We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Glover and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aaron, how do you think about risk?

I think risk, and taking risk, is about having vision. Building or creating anything–a business, an audience, a poem, a festival–requires me to see and imagine something beyond what is there at the start. Risk is predicated on imagination.

“What if, in this poem, I try to write my exact feelings down on this page?” I’m risking exposure of what’s going on in my head and my heart; someone could see what’s really in there! “What if I put together this event that hasn’t happened before?” I’m risking time, resources, social capital on something that may not show an immediate return.

In both cases, though, vision for an outcome is what sustains my efforts, what makes risk worth it. Maybe I actually capture those feelings in a resonant way in the poem I’m working on; maybe I hold the event and it brings new people into the community. That kind of growth only happens because someone imagines it first, and is willing to take a risk in trying to achieve it.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

The Writer’s Garret is an almost 30-year-old literary organization here in Dallas. Our mission is to connect people through the power of language. We host performances, workshops, readings and panels, as well as working with youth in and out of classrooms.

When I stepped into leadership at The Garret in late 2017, the organization’s future was uncertain. My first couple of years with the organization were challenging–we spent a not insignificant amount of time doing work to stabilize our finances, build organizational infrastructure and really listen to members of the literary community about what they needed and wanted from The Garret. We put a lot of time and thought into deciding the direction The Writer’s Garret should go in, and over a few years, we’ve rebranded, updating our logo, mission and language.

I’m so pleased to say that The Writer’s Garret is thriving now. We have a portfolio of strong, unique programming (including the immersive summer youth program Rail Writers and the Common Language Project poetry contest, to name just two); an enthusiastic and growing supporter base; and having just completed the second annual Dallas Is Lit! literary festival, we’re helping to reshape the perception of Dallas as a literary city.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

I am such a foodie, so that would definitely play a big part in my schedule. Getting a reservation at Lucia would be the very first thing I’d work on. An unusual thing about me is that I actually love grocery shopping, so a trip to the Central Market on Lovers is a forgone conclusion. Of course, when it comes to shopping, we’d have to visit Whose Books, my neighborhood bookstore!

Oak Lawn is another of my regular haunts, so we’d stop for a coffee at Union if it’s before 5, and a cocktail at JR’s if it’s after. Speaking of cocktails, my favorite bar in the city is Mikes Gemini Twin in the cedars, so we’d definitely make a stop there. You never know who you’re going to run into or what the vibe is going to be.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

My career in Arts Nonprofit leadership was unexpected (in a word), and there have been many kind and supportive people who have helped me succeed–which of course translates into success for The Writer’s Garret. Trying to choose whom to name is a fool’s errand, because there truly have been so many.

I dedicate this shoutout to the folks who show up to literary programs. Because at the end of the day, I do this work for them; the writers, the poets, the readers, the attendees–these are the people who keep the literary life of DFW alive! My relationship with them is what keeps me striving to be better.

Website: https://www.writersgarret.org

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writersgarret

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thewritersgarret

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/writersgarret

Image Credits
Adrian Cardwell, Aaron Glover, Sharon Mansfield, Taylor Schoblocher

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.