The month of November is about giving and sharing thanks with one another. Thanksgiving is probably my favorite US holiday, history narratives and religions withstanding, because I feel that most people are generally a little nicer to one another more so than any other time of the year. So with that said, let us be extremely thankful for all of the Nashville literary events happening this month, starting with the ones featured below.
Poetry Readings and Open Mics
Poetry in the Brew, the open mic series with featured guests, takes place every second Saturday of the month at Portland Brew East (1921 Eastland Avenue). On Saturday, November 12, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the event will feature Dana Malone and will be guest hosted by Brian Daly. The event, which never disappoints, is free to attend and fills up quickly.
On Saturday, November 5, beginning at 8 p.m., at Sauvage Galerie (1114b 3rd Avenue South), Matt Johnstone will be hosting bring several artists together for a round of Et Al. Poetry. The night will feature Nathan Spoon (a bookseller at Parnassus), Destiny Birdsong (Ph.D candidate at Vanderbilt), and Lindsay Turner (a visiting poet, and translator). There will visual art shown by Nashville artist Tara Walters, as part of the ongoing Wedgewood/Fort Houston art crawl. Admission is free, but wine will be available for a small donation.
Michael McRay will once again be hosting his Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling on Monday, November 14, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at Douglas Corner Café (2106 8th Avenue South), . A Belfast-originated monthly community storytelling night where 9 people have up to ten minutes each to tell a real story from their lives, each month has a theme, and every month is free to attend. The theme of the November show will be “Hard Times.” If you interested in participating with your own secret story, please visit the TenX9 web site for contact info.
DNR Publishing brings its enlightening A Night of Free Speech to Bearded Iris Brewing (101 Van Buren Street) on Wednesday, November 16, from 7-10 p.m. Hosted by Honest Lewis, NOFS offers an uncensored and open environment for everyone, no matter style or subject matter. There are 5-7 minute time slots scheduled on a first-come basis with early sign-in starting at 6:30 p.m. Help spread the word about the event, and bring your own word and ideas.
Scarritt Bennett Center will once again host their monthly Poet’s Corner series. On Thursday, November 17, at 7 p.m., the featured poet will be Jenny Sadre-Orafai. It is free and open to the public.
Ciona Rouse hosts her Writings on the Wall series at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on the third Thursday, November 17, at 6:30 p.m. November’s theme is “firsts.” So if you want to be a part of this event share your poetry (up to 3 pieces), please write Ciona at email@example.com. Rouse is taking a holiday hiatus from Lyrical Brew this month, but will return in January. That said, she has an original literary party this month to celebrate. On Thursday, November 10, 7 p.m, at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery (1414 Clinton St.), Rouse will be at Womyn & Whisky: A Poetic Celebration. Three Nashville Poets—Destiny Birdsong, Sarah Neal McCurry, and Catherine Moore—are all featured in an international anthology called In the Words of Womyn. At this poetic celebration, the featured poets will host a ladies’ open mic and have a special private tasting of Belle Meade Bourbon and other treats. The cost for the evening is $10 for all legal adults participating.
If you’re itching to get out of Nashville to get some culture, you won’t have to travel very far to get to two of my favorites this month. First, just north of town in Madison at Venue 109, on Saturday November 5 at 7:00 p.m., Imani Rhema will be hosting Poetic Soul Sessions Vol. 1. With tickets $12 in advance or $15 at the door, there will be spoken word by M-Dot da Poet and music by The JMat Band and Arica. Then, head southeast to Murfreesboro on Thursday, November 10, where Kory Wells will be hosting her monthly Poetry in the Boro at The Green Dragon Public House. Poet Amie Whittemore will be featured. The open mic signup is at 6:30 p.m. with the show starting at 7 p.m.
East Side Storytellin’, East Side Story and Other Friends
Consistent with my personal calendar, I will yet again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in November. The first will be our 4th anniversary show on Tuesday, November 1, at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street). East Side Storytellin’ 94 will feature artists Kyle Martindale and Jessica Martindale. Two weeks later, on November 15, at the same venue and time, I will host East Side Storytellin’ 95 with Patricia Albrecht and Molly Parden. Both events are free and BYOB.
Last but certainly not least, an interesting fact followed by a very cool concept I’m honored to be a part of going forward. Did you know that Five Points is home to four bookstores? Each has its own specialty–illustrated gift books, secondhand books, children’s books, and books by local authors–and together, they offer something for everyone. On Saturday, November 19, from 3 p.m.- 6 p.m., join all of the bookstores in the Five Points area for the first-ever Five Points Bookstore Explore, a different kind of PUB(lication) crawl. More details will be announced this month, but you can follow each of the following bookstores on social media to keep track in the mean time: Her Bookshop (1106 Fatherland Street, #103A), Defunct Books (118 S. 11th St.), Fairytales Bookstore and More (114 S. 11 St.), and East Side Story (1108 Woodland Street, Unit B).
Parnassus Books and Salon@615
Parnassus has dozen of author events each month, in the store and around town. This month’s calendar includes Michael Bess, Britt Bennett, Lawrence Simmons, Jacqueline Frist, John Carter Cash, and more. See the complete list at Parnassusbooks.net.
Salon@615, presented by Parnassus, the Nashville Public Library and the Nashville Public Library Foundation, brings some heavy hitters to the area every month. This month, on November 15, Marissa Meyer (Heartless) is destined to pack the house at the Main Library. Advance reservation tickets are available through Salon@615’s site.
The Porch Writers’ Collective is continuing its efforts to bring you some of the best writing workshops in the region. Always staying on the cutting edge of writing, Porch co-founder and talented writer, Susannah Felts will be instructing a special workshop by the title A Sense of Place. It will take place on Saturday, November 19, from 2-5 p.m. at The Porch. The three hours of fun will consist of working in prose fiction, nonfiction, and poetry finding how setting in stories are often much more than mere backdrops and can completely change characters’ and readers’ perspectives on everything. Learn more at Porchtn.org.
I’ll be back on here before you know it. Until then, I hope you have a great month ahead. Remember to be nice to one another out there.
For a comprehensive list of upcoming literary events, be sure to check the Books and Poetry section at NowPlayingNashville.com.