Hello, and welcome back! I have — literally — the coolest event to get things started this month. It’s the grand opening of Frisson Soft Serve on Sunday, April 2, from noon-5 p.m., at the Shops at Porter East (717 Porter Road). Author Steve Simpson (aka the Ice Cream Gypsy) will be on site to serve up his latest book called Ice Cream Gypsy. Find more information here. Meanwhile, April is National Poetry Month. Let’s go!
Poetry Readings and Open Mics
The open mic series, Poetry in the Brew, takes place every second Saturday of the month at Portland Brew East (1921 Eastland Avenue). On Saturday, April 8, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the event will feature the Californian Ari Eastman. The event, which never disappoints, is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Michael McRay brings his Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling event to the Cal Turner Family Center for Student Education at Meharry Medical School (1011 21st Avenue North) on Wednesday, April 19, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. The theme of the show will be “Do No Harm: True Healthcare Stories.” There will be stories shared from medical students, physicians, patients, healthcare advocates, and professors. This is relevant to your life and time. This is important.
DNR Publishing presents A Night of Free Speech on Wednesday, April 19, from 7-10 p.m., at Bearded Iris Brewing (101 Van Buren Street). Hosted by a 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.
In honor of poetry month, Matt Johnstone will host two editions of his established Et Al. Poetry program. First, on April 1, at Sauvage Gallerie (1114b 3rd Avenue South), at 4 p.m. before the Wedgewood/Houston Art Crawl begins, he presents a Sun-related reading. It will feature poets Alan Felsenthal, Emily Liebowitz, and Meagen Crawford. It is free to attend, BYOB, and will be well worth your time.
The second event, also at Sauvage Galerie on Saturday, April 15, at 3 p.m. will be a very special Et Al. Poetry reading dubbed A Nashville Micro Poetry Festival. The outdoor event is free for all ages and pet friendly, with a menu by Chef Lydia Gamble and cash bar (bring ID). There will be magnetic poetry contest, a poetry raffle, poems on demand, local poetry books for sale by East Side Story, and a load of other performing artists. There will be photography by Joe Nolan and readings from Nashville poets Nolan, Ciona Rouse, Todd Dills, Joseph Powell, Christina Stoddard, Alysha Irisari Maio, Alric McDermott, and Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay. There will be tables representing Nashville Indie Poetry groups such as Ursus Americanus Press + Landfill Journal, Sobotka Journal, April Gloaming Press + Waxing & Waning Journal, and The Porch Writers’ Collective. This will be epic. Do not miss it.
Scarritt Bennett Center will once again host its monthly Poet’s Corner series. On Thursday, April 27, at 7 p.m., the featured poet will be Jamie Collins. It is free and open to the public.
Ciona Rouse’s Writings on the Wall series take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on the third Thursday of the month, April 20, at 6:30 p.m. If you want to know about this month’s theme or be a part of this event by sharing your original poetry (up to 3 pieces), please write Ciona at email@example.com. On Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue), Ciona hosts another stellar episode of her Lyrical Brew series. For more information about Lyrical Brew and who will be featured, keep tabs on Facebook.
National Poetry Month or not, Southern Word has plenty of events this month, in the region and beyond. Too many to list here, so head on over to its web site for the full April calendar.
East Side Storytellin’
I’ll be hosting three East Side Storytellin’ shows in April. Yes, three! The first, East Side Storytellin’ 104, takes place on Tuesday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) and features Defunct Books founder Gregory Delzer and musician Alexis Stevens. Two weeks later, on April 18, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 105 will feature Robyn Leigh Lear and Ally Brown. Both events are free and BYOB. The bonus third show will be an East Side Storytellin’ special event in partnership with Cheekwood in Bloom on Saturday, April 8. It joins several other literary-themed events that day. At 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., East Side Storytellin’ alumnus Jamina Jackson, author of Herman’s Journey, will host Children’s Storytime at Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden At 11:30 a.m. the East Side Story Storytime Trail begins with authors Anne Armstrong, Kimberly Dana, and Mark North leading young readers from the Howe Garden Cottage (11:30 a.m.), the the Treehouse (11:45) and finally at Trains! (12:00 noon). At 12:30 p.m., at the Frist Learning Center Courtyard, a more formal East Side Storytellin’ takes place with Zen Pig author Mark Brown and children’s music performer Bill Crosby. The Parnassus Bookmobile will also be on site from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. n Parking Lot B. This will be epic and not to be missed for kids of all ages. Learn more on the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens calendar.
Parnassus and Salon@615
Speaking of Parnassus, the Green Hills bookstore has dozen of author events each month, in the store and around town. This month’s calendar includes Jenna von Oy, Phillis Gobbell, Laini Taylor, Estelle Laure, and more. See the complete list at Parnassusbooks.net. The Parnassus-sponsored Salon@615, along with the Nashville Public Library and the Nashville Public Library Foundation, brings ationally recognized authors to the area every month. This month, there will be two showcases that will surely amaze. On April 9, at Nashville Public Library (615 Church Street), it’s John Oates (author of Change of Seasons: A Memoir). On April 12, at 6:15 p.m., at the Library, its respected journalist Lesley Stahl (author of Becoming Grandma: The Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting). Advance tickets available here.
Local great Bill Brown will hosts two special workshops this month with the Porch Writers Collective. On Saturday, April 1, from 2-5 p.m., at Refinery Nashville (438 Houston Street, Suite 263), it’s Writing from Art & Photography. On Saturday, April 29, from 2-5 p.m., also at Refinery Nashville, it’s Scars, Gifts and Journeys Also this month from The Porch: On Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m.-noon at MTSU’s Sam Ingram Building, Tiana Clark will lead the MTSU Writes program, The Intersection Between the Sacred and the Sexual: Writing Poem. On Sunday, April 23 from 2-5 p.m., at Refinery Nashville, visiting poet and Oxford American magazine senior editor, Rebecca Gayle Howell, will be reading her work and leading a cross-genre workshop called We All Write Sentences. Full details on these workshops and more on the Porch’s web site.
Lastly, Poets, Playwrights, and Players, which was a hit when it debuted in January at The Family Wash (626 Main Street), will return on Friday evening, April 28. This event will feature Greg Greene, Jas Taylor, award-winning poet Destiny Birdsong, poet and preacher Larry Polo Radford, stand-up comedian and writer Laurie Hoffma and WMOT Program Director Jessie Scott, all backed by Ted Drozdowski’s Scissormen.
I’ll be back after the pollen strikes and I blow the candles from my ice cream birthday cake. Until then, I hope you have a great month ahead. Remember to be nice to one another out there.
Ed. Note. Beard on Books is survey of events. For a comprehensive list of upcoming literary events, be sure to check the Arts > Literary section at NowPlayingNashville.com.