Welcome back to the Beard on Books February 2019 Literary Edition. February is typically labeled the month of love, and you already know that there will be more local literary love than you can handle in the next 28 days. 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, you should probably take note in your schedule of something truly extraordinary happening this month. If you take your child to the Nashville Ballet for dance classes on a weekly basis, you already know about it, but don’t worry if you don’t. I’ll give you the news here. On February 8-10, Attitude: Lucy Negro Redux will be an experience of a lifetime. Nashville Ballet Artistic Director, Paul Vasterling has collaborated with world-renowned musical artist Rhiannon Giddens and Nashville’s own instant legend in Caroline Randall Williams to put together an unforgettable creative production.
Based on the book about Lucy Negro by Caroline Randall Williams, the contemporary ballet explores themes of love, otherness, equality and beauty as the narrator embarks on a journey to discover her own power and worth. It features an original score by Giddens with spoken word performed by Williams. This production is recommended for adults due to explicit language and mature themes (as mentioned on other websites), but it should not be missed.
The show will be at TPAC’s Polk Theater for the following three performances this month: Friday, Feb. 8 at 7:30pm; Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7:30pm; and Sunday, Feb. 10 at 2pm.
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, Feb. 9 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 January featured poet is Dominique Substance Hayes. The event is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Flatrock Poetry Open Mic is back at it again just south of downtown. On Saturday, Feb. 23, from 2:30pm – 5pm, at Flatrock Coffee, Tea & More (2640C Nolensville Pike), Amy Jackson will host another round of open mic that will be well worth your time and experience. All languages welcome. I’m excited to share that the feature for February will be the extremely awesome Andrea Pilot!
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 every month is free to attend. It’s on , from 7:30pm-9:30pm at Douglas Corner Café. The theme of this show is “.”
Scarritt Bennett Center
The Scarritt Bennett Center (1027 18th Avenue South) will again host its monthly Poet’s Corner Series on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 pm. The featured poet for this round of reading will be Nathan Spoon.
The Free Nashville Poetry Library
On Saturday, Feb. 9, at 2 pm, The Free Nashville Poetry Library will be hosting their next round of Writer’s Gym. Writer’s Gym is a totally original experience for composition and editing for writers and non-writers to unite. It’s a dedicated time to push your thoughts into a creative, intentional state. The session will last about 90 minutes and will feature unique prompts throughout. This creative session will be followed by voluntary readings of work composed during the event. Journals and pens are available for use. The event is absolutely free to attend, but donations are encouraged and appreciated. The Free Nashville Poetry Library is located at The Packing Plant (507 Hagan St.).
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 Lee McCormick, Jasmine Guillory, CJ Redwine, Laura Benedict, Keel Hunt, Elizabeth McCracken, and many more. Spotlighting this month, there will be a special Salon@615 with Angie Thomas at War Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 6:15pm.
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. They are hosting a 6th Annual Heartbreak Happy Hour at Jackalope Brewing Company – The Ranch on Feb. 10 at 7pm. It’s the time of (hilarious) sob stories, achy breaky hearts, tears in beers, bad romance, and all the heartbreaking goodness you’ve come to love about this annual show. Visit the PorchTN.org to discover more details about The Porch and the many workshops it offers. They are super-excited to introduce The Porch Prize. The Porch Prize is a writing contest accepting submissions in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry in order to win $500 cash prize, publication in Vanderbilt’s Nashville Review, and $300 in Porch gift certificates. Winners in each category will be announced at its 2019 fundraiser on June 8, featuring Lauren Groff. Final judges are Silas House (fiction), Megan Stielstra (nonfiction), and Tiana Clark (poetry). Deadline is March 1. View website for full submission guidelines.
The Bookshop (1043 West Eastland Avenue) will continue to host its weekly Saturday Storytime at The Bookshop every Saturday at 10am for the month of February. Every reading is special, free to attend, and cool for all ages. Storytime isn’t just for kids, so add Storytime for Grownups to your list this month. On Friday, Feb. 8 will be “All About Love” with guests Lisa Bubert, Jessica pearson and Jennifer Chesak. They will each read approximately 15 minutes from different books.
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting only one East Side Storytellin’ show in February. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, we will be hosting East Side Storytellin’ 146, at 7pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland St.). It will be featuring Paul Felton and Fawn Larson. Then, two weeks later, on Tuesday, Feb. 19, we will be hosting East Side Storytellin’ 147 at The Post (1701 Fatherland St.) with the amazing Randy Fox and the one and only LadyCouch! Both events is free to attend and BYOB.
On the outskirts of the city limits
On Sunday, Feb. 10, at Murfreesboro Little Theatre (702 Ewing Blvd, near MTSU), at 7pm, Poetry in the Boro and host Kory Wells are going to feature the greats Matthew Johnstone and Dana Wildsmith! Doors open at 6:30pm with the features starting at 7pm, and there’s time to mingle and purchase books before the open mic time begins. Spoken word, short-short prose, and poetry is acceptable, but you have to get there to sign up to share your single piece. If your piece is over four minutes long to read, please speak to the hosts to see if they can accommodate.
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 Ides of March. 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.