Welcome back to the Beard on Books August 2019 Literary Edition.
Welcome back to Beard on Books. Hopefully, you have kept yourself hydrated and cool from the extreme temps around Nashville and beyond this past month. August, with all of its events and weather, tends to keep things very hot around these parts. I hope that the following scheduled literary events around town can provide you with some much needed shelter and shade from boredom this month.
To kick off every August in the right state of mind, you need to reschedule your life so you can make it to the 2019 Tomato Art Fest. As always, there will be plenty of fruit, music, drinks, visual art, poetry, and everything creative in the heart of Five Points, East Nashville during the entire weekend of festivities. From August 9-10, 2019, you can find joy at the following website that reveals all the details closer than I ever could. Go explore www.tomatoartfest.com, and I’ll see you at the party.
And speaking of parties you need to make time for, save the date for Saturday, August 24, for the annual Podcast Party hosted by Nashville Public Radio. Every year, they make it their mission to bring the magic of radio to the stage, taking what is usually a solo listening experience and turning it into a live celebration of stories. This year, they’ll have an interview with comedian DJ Pryor, a world premiere of a piece by composer Cristina Spinei, dancing by Gerald Watson of the Nashville Ballet, and a puppet show version of a Curious Nashville episode (on top of having the podcast Versify being brought to life with video, music, and a poetry reading). Nashville Public Radio’s Podcast Party is a ticketed event, but it is a fundraiser for Nashville Public Radio to continue to do the amazing work they do. This will take place on Saturday, August 24, from 6pm-9pm, at Nashville’s Children’s Theatre (25 Middleton Street). You can find out more information about the event and tickets here – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/podcast-party-a-fundraiser-for-nashville-public-radio-tickets-65713100653
But if you have to miss the Tomato Art Fest and other party above, you may wanna check out the annual #altTomatoFest event celebrating eve more diversity of Nashville’s art and activist communities. #RESISTomato chooses to enhance the main festival by providing a free platform to artists and performers from under-represented groups to share their work. The will also provide a free table space for some progressive advocacy groups working hard to improve the quality of life for all Nashvillians. RESISTomato will have loads of zines, music, art, and community. It will take place on Saturday, August 10, from noon-8pm at 100 S. 14th Street (37206). You can find more information of everyone involved and various performance schedules at www.facebook.com/RESISTomato or www.instagram.com/resistomato.
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, August 10, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., open mic sign-up is at 5:30pm, and readings start at 6 sharp. The August featured poet is Via Perez. The event is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling, hosted by Michael T. 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, August 26, from 7:30-9:30pm, at Douglas Corner Café on 8th (2106 8th Avenue South), the theme of the August show is I Was Never the Same Again.
Black Dog Poetry Open Mic will be at Black Dog Book Co (4006 Granny White Pike) on Tuesday, August 13 at 7pm. This round will feature Matt Johnstone. Open mic starts at 6:30pm. This event is a regular event every 2nd Tuesday of each month.
Amy Jackson is once again hosting an awesome lit party at Bongo After Hours, above Bongo Java on Belmont Blvd. Her August feature will be Navita Gunter, and the new name for the event is called Gestalt Poetry Open Mic. Sign up is at 2:30pm, with open mic starting at 3pm. This will go down on Saturday, Saturday, August 24. All languages welcome.
The Connoisseur is back to his usual awesome events again. On Saturday, August 3, from 7pm-10pm, The Connoisseur and Yeroc Art by Corey C. White will host Chocolate Win & Music Live at Jazzy Teacher. This is a ticketed event, but it will be worth your time and money. Going down at the Jazzy Teacher Cultural Center (1801 Jefferson Street, Suite 201), there will be more live music, live poetry, and live art than you can handle … and did I mention chocolate and wine too? Featured artists will be Isis Christopher, Ashley Seay, and Frizzy. It’s only $15 to attend this epic event. You can find out more information and get tickets here – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-wine-and-music-live-at-jazzy-teacher-tickets-66073450469?fbclid=IwAR2cs9uraXDwPrith0yI4TRRfSLOe8vONxv6_gx5szDCJr_Am85nLmQdjQ8
Matt Johnstone is doing his best to electrify the Nashville literary scene and doing just that again this month. Joining the 1st Saturday Art Crawl over at Fort Houston with Third Man Books, OZ Arts, The Porch and others, there will be a book, poetry, and art fair called Sonder. Matt will be manning the Free Nashville Poetry Library pop-up checkout station. The event is free to attend, going on from 3pm-9pm, with poetry starting at 5pm. This event is at 2020 Lindell Avenue. Then, on Sunday, August 18, from 6pm-8pm, Matt is joining forces with poet and organizer Cameron Mitchell and 21C Museum Hotel in Downtown Nashville (221 2nd Avenue North) for a free event that will give you the chance to grab a drink, take a seat, and leave with a free book of poetry rented from the Free Nashville Poetry Library. And the inaugural event, themed Invisible, will be a new bi-monthly reading series. This one will feature spoken word performances by Alicia Marie Brandewei and Serge Ray Rodrigo. Doors open at 5:30pm, in case you want to get a good seat or explore 21C Museum Hotel Nashville. It’s all one fun trip.
