(Ed. Note. We are extremely excited to announce that Beard On Books columnist Chuck Beard is a dad! He and his wife Emily welcomed a beautiful son, Avett Otis Beard, into the world on the day after Christmas. It couldn’t have happened to a lovelier couple. Nashville is brighter place because of Chuck and Emily, and it’s even brighter with the arrival of Avett Otis. Be sure to stop by East Side Story to wish them congratulations!)
There are few things that excite me more while reflecting on and celebrating the end of an incredible 2015 of literary events in and around Nashville than coming back for more and even greater things in 2016.
Beyond the big city lights and signs overhead on Broadway, the real Nashville I know and love is always just around the corner. Poetry in the Brew is an event that epitomizes this concept. On Saturday, January 9 from 5:30-8:30pm, drive or walk over to Portland Brew East (1921 Eastland Avenue) to get a seat or sign up to share some of your original work. The first featured writers of 2016 are none other than the great Tiana Clark and the equally awesome Ciona Rouse (you’ve heard me talk about these two for quite some time now). The open mic sign-up is at 5:30 p.m. and the readings begin at 6 p.m. sharp. Like I said, Poetry in the Brew just plain gets it. To help meet the material needs of the homeless, they are accepting items and donations in support of “Nashville, Help Tent City.” You can find more information about this show and its charitable efforts here and here.
Write drunk; edit sober.
Someone wise once said, “Write Drunk; edit sober.” The Regenerates Reading Series is a good advocate for that. On Monday, January 11 at 7 p.m. at The Stone Fox (712 51st Avenue North), the Series returns, hosted by Creek Collective. The night will have music, libations and quotations. Some of the readers scheduled include Matt Johnstone, Jesse Mathison and Ben Burr. Other notables will be Ann Catherine Carter, Erin Alise Borzak and kkbbkb. Johnstone encourages all to come bring literature and plastic art out of the shadows.
In a rare occurrence, I’ll be getting out to do some reading this month, joining Johnstone and Christina Hall for for an edition of Lyrical Brew hosted by Walker Bass. Usually left to the poetic devices, Rouse and Walker Bass thought it would be fun to get the hosts of literary events around town to actually share their own work for a change. I said yes, so I will definitely be there. Join us on Friday, January 29 at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt (2501 West End Avenue).
This is usually the spot of in my monthly blog post where I share the exciting big name authors visiting Salon@615. I will not disappoint you. This month’s Salon@615 on Thursday, January 21 at 6:15 p.m. will feature Elizabeth Strout, author of My Name is Lucy Barton. As always, there is a limited number of auditorium tickets available for this free event. You can visit nashvillepubliclibrary.org/salonat615 to find out more information about venue and times and how to secure your spot.
Salon@615 partner Parnassus Books (3900 Hillsboro Pike) has some great events itself this month. On Tuesday, January 5 at 6:30 p.m., it’s Nashville-based author Ed Tarkington, in conversation with singer-songwriter Will Hoge, reading from his novel, Only Love Can Break Your Heart. Also not to miss: Nashville’s own Clay Stafford reading from and signing copies of his latest book, Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded, reading from and signing copies of his latest book. Every year, some of the biggest names in the thriller world converge in Tennessee for the Killer Nashville conference, started by Stafford. You should make the most of this opportunity to see him read when you can. The event is Friday, January 22, at 6:30 p.m. at Parnassus Books.
The Porch Writer’s Collection is back with some of the most fun literary events around town. This time they are getting together a book club for literary magazines! Each month, they will gather for lively discussions of a single literary magazine. The events may or may not even include Skype participation by one of the magazine’s editors. There will be wine and snacks. The magazine for their first meeting is Gulf Coast. The discussion is Thursday, January 21 at 8 p.m. at 4102 B Murphy Road. You can learn more about this event and their other events and workshops here at Porchtn.org.
If it’s local humor that you want in your life this coming year, I’ve got something right up your alley: the always funny That Time of the Month series. The monthly show has changed venues and and is now a quarterly show that features funny female storytelling plus one token dude. The Nashville Scene’s 2015 Writer’s Choice for “Best Reading Series with the Worst Title,” That Time of the Month kicks off 2016 with a stellar show on Tuesday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Zanies (2025 Eighth Avenue South). You can buy your tickets at Nashville.zanies.com. The theme for all of the stories for this edition will be Hope. We sell the series’ anthologies at East Side Story, so be sure to stop by to pick up a copy.
East Side Storytellin’ kicks of 2016 with two extraordinary shows. East Side Storytellin’ 74 will feature the spoken word of RashadThaPoet and the musical sytlings of Eric Dozier on Tuesday, January 5 at 7 p.m sharp at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street). The second show of the month, East Side Storytellin’ 75, will take place on Tuesday, January 19 at The Post at 7 p.m. Talent includes the local poet Kendra DeColo and songs by Lauren Shera. Both events are free to attend and are BYOB.
I hope all of the above events help you have one of the most productive and enlightening months — and beginnings to a year — of your life. It may sound crazy at first, but let that sink in and then plan on attending all or most of the above and see where that gets you.
I’ll be back on here in February, but I hope you have a great day, week, month, and year ahead. Remember to be nice to one another out there.
Ed Note: For a comprehensive list of upcoming literary events, be sure to check the Books and Poetry section at NowPlayingNashville.com.