DEC 11, 6:30 – 8:00 PM, Reception 6:00 PM
Featuring Sarah Cortez
Venue: The Dallas Institute

Summer Institute and Arête Institute alumni from the Dallas Institute’s Cowan Center™ have been educated to consider the forms of the humanities, the arts, and the sciences from a markedly human perspective.

The North Texas Humanities Consortium™ is designed to provide alumni and guests with the opportunities to collaborate at the deepest level and to continue to develop as the intellectual professionals and citizens like the Cowans called us to be. Our purpose will be to build true intellectual and collegial community, shape and promote the cause of liberal learning for all in North Texas and beyond. 



Sarah Cortez has served more than 20 years as a law enforcement officer. She is a native Houstonian and Councilor of the Texas Institute of Letters, is the author of an acclaimed poetry collection, How to Undress a Cop, and winner of the PEN Texas literary award in poetry. She has edited Urban Speak: Poetry of the City and Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives, winner of the 2008 Skipping Stones Honor Award.  She has also edited Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, Indian Country Noir and You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens, short-listed for the 2012 International Latino Book Awards.  

In 2012, her spiritual memoir in poetry and prose, entitled Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston, was published by Texas Review Press and hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “a love letter to the city of Houston.”  A collection of poetry from the urban street cop’s perspective, Cold Blue Steel, was published in 2013 and short-listed for the Writer’s League of Texas Poetry Award. A volume she edited, Our Lost Border: Life Amid the Narco-Violence, was also published in 2013 and has won both a Southwest Book Award and International Latino Book Award.

Ms. Cortez was chosen by then-mayor of Houston, Bill White, to compose and deliver his inaugural poem in 2003. The United Nations tapped Ms. Cortez to compose and deliver a poem for the Eighth Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in 2009 in New York City. A dedicated, long-time educator, Ms. Cortez has taught poetry, fiction, and memoir to students ranging from third graders to senior citizens. 

Ms. Cortez has a distinguished literary career of thirteen books, with numerous publications in international, national, and regional journals, anthologies, newspapers, and respected online professional publications, often in law enforcement and the literary arts. Vanishing Points: Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials includes stunning black and white photographs of roadside memorials with poems written by some of the state’s finest poets. Named a 2016 Southwest Book of the Year, Vanishing Points also received Honorable Mention from the International Latino Book Awards.

Her newest book Tired, Hungry, Standing in One Place for Twelve Hours: Essential Cop Essays has received great national praise.

Ms. Cortez has a bachelor’s degree from Rice University in Psychology and Religion, coupled with two masters degrees in Accounting and Classics. As well, she is a Fellow of the Dallas Institute and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. 

Recently, she was named to the Dick Tracy Hall of Fame.  (Yes, that’s Dick Tracy comics!!)  As she says, “Quite an honor for someone who still considers learning Latin one of the high points of her life!”

Visit and for more information and to order books. 






GAM and Bauerlein’s Claims

“GAM. NOUN—A social meeting of two (or more) Whale-ships, generally on a cruising-ground; when, after exchanging hails, they exchange visits by boats’ crews; the two captains remaining, for the time, on board of one ship, and the two chief mates on the other.” (Moby-Dick, 198) Welcome to the Dallas Institute ...
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