Welcome to March, a month of madness and Cinderella stories, and not just on the basketball courts. It’s in the bookstores, too! So after filling out your bracket (ed. note: we recommend filling out this one), be sure to mark your calendars for these great events ahead.
Like last month, a major event by Southern Word leads my list of events not to miss. It’s that time of year again when Southern Word brings together the region’s top high school poets, emcees and spoken word artists to compete for lyrical honors, a chance to compete at the statewide finals on April 23, and a shot to travel to the Brave New Voices Festival held this summer in Washington D.C. The Davidson County Semifinal Slam take place on Friday, March 4, at 5:00 p.m.at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts (919 Broadway). It is free to attend, but get there early if you want a good seat.
Salon@615, East Side Storytellin’ and More Literary Events
On March 22, at the always-appropriate time of 6:15 p.m. at the Main Nashville Public Library, Salon@615 welcomes Roy Blount, Jr., an author of twenty-four books covering subjects from the Pittsburgh Steelers to what dogs are thinking. Blount, Jr. will read from his recent book, Save Room for Pie. Admission is free plus the $2.50 online ticket fee if purchased in advance (highly recommend, as there are only approximately 100 auditorium tickets available on-site on the day of the event).
One of Nashville’s most beloved and prolific scribes, New York Times bestselling author, J.T. Ellison, will read from and sign her latest release, No One Knows, on Tuesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Parnassus Books (3600 Hillsboro Pike, Suite 14).
The next round of amazing Nashvillian Rita Bullwinkel’s monthly reading series, Band of Poets, will be Tuesday, March 22 at 9 p.m. at Bobby’s Idle Hour (1028 16th Avenue South). In the same monthly series fashion, Nashville’s Matt Johnstone will lead his regular Et Al. Poetry reading on March 7 at 8:00 p.m. at Sauvage (1114B 3rd Avenue South). The event is free to attend and wine will be available for a donation (and proper identification). The month’s featured poets are Meagen Crawford, Sean Patrick Hill, Dara Wier, and Casey Pierce.
If it’s free cultural date nights you want, I have two to recommend. Consistent with the last three plus years, I will yet again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in March. The first, East Side Storytellin’ 78, will feature Phil Kaufman and Sergio Webb, both Nashville legends. This epic show will go down tonight, March 1 at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street). Two weeks later, on March 15, at the same venue and time, I will host East Side Storytellin’ 79 with the Dr. Doctor himself, Luke Wiget and the talented Zach Vinson. Both events are free and BYOB.
I as tell you every month, don’t forget about Poetry in the Brew, the open mic series with featured guests every second Saturday of the month at Portland Brew East (1921 Eastland Avenue). This month’s edition takes place on Saturday, March 12 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.It’s free to attend and the space fills up quickly.
The Porch Writer’s Collective is not only continuing their efforts to bring you some of the best writing workshops in the tri-state area, they are helping make great ideas happen. Wiget (a guest at the aforementioned East Side Storytellin’ 79) will leading a new workshop series titled Writing Flash Fiction. Beginning on March 23 and continuing for six Wednesdays that follow, Wiget will lead aspiring poets, novelists, and short story writers into shoring and shaping up their craft in terms of language, style, and pacing. You can find more information about this and other great workshops and events at Porchtn.org.
Ciona Rouse is back in town, rejuvenated and ready after a much-deserved vacation, with her usual crème-of-the-crop of monthly events for any and all lovers of words. First, her Writings on the Wall series take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on the third Thursday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m. The theme for this round will be full moon. Please send any poetry theme-related that you wish to share at the event to firstname.lastname@example.org. Second, Rouse will make a triumphant return as host of the wonderful Lyrical Brew series on final Friday of the month (March 25) at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue). Beginning at 7:00 p.m., this round will feature Kari Hoffman, Kerri French, and possibly Anna Silverman. Both events are free to attend.
I hope all of the above help you have one of the most productive and enlightening months of your life. It may sound crazy at first, but let that sink in and then plan on attending all or most of the above and see where that gets you.
I’ll be back on here in April (my favorite month of the year). Have a great day, week, month, and year 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 Literary Arts section at NowPlayingNashville.com.