Welcome to Summertime in Nashville. I don’t think I’ve been this excited about Summertime since DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince told us all to sit back and unwind. And what better way to unwind than with books and literary events? So here it is, a groove slightly transformed, a break from the norm, and a little somethin’ to break the monotony: a short list of events I’m looking forward to.
If you were lucky enough to buy tickets in advance, you’ll already know that Stephen King is coming to town on June 11, at 8 p.m. at the Ryman Auditorium and that it’s sold out. If you didn’t act quickly and desire to attend, and you’re smart enough to find tickets on the internet or a scalper near you, you should. It will be a very special off-site Salon@615 as Stephen King skips the customary book signing table and instead reads a substantial amount from his latest masterpiece called End of Watch.
Parnassus Books has dozen of author events each month, in the store and around town. This month’s calendar includes East Side Storytellin’ alumnus Linda Leaming, Jolina Petersheim, Sarah Hays Coomer, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney and more. See the complete list at Parnassusbooks.net.
Poetry Readings and Open Mics
Matt Johnstone will lead his regular Et Al. Poetry reading on Saturday, June 4, at 8 p.m. at the tail end of the Arts & Music at Wedgewood/Houston art crawl. The reading will consist of words from the fabulous Jan LaPerle, Clay Matthews, and Tiana Clark. There will be visual art from Lindsy Davis, exhibited and for sale. Parking and poetry and admission are free. El Al. take place at Sauvage (1114B 3rd Avenue South). BYOB, but there will be much wine on hand to be had by patrons of legal age with a $3 donation.
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, June 11 from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the event will feature the lyrical musings of Dayton, Ohio’s Bradley K Meyer. You’ll have to show up to find out who the special guest host is. The event, which never disappoints, is free to attend and fills up quickly. Poetry in the Brew will also be hosting a community poetry workshop at the Madison public library branch (610 Gallatin Pike South) on Saturday, June 25 at 2 p.m.
DNR Publishing is back again and hitting the ground running with their always enlightening A Night of Free Speech on Wednesday, June 15 from 7-10 p.m. at Bearded Iris Brewing (101 Van Buren Street). Hosted by the ever-pervasive 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.
Host Ciona Rouse’s Writings on the Wall series take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on the third Thursday, June 16, at 6:30 p.m. June’s event will have a theme of Flush. Poets are asked to read at least 1 theme-related piece. If you want to be a part of this event, write Ciona at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rouse also hosts the wonderful series, Lyrical Brew, on her usual final Friday of the month (in this case, June 24, at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue). Beginning at 7 p.m., this round will feature Sandy Spencer Coomer, Emily Joy, and Ashley Trabue. Both Rouse events are free to attend.
East Side Storytellin’
I will yet again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in June. The first will be on June 7, at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street). East Side Storytellin’ 84, will feature writer Linda Barnickel and Goodbuy Girls musician Tanya Montana Coe. Two weeks later, on June 21 at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 85 will feature Joshua Moore and Jon Latham. Both events are free and BYOB.
Storytelling is hot. In addition to East Side Storytellin’ twice a month, there are also numerous other storytelling nights around town. Fans of the That Time of Month series will enjoy Life Out Loud’s event, The Heat is On, on Sunday, June 26 at 5:00 p.m. at Harp and Fiddle. The next edition of the popular Tenx9 event — nine writers, up to 10 minutes each — takes place at Douglas Corner Cafe on June 27 at 7:30 p.m. It’s theme is “courage.”
RashadThaPoet, an East Side Storytellin’ 74 alumnus and one of the greatest spoken word artists Nashville has ever called son (see show here) just released his most recent album called Soulville and is a featured musician playing Musicians Corner on Saturday, June 4, at 2 p.m. at Centennial Park. It is free to attend and will surely blow your mind.
The participant surveys from The Porch Writer’s Collective’ 3-hour Story Basics class was begging for a longer version so they are aiming to please. On every Monday in June (6, 13, 20, 27) from 6 – 8 p.m. at The Skillery, Porch co-founder and writing instructor extraordinaire Katie McDougall will lead this new version of their workshop open to writers of all levels. Participants should expect to exercise their fiction-writing muscles in order to craft a complete short story from start to finish over the course of the four weeks.
I’ll be back on here before the fireworks are lit for July so don’t you worry. Until then, I hope you have a great month ahead. Remember to be nice to one another out there.
Ed Note: For a comprehensive list of upcoming literary events, be sure to check the Books and Poetry section at NowPlayingNashville.com.