Welcome back to Beard on Books. March Madness doesn’t just relate to the basketball courts. Nashville has a lively literary scene this month like few other places you’ll ever be around. And wouldn’t you know, just like the better weather coming early this year, Ciona Rouse and I have been asked to help Cheekwood properly come into literary bloom as part of their series, Cheekwood in Bloom.
Every Saturday, starting March 17-April 21, Rouse and I will be introducing and spotlighting various local authors reading and selling their original stories, as part of the other activities going down on the beautiful grounds.
1- Saturday, March 17, at 10 am and 11 am, Welcome to Spring/BLOOM Kickoff will include Anne Armstrong (Gnome on the Roam)
2- Saturday, March 24, at 10 am and 11 am, Cheekwood Mansion and History will include Kimberly Dana (Pretty Dolls)
3- Saturday, March 31, at 10 am and 11 am, Spring Art Hop will include Scot Sax (The Mosquito & The Bumble Bee)
To really properly kick off this month right, you’ll need to start out at Thistle Farms (5122 Charlotte Ave.). Hosted by Neth Williams and Melissa Ford Thornton are presenting Hope Happens on Thursday, March 1, from 7-9:30 pm. Hope Happens will be a night of poetry, storytelling, and song to benefit suicide prevention and awareness. Local writers and poets will share personal accounts regarding the topic. All proceeds will benefit Your Heart On Art. Admission is free, but donations are suggested for the cause.
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 Ave.). This month, on Saturday, March 10, from 5:30-8:30 pm, the event will be an extra special edition of the series. Titled “Windows Revival IV,” C Ra McGuirt will host and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original Windows on the Cumberland and Poetry in a Pub series (which ran from 1983-1993). The event is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Ciona Rouse, a Poetry in the Brew veteran, will be handling her usual hosting duty this month. Her Writings on the Wall series, which she co-hosts with Dana Malone, will take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Ave.) on the third Thursday, March 15, at 6:30 pm. The theme of this show will be “animal.” Write Rouse at firstname.lastname@example.org f you want to be a part of this event by sharing up to three pieces of your original poetry. This month’s series will also includelive music by Maggie Groeschi, too. You can also venture over to Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Ave.) on Friday, March 23, from 7-8:30 pm for another monthly round of Lyrical Brew.
On Wednesday, March 21, from 7:30-9:30 pm at Sparkworks Union (935 E. Trinity Lane), Seifher is hosting a Spoken Word Pop-Up Show. Australian spoken word artist Joel McKerrow will join Nashville artist Seifher for the occasion. There will be guest appearances by Swrap, visual art by Jesse Hale and Ryan Hogan, and tickets include a cocktail. Writing workshop will be available for additional purchase prior to the show.
On Saturday, March 3, from 8-11:30 pm at 407 Murfreesboro Pike, you can experience a Wine & Rhymes Open Mic Michael Jackson Tribute. Enjoy an evening of fine wines, creative arts, and open mic sessions. Doors open at 8p m and the show will begin at 9. Tickets will be available at the door, but I suggest getting them early and here.
Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling, hosted by Michael McRay, gives nine people have up to 10 minutes each to tell a real story from their lives. Each month has a theme, and every month is free to attend. On Monday, March 26, from 7:30-9:30 pm, at Douglas Corner Cafe on 8th, the theme of the March show will be “Ouch.”
The Muse’s Mouth’s Female Spoken Word is at it again this month at The Bowery Vault (2905 Gallatin Pike, Suite C). On Wednesday, March 14, from 5-7 pm, ladies and female identifying readers are asked to come and share their stories, thoughts, poems, words, and their voices. Subject matter and format are open, and this event is free to attend.
Scarritt Bennett Center (1027 18th Avenue S.) hosts its monthly Poet’s Corner series on Thursday, March 22, at 7 pm. The featured poet for this round of reading will be Michael Williams. It is free and open to the public.
On Friday, March 9, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts (919 Broadway), see Davidson County’s top high school poets, emcees, and spoken word artists compete for lyrical honors and speak their truth at the annual Nashville Grand Slam: Teen Poetry FInals. Winners will advance to the statewide finals on April 21 for a chance to compete in the national Brave New Voices Poetry Slam this summer in Houston, Texas. This event is FREE, but seats are limited. Please register to slam or watch the slam here.
Parnassus Books will be bringing some big-name authors from out of town to your back porch, hosting dozens of author events each month, in the store and around town as part of the Salon@615 partnership with the Nashville Public Library Foundation. This month’s calendar includes Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Ronald M. York, A.J. Finn, Ariel Lawhon, and Chelsea Clinton. There are two Salon@615 dates this month. The first is on Friday, March 9 with Roma Downey, and the second is Thursday, March 28 with Anna Quindlen.
This month, The Porch Writers’ Collective continues to have more workshops than I can keep track of in one post, but you’re one click away from finding whichever one matches your wildest writing desires. Visit the PorchTN.org to discover more details about The Porch and the many workshops it offers. Beyond cool workshops, The Porch just released their second season of Versify, a unique collaboration between Nashville Public Radio and The Porch Writers’ Collective that is a podcast during which poets listen to stories and then turn them into poetry by the end of the episode. You can check out more information about Versify here.
Her Bookshop, a lovely addition to the East Nashville literary scene, moved locations this past year over to 1043 W. Eastland Ave. Joelle Herr, the owner, is never one to just sit and sell awesome books. On Saturday, March 31, at 10 am, there will be a Storytime Singalong with Emily Arrow. A #Resist Poetry Reading will take place on Sunday, March 4, from 4:30-6 pm as part of their Sunday Salon series. Featuring the feisty feminist works by Kim Baugh, Destiny Birdsong, Kendra DeColo, Lisa Dordal, and Ciona Rouse. This one-of-a-kind group reading is FREE to attend and wine will be served.
Also relatively new to the Five Points area, Atomic Nashville has a new home at 118 South 11th St. Starting last month, thinking outside of the book box, they started hosting a new singer songwriter series called “The Kitchen.” Collaborating with the artist Scot Sax, The Kitchen is an intimate session with no amps, frills, or media filters that allows individual artists to showcase their songs, and stories behind their songs, all in the tiny space of a kitchen in the back of Atomic Nashville. I went to the first show, and it was spectacular. Free to attend, always from 6:30-7:30 pm, this is the following schedule for March 2018
Friday, March 9 – Bee Taylor
Saturday, March 10 – Sally and George
Friday, March 23 – Cody Brooks
Saturday, March 24 – Anthony da Costa
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in February. East Side Storytellin’ 125, on Tuesday, March 6, at 7 pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland St.) features Ericka Suhl and Anna Joy Harris. Two weeks later, on March 20, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 126 will feature Jeff Hardin and Kiely Connell. Both events are free and BYOB.
On the outskirts of the city limits
Kory Wells and Poetry in the Boro will be hosting a poetry reading and open mic on Sunday, March 11, from 6:30-9 pm, at Murfreesboro Little Theater (702 Ewing Blvd., Murfreesboro). Featured poets will include Sandy Coomer and Michael Williams. Following the featured readings, the open mic will close the night by invited each reader to share one piece of poetry, spoken word, or short prose, none lasting longer than five minutes. The event is free to attend.
I hope to see you at everything above, especially all of the events involving East Side Storytellin’ and everything else promoting more love than hate this month. If I don’t see you, I hope to see you again on this blog before my birthday in April. 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.