology, while madness may open some important window into the nature of reality.


Rooted in San Antonio, Marisol Cortez walks between artistic, activist, and academic worlds as a writer, editor, and community-based scholar. She is the author of the novel Luz at Midnight (Flower Song Press, 2020) and I Call on the Earth (Double Drop Press, 2019), a chapbook of documentary poetry about the displacement of Mission Trails Mobile Home Community. She is Co-editor of Deceleration, an online journal of environmental justice thought and praxis. She writes to resist all domination and remember the land. For more information on previous publications and current projects, visit https://mcortez.net/.

A native of the West Side barrios of San Antonio, Dr. Carmen Tafolla is the award-winning author of more than 40 books. The first City Poet Laureate of San Antonio from 2012-2014 and the 2015 State Poet Laureate of Texas, Tafolla has been recognized by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies for work that “gives voice to the peoples and cultures of this land.” In 2018 she became the first Latina to be elected President of the Texas Institute of Letters.  Winner of many awards, including five International Latino Book Award First Place Prizes, the Américas Award, and Top Ten Books for Babies, and a Professor Emeritus of Bicultural Bilingual Studies at UTSA, Tafolla credits the community around her with her inspiration and her training, and says her works are inspired by “ancestors whispering over my shoulder.” In 2023, Penguin will release her novel-in-verse, Guerrera Warrior.


February 16: Deb Olin Ferth, Barn 8
March 16: Mike Soto, Book TBA
April 20: Barbara Ras, The Blues of Heaven
May 18: Johnnie Bernhard, Book TBD


Sergio Troncoso, A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant’s Son
Edward Vidaurre
, Pandemia & Other Poems
Octavio Quintanilla, If I Go Missing
Sherry Kafka Wagner, Hannah Jackson
Nan Cuba,
Body and Bread
Hudder, Pretty Enough for You
Rebekah Manley,
Alexandra and the Awful, Awkward, No Fun, Truly Bad Dates A Picture Book Parody for Adults
Jenny Browne
, Fellow Travelers: New and Selected Poems (TCU Poet Laureate Series)
Amanda Eyre Ward
, The Jetsetters
Heather Harper Ellett, Ain’t Nobody Nobody
Andrea Vocab Sanderson, 
She Lives in Music
Antonio Ruiz-Camacho:
Barefoot Dogs
Poet Wendy Barker: Gloss
Debut Novelist Fowzia Karimi: Above Us the Milky Way
Edgar-winning novelist Joe R. Lansdale: Edge of Dark Water
Winner of the Iowa Prize for Nonfiction Kendra Allen: When You Learn the Alphabet
2020 Texas Poet Laureate Emmy Pérez: With The River on Our Face
New York Times Bestselling Author Kathleen Kent: The Dime & The Burn
Critically Acclaimed Novelist David Samuel Levinson: Tell Me How This Ends Well

Keep a lookout for giveaways that come with being a book lover and taking part in The Big Texas Read, from free online WWD and Gemini Ink workshops to manuscript consultations. Help us celebrate the diverse literary voices of our state, and we’ll keep you company with great Texas authors and like-minded fellow readers. What could be better than a good book, a dynamic discussion, and meeting new friends?
We’re grateful to partner with independent bookstores Interabang Books in Dallas and The Twig Book Shop in San Antonio for The Big Texas Read. Order your book directly from either bookstore and have it delivered to your front door!