Welcome back to Beard on Books. May flowers are blooming strong like pollen. Don’t think for one instant that the Nashville literary scene is slowing down any time soon, either. Getting right to it, here are a few of my favorite things:
Poetry Readings and Open Mics
Poetry in the Brew, an open mic series with featured guests, takes place every second Saturday of the month at Portland Brew East (1921 Eastland Avenue). This month, on Saturday, May 12, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the series will feature Sommer Jade. Open mic sign-up is at 5:30, readings start at 6 sharp. 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 Avenue) on the fourth Thursday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m. The theme of this show will be “Permission.” You can write Ciona at email@example.com to be a part of this event by sharing your original poetry (up to three pieces).
On the final Friday of the month, per usual, on May 25, at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue), Lyrical Brew is going to have another round of poetry with some fabulous readers you’ll need to either show up and find out or look on their social media page.
Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling, hosted by Michael T. McRay, gives nine people have up to 10 minutes each to tell a real story from their lives. Each month has a theme and is free to attend. On Monday, May 21, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at Douglas Corner Cafe on 8th, the theme of the May show will be “Snapshot.”
On Saturday, May 12, from 5-8 p.m., The Connoisseur will be hosting another round of Eat, Drink, & and Paint at the Broken Spoke Saloon (1406 Brick Church Pike). This month will feature a tribute to the artist Jill Scott. Each ticket purchased grants access to a front row seat to paint while hearing great original poetry and music.
Scarritt Bennett Center
The Scarritt Bennett Center (1027 18th Avenue South) will again host its monthly Poet’s Corner series on Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m. The featured poet for this round of reading will be TJ Jarrett.
Southern Word invites you to join them for a benefit party for their organization at Lockeland Table (1520 Woodland Street). On Wednesday, May 16, during Community Hour™ from 4-6 p.m., Lockeland Table will be celebrating Southern Word’s 10th birthday at the restaurant. The special evening will include plenty of spoken word presentations from various local poets. Proceeds will benefit Southern Word. Admission is free and open to the public. Walk-ups are welcome, but reservations are encouraged.
Parnassus Books will be bringing some big names authors from out of town to your back porch, per usual. Parnassus Books has dozen 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 Daniel Wolff, Jonathan Cain, Leesa Cross-Smith, David Arnold, and many more. There are SEVEN Salon@615 dates this month! Featured speakers include John T. Edge, Rick Bragg, Jon Meacham with Gov. Bill Haslam, Charles Frazier and Paula McLain, Mark Bittman, Cal Turner Jr. and Dave Ramsey, and Michael Ondaatje. Out of all the big names at Parnassus this month, you need to visit them on Sunday, May 6, to hear one of the best of them read in the local great Luke Wiget at 2 p.m. I’m just saying, kid has chops like few other.
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 and WPLN will be co-hosts for Poetry on Demand for Versify at MusiCircus, after the tribute to John Cage. On Thursday, May 17, from 7-9 p.m., at OZ Arts Nashville (6172 Cockrill Bend Circle), Colleen Phelps is inviting a multitude of artist from a range of ages and disciplines to convene for a “MusiCircus” of simultaneous and overlapping performances of poetry, dance, song, visual arts, and even cooking too.
Her Bookshop, 1043 West Eastland Avenue, will host a very special Storytime with local author Julie Sola on Saturday, May 5. From 10 a.m.-10:45 a.m., Julie will be on site to read both of her amazing books that she wrote and illustrated “Run Fast Milo” and “Possum Dream.” Julie will also lead a printmaking demonstration and assist kiddos in making a print that they can keep. The reading is open to the public and free for all to attend.
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in May. East Side Storytellin’ 129, on Tuesday, May 1, at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) features Kat Marsh and Scott McMahan. Two weeks later, on May 15, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 130 will feature Bryan Byrdlong and Bill Eberle. Both events are free and BYOB.
On the outskirts of the city limits
Kory Wells and Poetry in the Boro will be celebrating their monthly literary party on Wednesday, May 16, with a poetry reading and open mic at Murfreesboro Little Theatre (702 Ewing Blvd. Murfreesboro). Signups start at 6:30 p.m. and featured readings will be at 7. You will be very hard-pressed to find two better writers and human beings than Lisa Dordal and Chance Chambers, the featured readers for this round. Open mic will follow, but know that this month’s challenge words are the following: run, relax, swim, hyphenate, discombobulate, opal, Germany, malcontent, peace, and argulate.
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, I hope to see you again on this blog before my brother Drew’s birthday in June. 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.