Welcome back to Beard on Books. Like previous months, Middle Tennessee is jam-packed with literary events from start to finish. Here’s a sampling of some of the events I’m looking forward to the most.
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 Avenue). This month, on Saturday, September 9, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the event will feature Mo Christo and will be hosted by the great Christine Hall. The event is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Ciona Rouse’s Writings on the Wall series take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on the third Thursday, September 21, at 6:30 p.m. If you want to be a part of this event by sharing your original poetry (up to 3 pieces), please write Rouse at email@example.com. On Friday, September 29, at 7 p.m, at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue), Rouse hosts Lyrical Brew and will feature poets from the new Nashville Public Radio podcast, Versify. Versify host Joshua Moore and producer Tony Gonzalez will be there as well. For more information about Lyrical Brew, keep tabs on Facebook.
Poetry Outside the City Limits
The next Poetry in the Boro will be Sunday, September 10, at Murfreesboro Little Theatre (702 Ewing Blvd.) Kory Wells will be the host, featuring the talented duo of Leslie LaChance and Mike Pierce. Open mic signups start at 6:30 p.m., features at 7 p.m., and open mic to follow. For full details, including the monthly word challenge, see Facebook.
Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling, hosted by Michael McRay, gives nine people up to ten minutes each to tell a real story from their lives. Each month has a theme, and every month is free to attend. On Monday, September 25, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at Douglas Corner Café on 8th, the theme of the September show will appropriately be “Nashville.” This is important. This is a big celebratory show, the fourth anniversary show!
DNR Publishing presents its enlightening A Night of Free Speech on Wednesday, September 20, from 7-10 p.m., at Bearded Iris Brewing (101 Van Buren Street). Hosted by 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.
Matt Johnstone is back on the hosting scene with a very special Et Al. Poetry Reading that will celebrate amazing talent, locally and afar. On Friday, September 8, at Sauvage (1114b 3rd Avenue South, Nashville), from 8 p.m-11:30 p.m., Matt is featuring two visiting poets, Matt Hart and Chris Mattingly, and Nashville’s own (an East Side Storytellin’ alumnus) Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay. The readings and music are free, but there is a full bar to accommodate the spirits and a special note that you get a free drink (with ID) with a book purchase.
Scarritt Bennett Center hosts its monthly Poet’s Corner series on Thursday, September 21, at 7 p.m. The featured poet for this round of reading will be Lisa Dordal. It is free and open to the public.
Parnassus and Salon@615
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 Jesmyn Ward, R.L. Stine, Marc Brown, Brené Brown, and plenty more. As of this post, tickets for Brené Brown at War Memorial Auditorium are completely sold out. See the complete list of visiting authors at Parnassus.net.
Leah Lax, the author of the memoir Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home, will be at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center at Vanderbilt University on Thursday, September 14 at 5 p.m. to talk about her life story, beginning when she leaves her liberal, secular home for a life as a Hasidic Jew and ending when she decides to leave the world she has known in order to achieve personal freedom. The first memoir to tell of a gay woman who spent years in the Hasidic fold, Uncovered is the moving story of Lax’s journey toward finding a home where she truly belongs. This event is sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, Project Dialogue, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Vanderbilt. I
This month, The Porch Writers’ Collective has a number of single-day events, as well as a few classes that begin in September and stretch into October. One-day events include We All Write Sentences, Narrative Distance and Repetition & Refrain: The Value of Repeating Yourself. Classes starting this morning include What You Need to Know Before You DIY (part of the Self-Publishing Series). Visit the PorchTN.org to discover more details about The Porch and the many workshops it offers.
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in September. East Side Storytellin’ 114, on Tuesday, September 5 at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) features Destiny Birdsong and Mike Hicks. Two weeks later, on September 19, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 115 will feature Aaron Joel Lain and Joe Nolan. Both events are free and BYOB.
2-for-1 Book Launch Party
On Saturday, September 16, from 7-9 p.m., come join the literary fun at Shugga Hi (1000 Dickerson Pike) as Kerri French launches Every Room In The Body and Bryanna Licciardi launches Skin Splitting. There will be plenty of food and wine on hand as well as brief readings from Joshua Moore, Ciona Rouse, French, and Licciardi.
Defunct Books is Open Again!
Carrying and maintaining the literary torch over at The Idea Hatchery at 1108 Woodland Street, Defunct Books will celebrate its Grand Re-Opening on Saturday, September 23. There will be magnetic poetry contests all day long, poetry readings at 5 p.m., and live music by East Side Storytellin’ alumnus Alexis Stevens at 6 p.m. It’s all free to attend, open to the public, and a gateway to all of the other amazing stores inside The Idea Hatchery family.
That’s it for now. Hope to see you out and about in September at one of these great events, and hope to see you next month during “Artober” and The Southern Festival of Books. 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.