September 12 at 2PM – CalArts SPRAWL

Words, sounds, and ideas from the intersection of CalArts and Texas

September 12 - 2PM to 5PM

Centraltrak is pleased to host an afternoon of literary programming from CalArts writing alumni currently living and working in the state of Texas. This slate of short readings, performances, investigations and provocations is modeled on the notorious SPRAWL reading series at CalArts, featuring writers working with language as an artistic medium and experimenting with the boundaries of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and playwriting. The event lineup includes Jon Lindsey (Houston), Alana Macias (Austin), Joe Milazzo (Dallas), Robin Myrick (Dallas), and Allie Rowbottom (Houston), each representing different aspects and coordinates of the CalArts/Texas binary.

Event Schedule

2:00 (and though the afternoon)

"Straggle Tactics": Joe Milazzo invites visitors to generate their own creative response to textual prompts distributed throughout the gallery, some of which will be based on the It Came From CalArts exhibition. The necessary supplies (paper, writing implements, etc.) will be furnished for participants.


Allie Rowbottom reads from her essay "Ghosts and Houses," winner of the 2014 Florida Review editor's award in nonfiction and finalist for the 2014 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction.  The essay is composed of interwoven snippets of information, chronicling a father’s infatuation with firearms, isolation and fear and the author's vicarious relationship to these topics.


Jon Lindsay presents his project USA Tall Boys, which refers to an argot for 24 oz. beer cans, as well as a stereotypical perception of American masculine identity. Through personal trial, the author has come to understand a basic equivalence in the contents of all nine beverages within the USA Tall Boys‪ sample group based upon the fundamental precepts of taste, smell and coloration. This project posits, therefore, that most consumers of the USA Tall Boys‪ establish their purchase, of said group, on narrative and iconographic qualities. The project's interest is in the relationships consumers form with these narratives and aesthetics, as well as the questions this raises about both identity construction, and the vocabulary of influence and seduction.


"Laminations of Unknowing": Joe Milazzo presents an improvised chorale based on CalArts student writings and incorporating the voices of CalArts MFA Writing alumni.


Robin Myrick reads excerpts from the Town Hall, Town Crier project, an ongoing study in poetry of the ways in which personal beliefs and communications become politicized in the act of dialogue, and through the context of public forums. The poems are culled from a broad range of discussions about nation and culture that Myrick began to participate in, observe, collect, and catalog during the presidential election cycle of 2008, and this ongoing project will wrap up with the 2016 elections. The poems also reflect, at times, the complete failure of language in the face of complex American political, social, and cultural issues.


Alana Macias reads excerpts from her graphic novel, Zero Libertad, with high-res panels from the novel projecting the illustrations. Zero Libertad features the first Latin-American title character female superhero, and is also a multimedia project that includes a live show with cutting edge video mapped projection, and a concept album soundtrack. See for additional information.



Jon Lindsey is co-director of Self Actualization gallery in Houston, TX. He received his MFA in Critical Studies at CalArts and is enrolled in the MA Arts Leadership program at the University of Houston. His novel in progress, Triangle Square, flirts with incest, pro wrestling and Los Angeles.

Alana Macias is a writer, performer, and director. Her plays, performance pieces, and films are best known for their mixture of wildly divergent cultural influences, forms, sounds, and literary references to form a theatrical experience that embraces the changing, expanding, and transcultural meaning of what it is to be an American at the turn of the twenty-first century.

Alana's parents were political organizers for the rebels in the Nicaraguan civil war and she was born in a make-shift hospital in the ruins of post-earthquake Managua. Her upbringing was radical in every sense of the word, as her mother was an Irish-American former Maryknoll nun and her father was the college-educated son of Nicaraguan peasants, traumatized from extreme poverty, war, and exile.

She received her MFA in Writing for Performance at CalArts. Her mentors are Suzan-Lori Parks, Erik Ehn, Carl Hancock Rux, Anne Garcia-Romero, and Luis Alfaro. Prior to CalArts she studied acting and writing at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, and received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her work has been produced and/or developed by the Theater Key West New Plays Festival, the Ford Amphitheater Latino Playreading Series in L.A., Ground Zero Theater Company, The Vortex in Austin, and Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas.

She was a Finalist for the 2007 and 2012 Sundance Screenwriters' Lab, the 2007 Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights' Center, and the Public Theater's 2007-2008 Emerging Writers Program. Her graphic novel, Zero Libertad, is available on iTunes and Comixology.

Joe Milazzo received his MFA in Writing from CalArts in 2008. He is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie (Jaded Ibis Press, 2014) and The Habiliments (Apostrophe Books, forthcoming in 2015), a volume of poetry. His writings have appeared in Black Clock, Black Warrior Review, The Collagist, Drunken Boat, Bomb, and elsewhere. He co-edits the online interdisciplinary arts journal [out of nothing], is a contributing editor at Entropy, and is also the proprietor of Imipolex Press. Joe, a native Dallasite, still lives and works in Dallas, TX.

Robin Myrick is a writer, visual artist, and educator based in Dallas, Texas. Her work engages the transitory nature of the mediated moment as expressed through television and film, portraiture and the body, and the rhetoric of identity, politics, consumerism, and disaster. She holds an MFA in Writing and Critical Studies from California Institute of the Arts, and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Aesthetic Studies at UT Dallas. She serves as Arts and Media Editor for Entropy magazine, among other endeavors, and is a member of the long lost art collective In Cooperation With Muscle Nation. She also curated the 2014 glitch exhibition Message (NOT) Received at UT Dallas.

Allie Rowbottom is a yoga teacher, a world champion equestrienne and a contributing member to Self Actualization, a transphysical art space. She received her MFA in creative writing from the California Institute of the Art and is a fifth year PhD candidate in creative non-fiction writing and literature at the University of Houston where she also teaches.



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