The clock will strike midnight and close the door on 2016 before you know it, so let’s get right into this month’s offerings. The first, and possibly the biggest, event of the month happens Thursday, December 1, as Third Man Books hosts Once Was Lost: Free Reading, Live Concert & Photo Exhibit. The event will be just that: a free reading, live concert, and photo exhibit by some of my favorite Nashvillians. Taking place at Third Man Records (623 7th Avenue South) from 7-10 p.m., Chet and the creative gang will feature original work from locals Kendra DeColo, Dan Hoy, Ciona Rouse, Caroline Randall Williams, and Richard Leo Johnson. The space will fill up quickly and the drinks will be served at 7 p.m. I suggest you make your plans for tonight, or change the ones you have, as soon as you finish reading this.
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). On Saturday, December 10, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the event will feature East Side Storytellin’ alumnus Joshua Moore. The event, which never disappoints, is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Michael McRay will once again this month be hosting his Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling. A Belfast-originated monthly community storytelling night where nine people have 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. The theme of the December show, on Monday, December 12, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at Douglas Corner Café (2106 8th Avenue South), will be “Holidays.” If you interested in participating with your own secret story, please contact McRay.
DNR Publishing’s A Night of Free Speech, hosted by Honest Lewis, takes place on Wednesday, December 21, from 7-10 p.m., at Bearded Iris Brewing (101 Van Buren Street). 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.
If you want to get out of town for some good stuff, you may want to consider taking a trip to Antioch or Murfreesboro. On Saturday, December 17, A Touch of Soul presents A Night of Passion at the Soopro Lounge Bar and Grill (1309 Bell Road. Antioch, TN). The tickets are $12 at the door, and the doors will open at 7 p.m. A Touch of Soul will feature original poetry and music from Knight the Poet, M-Dot da Poet, Ms. Emerald Love Jones, Epiphany, YNOT, Sway Foster, JL, Dee Adams,, and the DMajor Band. On Wednesday, December 21, the talented writer/host Kory Wells will be at it once again at The Green Dragon Public House (714 F West Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN) with her Poetry in the Boro series. This Winter Solstice Reading edition will begin with an open mic signup at 6:30 p.m. Feature writers will begin at 7 p.m, and the open mic will follow.. It is well worth your visit, and you can also take part in the word challenge that will be tossed around on site as part of the Boro Art Crawl too.
Scarritt Bennett Center will once again host their monthly Poet’s Corner series. On Tuesday, December 13, at 7 p.m., the featured poet for this round of reading will be John R. Secor. It is free and open to the public.
Southern Word’s 9th Annual State of the Word will take place on Saturday, December 10, from 7-10 p.m., at the Vanderbilt Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music. Southern Word and its partners will host an event that will feature the region’s top college and high school writers, poets, emcees, and spoken word artists who have emerged from Southern Word’s programs. A panel of judges will honor one youth with the title of the third Nashville Youth Poet Laureate. All event proceeds go to benefit Southern Word, a non-profit youth development and education organization, and the placement of writing mentors in Middle Tennessee’s public schools. General admission is $10 and Youth admission (22 & under) is $3.
Rouse, in addition to taking part in the abovementioned Once Was Lost: Free Reading, Live Concert & Photo Exhibit. hosts the Writings on the Wall series on the Third Thursday of each month at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue). This month’s edition, held on December 15, at 6:30 p.m. will focus on the theme, “last thing.” Maybe you’ve been inspired by the last thing someone said to you, the last thing you heard on the radio, the last thing you ever believed would happen to you, the last thing you wish you’d said to someone, or the last thing you want to say to the year 2016. Here is your chance to say it. If you want to be a part of this event, and you’d like to share your poetry (up to 3 pieces), please write Ciona at email@example.com. Rouse is taking a holiday hiatus from her other monthly series, Lyrical Brew, but will return in January.
East Side Storytellin’
I will yet again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows this month. The first, East Side Storytellin’ 96, will double as our 4th anniversary show. Taking place Tuesday, December 6, at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) the night will feature artists Leanne Smith and The Arcadian Wild. Two weeks later, on December 20, at the same venue and time, I will host East Side Storytellin’ 97 with TJ Jarrett and Matt Siffert. Both events are free and BYOB.
Parnassus and Salon@615
Parnassus has dozen of author events each month, in the store and around town. This month’s calendar includes Farrell Mason, Former U.S. Congressman Bob Clement, Winfield Dunn, Joyce Blalock, and more. See the complete list at Parnassusbooks.net.
Salon@615, presented by Parnassus, the Nashville Public Library and the Nashville Public Library Foundation, brings some heavy hitters to the area every month. This month inlcudes two extremely heavy hitters. On Sunday, December 4 at 6:15 p.m. at the downtown Nashville Public Library, it’s Michael Chabon discussing his latest novel, Moonglow. Then on December 13—and I’m not sure whey they didn’t ask me to co-host the very special edition—it’s an evening with rock icon Robbie Robertson at Blair School of Music discussing his new autobiography. You should be there, regardless of the fact that I’m not going to be on stage asking Robbie important questions about The Big Pink album or not. Advance tickets are available here.
The Porch Writers’ Collective offers some of the best writing workshops in the region, and I typically showcase a workshop or two in this section. But this month I want to use this pace to feature a party they are throwing for everyone on Friday, December 9, from 6-9p.m. at The Skillery (1323 6th Avenue North). It’s BYOB (Bring Your Own Book) for a book swap and will feature an open mic. And If you want to read, arrive at 6 p.m. to sign up. Readings will begin at 6:30 p.m. The Porch suggests you go to any of our local bookstores to find treasures to swap with others at the party. Everyone wins!
And for a gift that keeps on giving …
Check out Wax and Waning, an awesome new online/print publication launching in the new year from Nashville’s own The Regenerates. Submissions for poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, graphic stories, art, and short films will be open year-round, with the first 300 to submit free. There will be two online releases per year and one print annually. You can make history by making your own art with these wonderful artists. Seriously, you need to submit and share with others like … yesterday already. You can learn more about this literary journal at WaxingandWaning.org.
I’ve written enough for now. Go to Third Man Books Thursday, attend any and all of the above, and enjoy your holiday season. You’ve earned it.
Have a great month ahead and see you next year. Remember to be nice to one another out there.
For a comprehensive list of upcoming literary events, be sure to check the Books and Poetry section at NowPlayingNashville.com.