Beat Artists

Christopher Carmona

Christopher Carmona is a beat poet following in the tradition of beat poets like Jack Kerouac, Bob Kaufman, and Raul Salinas. He believes in practicing poetry as a form of social resistance. He was a nominee for the Alfredo Cisneros de Miral Foundation Award for Emerging Writers in 2011 and has been published Beatlick Art & NewsWorld Audience Literary JournalTecoloteBoundless: The Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology 2011 and 2012, La Bloga, The Houston Poetry Festival 2011 Anthology, Vandal, phati'tude Literary Magazine, Sagebrush Review, MEZCLA, and Bordersenses.  His first book of poetry entitled beat is published by Slough Press.  He is also editing an anthology of Beat Texas writings with Chuck Taylor and Rob Johnson. Currently he is working on his second book of poetry titled I Have Always Been Here (still in progress) explores being a Chican@ beat poet. Finally, he is the organizer of the Annual Beat Poetry and Arts Festival.

Christopher Carmona

chuck taylor

Chuck Taylor

Chuck Taylor is a Texas Yankee reared in Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, and North Carolina, won the Austin Book Award for his collection, What Do You Want, Blood? He has worked in the Poets- in-the-Schools program, been a CETA poet in Salt Lake City, operated a used bookstore, worked in the laundry of a hospital, labored for the Terrill State Mental Hospital and the Texas School for the Deaf, owned a small press, and is the former Coordinator of Creative Writing at Texas A&M University. Conversations with the poet Lucien Stryk in 1967 stimulated his interest in Asian culture and he was able to work and study in Japan from 1991-94. Married three times, he has three children, three stepchildren, and six grandchildren.

Currently he is editing an anthology of Beat Texas writings for UT Press with Christopher Carmona and Rob Johnson and organizing the 1st Annual Beat Poetry and Arts Festival.

Thom Unbeaten

Thom Unbeaten

As of this moment, Thom hosts the weekly Monday night readings @THE HIDEOUT, 617 S Congress, and two monthly readings-EXPRESSIONS on First Saturdays and VINNYS ITALIAN CAFE on First Wednesdays. He performs improvised poetry with WORDJAZZ ENSEMBLE and works with BARBARA KOOYMAN, ANDREW STONE and DEREK T WASHINGTON in a similar capacity.

He recently revived the Darrel Mayers THOMAS HARDY/PAUL EVANS presentation of poetry, music and dance at AUSTIN INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL after its success @the TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL last year.

He is a professional poetry workshop facilitator, recently performing at KATHERINE ANNE PORTER (Charter) School and SALADO HIGH SCHOOL. He has led workshops at SHRINER UNIVERSITY in Kerrville several times (check YOUTUBE!)

Thom has 183 books of poetry, 2 Cdbooks and many cassettes of poetry collaborations.  He recently performed on PACT TV for EXSE Poetry Sessions.

Thom is a co-founder of AIPF, and regularly performs with musicians in various genres.

ken jones

Ken Jones

Ken Jones has been a published poet for over 20 years in academic and underground journals, magazines, anthologies, websites and other forums. He has given readings of his original work since college at bars, bookstores, coffeehouses, conferences, and other venues. He earned an MA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Texas at Austin and is a full-time faculty member at the Art Institute of Houston, teaching Creative Writing among other subjects, His collection Unutterable Blunders and Palace Disasters was published by PlainViewPress in 2006. Ceaseless Greasepaint in Combat Stance Published by Slough Press in 2007. 

Jones' most recent book is Pleadings from the Pleaides (Poetry in the Arts Publications), available at and his latest chapbook is Bones of Rebellion (Brave New Books chapbook series).

 connie lane williams

Connie Williams

Connie Lane Williams graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a B.S. in Music/English and Angelo State University with an M.A. in English/Psychology.  Williams placed 1st in the Sigma Tau Delta Poetry Competition and the TCWTA Graduate Poetry competition. She has performed at the Langdon Review, AIPF, the Globe Theater, UT Permian Basin, the Kelton Writer's Conference, and is founder and director of Forrest Fest, an annual poetry festival in Lamesa, Texas.  She has published ten poetry chapbooks including my mother's bones and looking for lilith. She is well known for her critical reviews and is often called the Gypsypoet because of her love of travel.  Williams latest book is Dancing Backwards in Texas by Slough Press.  Williams has been strongly influenced by her love of West Texas and the Austin, Texas poetry community.

opalina salas

Opalina Salas

Mother, Wife, Poet and Bookstore owner Opalina Salas wears many hats.  She pursues her art at every opportunity and prides herself with being an active member of the DFW open mic and spoken word scene as well as hosting literary events in her beloved neighborhood, the X+ area of North Oak Cliff.  She has been performing and writing since 1995, as well as having featured at many venues including The Green Room, Rock n Java, Zombies, Café Society, The Donut Lady, Lost Art Open Mic ,and the monthly Mad Swirl open mic hosted by Johnny O at the Absinthe Lounge.  She has also been featured at The Ground Floor in Midland TX, and will be a featured reader at the first annual Beat Poetry Festival in 2011 in College Station TX. She was a featured poet in Mad Swirl Issue 6 in both audio and written form. As a co-founder of DFW Open Mics, Opalina has been a regular host or co-host at many of the aforementioned venues,  including her bookstore CLIFF NOTES monthly open mic POETS ON X+, as well as a guest interviewee on Mandrake Society Radio in 2007. Opalina has been featured by Wordspace with the Femme Zine LET IT BLEED in 2010,which she is also an editor of.  In 2008, she was one of three featured readers at the ROAR! poetry reading at Paperbacks Plus, where she appeared alongside fellow local luminaries Desmene Statum and Jolee Davis-Cloudy. Opalina’s work has been featured online, as well as in a number of literary zines and other print publications. Her publishers have included Death List Five, Literary Tonic, Zombie Book Press, and Johnny O’s Mad Swirl, as well as her own Propinquity Press, and Subversive Verse. Rattling Keys and Broken Chords, her fifth and the most recent of her poetry chapbooks, was published in 2007. Her audio CD was recorded by PAO Productions in 2010.  Born and raised in Texas, Opalina is married to poet and artist Carlos Salas, with whom she has one daughter,  two very awesomely cool kittens, and one hell of a beat bookstore named Cliff Notes on a tiny corner of heaven in Oak Cliff TX 75208.