Welcome back to another edition of Beard on Books, now celebrating two years of surveying Nashville and Middle Tennessee’s many literary offerings. This month, I hope my suggestions put a little literary spring in your step.
Something that you should definitely put on your radar is the annual fundraiser for The Porch Writer’s Collective. This year’s event, Mercy & Magic, will be Saturday, March 11, from 8-10 p.m. at Green Door Gourmet (7007 River Road Pike. The special guests will be Mary Gauthier and Wally Lamb. General admission is $50 and VIP tickets are $150. Get your tickets now to sustain this Nashville treasure of an organization.
On Thursday, March 2nd, Super Sad True Love Love Story, Absurdistan and Little Failure author Gary Shteyngart returns to Nashville as part of The Vanderbilt University Program in Jewish Studies Lecture Series. He’ll be reading from and discussing Little Failure at The First Amendment Center (18th and Edgehill) at 7 p.m. Shteyngart was last in Music City for the Southern Festival of Books in 2015. If his tweets are any indication, he’s looking forward to some hot chicken again.
Poetry Readings and Open Mics
Poetry in the Brew, the free open mic series with featured guests, takes place every second Saturday of the month at Portland Brew East (1921 Eastland Avenue). On Saturday, March 11, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the annual reunion show will be hosted by C Ra McGuirt. Open mic reading begins at 6 p.m. Ursus Americanus Press is back on track again with their Life is Boring reading series. On Friday, March 3, at Radnerd Manor (429 McClellan Avenue), from 8 p.m.-11 p.m., readers will include Keegan Lester, Dan Hoy and Isabelle Shepherd. The event is free to attend, but be sure to bring money to buy books. Poetry starts at 9 pm. Line Breaks Poetry Collective will hosting a poetry CD Release Party on Friday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the Global Education Center (4822 Charlotte Avenue). The CD features Patricia Alice Albrecht, Kana Gaines, Melissa Gordon, Kari Hoffman, Leslie LaChance, Dana Malone, Diana Morningstar, Ciona Rouse, Tonya Watson and others. The event is free to attend, but donations are greatly appreciated to benefit Global Education Center. DNR Publishing presents A Night of Free Speech on Wednesday, March 15, from 7-10 p.m. at Bearded Iris Brewing (101 Van Buren Street). Hosted by Honest Lewis, 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.
Michael McRay will host two versions of his monthly Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling event in March. On Monday, March 6 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at Douglas Corner Café (2106 8th Avenue South), he will host a partnership show with Sister Cities Nashville with the theme of “Anything Irish.” On Wednesday, March 27 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., the show’s theme will be “School Days.” 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 March show will be “School Days.” If you interested in participating with your own secret story, contact McRay.
The Tennessee Arts Commission will present Poetry Out Loud, a recitation contest featuring students from across Tennessee, on March 4, at 10 a.m., at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
For Nashville’s first Saturday Art Crawl on Saturday, March 4, from 6:30-10 p.m., Poetry for Personal Power, Po boys and Poets, and Merkaba Medicinals bring you the KarmaArtScrawl, an interactive art gallery/open mic at Karma (302 Church Street)/
Imani Rhema will present Poetic Soul Sessions Vol. II at Venue 109 (109 Cude Lane, Madison, TN), on Saturday, March 4, from 7-10 p.m. You can purchase tickets for $12 in advance or $15 at the door. There will be an open mic for poetry and live soul music by The JMAT Band.
On Saturday, March 4, from 8 p.m.-midnight, Poetry in Motion Live takes place at White Avenue Studio (2517 White Avenue). This event will join poets and yogis as they collaborate to bring you visual stimulation that will not only inspire you to create something beautiful but be something beautiful as well.
Don’t forget about Matt Johnstone’s Et Al. Poetry Readings. On Saturday, March 11, at Sauvage Galerie (1114 3rd Avenue South), at 8 p.m., Christine Hall, Crystal Wood, Megan Kaminski, and Lawrence Kansas will be the featured readers. The event is free to attend, and it is BYOB.
Outside of Nashville, Kory Well’s next Poetry in the Boro event will take place Thursday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m., at The Green Dragon Public House in Murfreesboro. Free to attend, the featured readers will begin at 7 p.m. An open mic will follow.
Ciona Rouse hosts two monthly events for lovers of words. Her Writings on the Wall series take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on the third Thursday. This month, that’s March 16, at 6:30 p.m. If want to contribute to this month’s theme of “luck” or be a part of this event by sharing your original poetry (up to 3 pieces), please write Ciona at email@example.com. On Friday, March 31, at 7 p.m., at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue), Ciona’s hosts Lyrical Brew. For more information about Lyrical Brew and who will be featured, keep tabs at on Facebook.
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in March. We will be celebrating East Side Storytellin’ 102 on Tuesday, March 7, at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) with the author Larry Kenneth Alexander and musician Rayvon Pettis. Two weeks later, on March 21, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 103 will feature Odie Lindsey and Sam Lewis. Both events are free and BYOB.
The Southern Word Grand Slam Davidson County Semifinals takes place at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts on Thursday March 9 at 5:00 p.m. Southern Word invites you to listen as the region’s top youth poets, emcees, and spoken word artists compete for top lyrical honors and a chance to appear at the statewide finals and a shot to travel to the Brave New Voices Poetry Slam slated for San Francisco this summer.
Parnassus and Salon@615
Parnassus has dozen of author events each month, in the store and around town. This month’s calendar includes Kathleen Grissom, T, Blake Brady, Jeff Zetner, Dana Chamblee Carpenter, Lauren Fern Watt, Barry Friedman, Ganesh Sitarman, Nickolas Butler, Jack SPencer, Jon Meacham, Steph Jagger, Michael Farris Smith, Holly Tucker, John Farrell, John Scalzi, Hannah Tinti, Hari Kunzru 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, that includes Greg Iles, author of Mississippi Blood.
I’ll be back before my birthday and favorite month of April. Until then, I hope you have a lovely month. Please 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.