(Ed. Note: In our unending effort to shine a spotlight on the diverse array of entertainment offerings in Nashville, each month we turn the blog over to East Side Story proprietor and champion of all things literary, Chuck Beard, to highlight some of the many literary events happening in town. Be sure to check our Literary section at NowPlayingNashville.com for a more comprehensive list. Thanks! JoeP.)
It’s that time of the month again, so let’s jump right in and talk about, well, That Time of the Month, Melanie Vare’s comedic storytelling series. This month’s theme is “Behind Closed Doors” and takes place tonight April 1, at 7 p.m., at Tin Cup Coffee (136 Rosa L Parks Blvd). It is $7 online and $10 at the door. You can check out more info and get tickets here.
Also on the 1st of the month, no fooling around about it, Third Man Books and Poetry Sucks! will being throwing a book launch party for TMB’s first single-author title, The Truth is We Are Perfect, by poet Janaka Stucky. Taking place at HAIL (2410 Gallatin Avenue), at 7 p.m., this event is free to attend. Readers include Stucky, as well as Daniel Pujol, DJ Dolack, S. Whitney Holmes, Lee Conell, and Laura Birdsall. There will be music by Harvest Team & EIAFG and a bar provided by The Stone Fox. Talk about a party!
But the party doesn’t stop there. The poetry bus keeps moving along on Thursday, April 2 at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center James K. Polk Theater (505 Deaderick Street) at 7:30 p.m. for the Southern Word High School Team Grand Slam Final. The Semifinals are at 4 p.m., in case you wanna get there early. Not skipping a beat (bad poetry pun), Southern Word presents the College Team Grand Slam Final, on Saturday, April 4 at The Cave (600 9th Avenue South), at 7 p.m. The prices of admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Again, the semifinals are at 4pm.
Howlin’ Books in the Grimey’s Too complex on 8th Ave. has two great events this week. On Thursday, April 2 at 6 p.m., it’s a reading and signing by acclaimed and prolific singer-songwriter and author Chris Gantry. On Friday at 7 p.m., the rescheduled Howlin’ After Dark from March includes Leese Cross-Smith, Tom Kimmel, Kenneth Robinson and Bob Bradley.
On Tuesday, April 7 at 7 p.m., you’ll find me hosting the next round of East Side Storytellin’ at The Post East (1701 Fatherland Street). Tonya and Chris will provide the best, most healthy treats for you to purchase while author Linda Leaming and musician Jesse Lafser do all the rest. It is free to attend and you can totally BYOB if you wish to have a cold beverage of your own to enjoy your literary delights on the East Side just right.
Sticking to fun on the East Side and back on the poetry trip, you should make plans for the monthly fiesta called Poetry in the Brew. On Saturday, April 11 at 6 p.m., at Portland Brew East, you will find delightful words and prose by the host Christine Hall and the feature poet Denise Satterfield Wilson with many others on the open mic. It is one not to ever be missed.
One other thing you shouldn’t miss is a free collaborative writing experience at the Skillery with The Porch Writer’s Collective on Sunday, April 12 from 1-5 pm.. It will be over with plenty of time for you to start your next novel or finish your most recent poem before skipping over to the next round of the Et Al Poetry Readings series hosted by Matt Johnstone at Dino’s (411 Gallatin Avenue). On Sunday, April 12 at 8 p.m., visiting poet Andrea Spofford will read, along with Gary L. McDowell and Spencer Connell. There is no cover and the cheeseburgers are to die for too.
On Wednesday, April 15 from 7-10pm, at The Stone Fox (712 51st Avenue), The Porch Writer’s Collective will be hosting a literary event of grand proportions. It is called Literary Death Match (LDM) Nashville, Ep. 2 and features a battle with Adam Ross, Gary McDowell, Tiana Clark and Melanie Vare, and judges Caitlin Rose, Andrew Maraniss and Mary Laura Philpott. Hosted by LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, writers will read their own work for 7 minutes or less and then be judged by 3 all-star judges. Two finalists are chosen to compete in the finale, a literary game to decide the ultimate winner. It is, as always, not to be missed. You can get your tickets and see more info here.
Back to the poetry and competitions, the Southern Word Grand Slam final will be at Tennessee State University at the Forum Auditorium at 7 p.m., on Saturday, April 18. Come out and see who the winners are and witness truly inspiring greatness right in our back yard. Speaking of winners, don’t forget to return back to Tonya and Chris at The Post East on Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m., for East Side Storytellin’ 58. It will again be free, but you can BYOB and purchase lovely healthy treats from The Post East. Local author Betsy Thorpe will read and local band The Forlorn Strangers will perform. I’ll be there to greet you at the door with a smile.
If you’ve been living in a cave, I’m sorry. You might have missed that local author Ruta Sepetys’ book Between Shades of Gray has been the NashvilleREADS / CityWide Read book the year. There are many events of all types happening all month long and the next all around town. You can read about them here.
Step out of your own man (or woman) cave and head on over to see Steve Berry’s appearance as part of Salon@615 on April 22 at 6:15 p.m, at the downtown public library. It’s a FREE event. Advance tickets, however, can be purchased fora nominal fee at ticketsnashville.com.
On Friday, April 24 at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue), from 7-8:15 p.m., local great Ciona Rouse hosts another edition of Lyrical Brew: An Evening of Local Poetry. The featured poets will be Anne Charlton, Edgar Kunz, and one of the best guys you’ll ever meet, Dave Wright. It is free and so much fun for all.
I know I’m missing an event or two off the list above, but I’ll leave you this round with another pleasant gathering with The Porch Writer’s Collective. On Saturday, April 25 from 3:30-5 p.m., there will be a special Poetry Book Club event, with Tiana Clark leading a discussion on Do Not Rise by Beth Bachman. You can catch more of the details here.
Again, I can’t say thanks enough to NowPlayingNashville.com and HowToPlayNashville.com for the chance to share so many of these great Nashville literary events. They’re for everyone wanting to know more, meet more, write more and read more. Plus, they make you feel better about where you live, who lives here, and who likes books, too. I hope to see you at most, if not all, of the above. If anything, I hope to see you at my bookstore, East Side Story (1108 Woodland Street, Unit B), when you are in my hood or need a great local book. Thanks!
As you were, busy but happy.