Welcome back to Beard on Books. December is the most wonderful time of the year for many book lovers. It is a perfect time to reflect on what you have written and read this past year and what should be in your wish list to dive into for the next. In that light, below is a snapshot for some of the wonderful opportunities for you to make happen all things literary around Nashville this month.
To start things off just right, Third Man Records is hosting a holiday party like none other. Adia Victoria presents A Delta Blue Christmas! There will be a panel discussion on the extended history of black art and the blues as protest and its place in activism with featured panelists Jamey Hatley (moderator), Joshua Asante, Ann Powers, Langston Wilkins, Caroline Randall Williams, and Adia Victoria. There will be music from Adia Victoria, and there will be poetry by Caroline Randall Williams, Adia Victoria, and Third Man Book’s alumnus and all-around all-star Ciona Rouse! The panel discussion at 2:30pm is $10 to attend, and the music and poetry at 7:30 pm will be $20 to attend. This will go down at Third Man Records (623 7th Avenue South) on Thursday, Dec. 6.
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, Dec. 8 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm, open mic signup is at 5:30pm, and readings start at 6pm sharp. The host for this event will be the legendary Christine Hall, and the December featured poet is Frank “Frizzy” Sykes. The event is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling, hosted by Michael T. McRay, gives nine people 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, Dec. 10, from 7:30pm – 9:30pm, at Douglas Corner Café on 8th. The theme of this show is Home.
On Monday, Dec. 21, at Blair School of Music, Ingram Hall (2400 Blakemore Ave.), at 7 pm, Southern Word will be hosting State of the Word. There will be performances from top youth poets and selections of the 2019 Nashville Youth Poet Laureate. It is $10 general admission and $3 for students. There is free parking in West Garage (2500 Children’s Way). This will be a fantastic show with inspiration for all on stage and off.
Scarritt Bennett Center
Scarritt Bennett Center (1027 18th Ave. S.) will again host its monthly Poet’s Corner series on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 7pm. The featured poet for this round of reading will be Christina Stoddard.
Parnassus Books will be bringing some big-name 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 Emily Arrow, Carla Hall, Gigi Butler, Kellie Pickler, and many more.
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. They’ve already SOLD OUT most of their events for this month already, so you’d better check the website soon and get on their mailing lists to get included on the 2019 fun.
The Bookshop (1043 W. Eastland Ave.) will continue to host a weekly Saturday Storytime at Her Bookshop every Saturday, at 10am, for the month of December. Every reading is special, but on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1 am, author Mary Reaves Uhles will be on location to read from her illustrated holiday classics The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee, A Tuba Christmas, and The Little Kid’s Table. There may be an ornament-making activity afterward, and it’s free to attend like the others.
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in December. East Side Storytellin’ 143, on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) features Craig Freeman and Jason Eskridge. Two weeks later, Dec. 18, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 144 will feature Al Andrews and Matt Woods. Both events are free and BYOB.
On the outskirts of the city limits
On Saturday, Dec. 1, from 6pm – 8pm at Le Skewer (330 Franklin Road, #904d, Brentwood), there will be poetry and music for the first-time at this location. The event will be a multilingual reading of poetry and live music while enjoying delicious Mediterranean food. There is no cover. Pablo Garzon will be the host, Pablo Garzon and Sam Frazee will be the featured musicians, and Henry L. Jones, Kathy Chiavola, and Guy Gutierrez will be the featured poets.
And to finish off your December offering of Nashville literary events you should know about and attend, let me drop the mic with another event involving Ciona Rouse. She is going to be a major part in OZ Arts TNT Performance of The Longest Night on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 7pm. Curated by Jason Shelton and including the poetry of Ciona Rouse and music by 32 voice Portara Ensemble and saxophonist Jeff Coffin, The Longest Night is an original, multidisciplinary, multicultural celebration of the Winter Solstice incorporating spoken word, choral ensemble, congregational vocals and modern dance with the concept of renewal. You can get your tickets here, while you still can.
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 2019. 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.