A NIGHT OF LITERARY ABANDON

Words and photos by Courtney Marie

Justin Bigos, one of the curators of the Kraken Reading Series, sits up high in the back of a pleased crowd. 

Justin Bigos, one of the curators of the Kraken Reading Series, sits up high in the back of a pleased crowd. 

Dentonites tend to be desensitized by the sheer volume of events and activities they're regularly invited to on Facebook and in real life. We get used to hearing about all the great bands we're missing every weekend. We see show posters overlapping one another at Jupiter House and J and J's. And our excited friends won't ever keep quiet about their weekend plans. 

Listen. There's no denying that our music scene is off-the-chain, y'all. It's no wonder other forms of non-musical art go by the wayside when planning a fun night on the town. Squeezing a literary reading into the weekend’s agenda may not be as wild or loud as, say, a punk rock show at Andy’s or Rubber Gloves, but it can be just as stimulating, and you might wake up with less of a headache in the morning.


Stephen Danos, poet, reading at Paschall Bar as part of the Kraken Reading Series

Stephen Danos, poet, reading at Paschall Bar as part of the Kraken Reading Series

The unsung heros of Denton’s literary scene tend to be less outspoken than their creative friends in the music biz. That’s why we’re here to advise you to keep a lookout for these local organizations and what they’re up to.

Two weekends ago we attended a packed reading at Paschall Bar, featuring Ft. Worth’s own nationally acclaimed poet, Alex Lemon, and Stephen Danos, poet and co-curator of the Dollhouse Reading Series in Chicago. The event was hosted by Kraken Reading Series, an organization dedicated to poetry and interested in helping promote those who have just released their first or second book. They host several events a month, most of which are at Paschall Bar

The event was cozy and quiet and perfect for those seeking to grab a nice cocktail and enjoy the beauty of words or a breath of inspiration.


The crew of Denton Performance Lab reads a humorous piece about meeting a significant other's  family. 

The crew of Denton Performance Lab reads a humorous piece about meeting a significant other's  family. 

The Denton Performance Lab hosted a show that very same night, luckily beginning after the Kraken show ended. Originally hosted at the late Art Six, the group now gets together at Greenspace Art Collective, performing their own work and pieces by others. They have an open invitation to the community to submit pieces to be performed, and host a show once a month.

This particular show, themed “Love, Lust, and All That Bullshit,” was casual and fun, blending a healthy mix of comedy and serious literature together. Almost everything read was performed with a theatrical twist, including the sock puppet productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Great Gatsby. It complimented the earlier Kraken Reading Series very well and we definitely plan on hitting both up again.

Almost everything read was performed with a theatrical twist, including the sock puppet productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Great Gatsby.

Can’t get enough readings and performance art? Check out the other events and open mics hosted at Green Space, keep a lookout for the monthly show at Rubber Gloves hosted by Denton’s Spoken Word Collective, go laugh at one of the many comedy shows put on by the Denton Comedy Collective, and of course, try and keep up with Spiderweb Salon.


Spiderweb Salon is a local creative arts collective that partners with We Denton Do It a few times a month. We recently discussed a show of theirs that we took in on the square. They also sometimes lend us short stories to post.

If this post got you hankerin' for taking in some of Denton's literary scene, you can catch the largest show Spiderweb has put on to date this Sunday, March 10th from 2-6pm at Dan's Silverleaf as part of 35 Denton