Scarritt Bennett Center
The Scarritt Bennett Center (1027 18th Avenue South) will again host its monthly Poet’s Corner series. On Thursday, August 22, at 7pm, at the Fondren Hall, 2nd floor, the August round of Poet’s Corner will feature Jeff Hardin.
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. This month’s calendar includes store appearances and readings by the likes of Rea Frey, Kari Marlantes, Martin Clark, Elissa Altman, and more. Parnassus will be associated with two extra special events in August. First, as part of Salon@615, Elaine Weiss will be featured for a discussion and signing at the downtown Nashville Public Library on Sunday, August 18, at 3pm. It’s a free, ticketed event, so you want to check out the website for more information. Second, Ben Folds will be discussing and signing his recently published book A Dream About Lightning Bugs. This will go down at the downtown Nashville Public Library (615 Church Street) on Friday, August 9, at 1:30pm. This one will be a ticketed event. You can get your ticket and find out more information here – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/book-signing-with-ben-folds-tickets-65072136512?fbclid=IwAR2qNmDcf_05YcIJqd3cetetwkgmtzAwCXMMYH3yGVX_VMGIGQ_-xL2KQzc
This month, The Porch Writers’ Collective continues to have more workshops than I can keep track of in one post, but feel free to visit their website to find any and everything they are doing this month. On top of having wonderful workshops this month, The Porch will have some great Happy Hour and brown bag events too. Specifically, DIY MFA series on July 26 and August 24, plus a Brown Bag Lunch honoring James Baldwin on his birthday, Friday, August 2. You can find out more about the above and other fun had by The Porch at www.porchtn.org/events.
The Bookshop (1043 West Eastland Avenue) will continue to host her weekly Saturday Storytime at The Bookshop every Saturday, at 10am, for the month of August. Also, they have a three other fantastic events up their sleeve. First, on Sunday, August 11, from 2pm-3pm, The Bookshop will be hosting another round of Lit Chat! At Kettner Coffee Supply (1041 W. Eastland, The Bookshop’s neighbor), this event that is based around just having open and engaging conversations about books of interest for those who attend. It’s a book club of sorts. That said, there will be conversation starters on hand to keep things going, and it’s free to attend.
Secondly, The Bookshop will be hosting a reading and signing for Hope Rides Again: An Obama Biden Mystery Book with the author Andrew Shaffer. That will take place at The Bookshop on Monday, August 19, at 6:30pm. And Third, but not least, The Bookshop will host another edition of Silent Book Club at their neighbor’s place (Kettner Coffee Supply 1041 W. Eastland) on Saturday, August 24 at 1:30pm. This is an invitation to just bring your book and read (yes, silently) among other fellow book lovers while sipping on coffee or tea. It’s a refreshing event all around. You can find out more about The Bookshop and their events at www.thebookshopnashville.com
April Gloaming Publishing
On Monday, August 19, from 7:30pm-midnight, April Gloaming Publishing will be hosting and celebrating the release party for Waxing & Waning Issue 4. Titled Trauma & Resilience, this will take place at No. 308 (407 Gallatin Avenue). There will be readings by Lance Umenhofer, Jonah Howell, Gabriela Gonzales, Ericka Arcadia, Clare Welsh, and Dara Soukamneuth. There will be music by Apollo Wild and Styrofoam Winos. There will be an emcee by the name of Negro Justice. And there will be booze, art, and books available for purchase. Also, there will be moon-themed cocktails, a short film viewing, and ambient sound interpretations of the readings by Corners (of Lawndry). Basically, it will be an amazing time had by all.
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in August. East Side Storytellin’ 158, on Tuesday, August 6, at 7pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) features Mark Doyle and Lynn Taylor and The Barflies. Two weeks later, on August 20, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 159 will feature Claire Gibson and Meghan Hayes. Both events are free and BYOB.
On the outskirts of town
Murfreesboro Poet Laureate Kory Wells once again bring people together for the sake of great literature. On Sunday, August 11, at the Murfreesboro Little Theater (702 Ewing Blvd.), Kory will be hosting another round of Poetry in the Boro. The August featured artists will be Lana Austin and Donovan McAbee. It is free to attend and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30pm. After the feature, there’s time to mingle and purchase books before our open mic time begins. Readers can share one piece of poetry, spoken word, or even short short prose, so pick your best, or what you most want to try out on the audience, and go for it. Reading a favorite poem by another writer is fine, too. If your piece is over 4 minutes, please speak to the hosts to see if we can accommodate that. This is a free event thanks to the support from MTSU Write.
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 before the full moon of September. 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 a survey of events. For a comprehensive list of upcoming literary events, be sure to check the Arts > Literary section at NowPlayingNashville.com.