Each month, East Side Story proprietor Chuck Beard offers up a survey of Nashville literary events he's looking forward to including literary events, numerous open Mic poetry nights, East Side Storytellin' and more.
Welcome back to the Beard on Books March 2019 Literary Edition.
The rain is continuing to fall on Nashville, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t blessed with tons of beautiful words raining down on our front lawn. There are so many talented writers and amazing events going on in our city pretty much every single day. You can stay at home with a good book or go out and listen to the local authors share their next great story in person. Basically, you have so many options and no excuse not to get enlightened. 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.
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). This month, on Saturday, March 9, from 5:30pm – 8:30pm, open mic sign-up is at 5:30pm, and readings start at 6 sharp. The host for this event will be the legendary Christine Hall, and the March featured poet is Cassidy Martin. The event is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling, hosted by Michael T. McRay, gives nine people 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. On Monday, March 25, from 7:30pm – 9:30pm, at Douglas Corner Café on 8th, the theme of the March show is Sorry.
Flatrock Poetry Open Mic is back again for another round of awesomeness. On Saturday, March 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 March will be the talented Spoke n Words.
The Scarritt Bennett Center (1027 18th Avenue South) will again host its monthly Poet’s Corner series on Thursday, March 28, at 7pm. The the night will be a night of Remembering Michael Williams that will include a reading of his work and work inspired by him from friends, family and other poets.
Parnassus Books will be bringing some big names 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 Bonnie Smith, Julie Berry, Lynne Olson, Jonathan Metzl, Ronald M. York, River Jordan, Ashley Herring Blake, and many more. You definitely should go listen to Jolina Petersham in store at 6:30pm on Tuesday, March 5th.
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. One that you really need to make note of is the Intro to Audio Storytelling & Radio Journalism. Hosted by SLANT, with the instructor Tony Gonzalez, this round will be FREE to attend and take place at the Nashville Public Library (615 Church Street) from 1:30pm – 3:30pm. SLANT workshops are intended for high school students, but workshop seating is limited. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about seating and signing up.
On Friday, March 22, at 4:10pm in Buttrick Hall (Room 101), Vanderbilt Creative Writing will host the Gertrude & Harold Vanderbilt Visiting Writers Series with Tiana Clark, Edgar Kunz, and Anders Carlson-Wee. This will be the poetic climax of the series for this month, starting with Mary Szybist on March 14th in Buttrick Hall 101 at 7pm and Margot Livesey on March 22 in Butrick Hall 102 at 7pm. These are readings you really shouldn’t miss, as long as you can find parking on campus.
The Bookshop (1043 West Eastland Avenue) will continue to host her weekly Saturday Storytime at Her Bookshop every Saturday, at 10am, for the month of March. Every reading is special, but on Friday, March 22, from 6pm – 7:30pm, The Bookshop is hosting another round of Storytime for Grownups: Ladies of Literature. This round of Storytime for Grownups will include the featured readers Jill Anderson, Sarah Key, and Natasha Senjanovic. Three books, fifteen minutes each, all three readers being female in honor of Women’s History Month. The books won’t be revealed until the event, but all will feature some of the most memorable women characters from literature. It’s free, plus, you already know … wine!
On Satuday, March 2nd, The Free Nashville Poetry Library will host a Lit Pop-up event. As part of the Wedgewood/Houston Art Crawl, it’s free to attend, from 6pm – 9pm, and the event will feature an exhibition/unveiling of the Poster & T-shirt design art for The Nashville Independent Poetry Festival this April (by artist Caroline Bowman), as well as a presentation of the bookmark designs they’re making specifically for the Festival – featuring poems by Nathan Spoon, and Kory Wells (Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro). The Lit Pop-Up presents Extended Play Press, makers of fine art & poetry books, Salt Weekly, an irreverent new zine that disrupts the serious New Nashville, selections from Wakeup Comics, and open book check-out hours & merch for sale from The Free Nashville Poetry Library. At The Packing Plant (507 Hagan St.), plus they’ll have a DJ (poet Maggie Wells!), as well as free beer (provided by Jackalope)!
Also up on The Free Nashville Poetry Library’s March schedule of awesome is another round of The Writer’s Gym. On Sunday, March 10 at 7pm, The Writer’s Gym is a session that will last approximately 90 minutes and feature unique prompts to respond to. The prompts are to be helpful, but writers can do their own thing entirely. Participants are asked to explore their minds, compose poems and stories on the spot, or edit something you’ve already written. It’s your gym. Journals and pens will be available for use, but you can bring your own notebooks or laptops. This event is free to all, but donations are appreciated. If anyone would like to read something they write during The Writer’s Gym, they will be free to do so to finish the session.
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in March. East Side Storytellin’ 148, on Tuesday, March 5, at 7pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street) features Cindy McCain and Carole Edwards. Two weeks later, March 19, East Side Storytellin’ 149 will feature Henry Jones and Tiffany Williams. Both events are free and BYOB.
On Sunday, March 10, from 6:30pm – 9pm, at Murfreesboro Little Theatre (702 Ewing Blvd, Murfreesboro), Kory Wells and Poetry in the Boro are back at it with their fantastical night of poetry and word games. Signups start at 6:30pm, the features begin at 7pm with Navita Gunter, and a short Actors Reading Poetry segment will then go down with open mic to follow. After the feature, there’s time to mingle and purchase books before open mic begins. Check in with Kory about reading your stuff though. You need to meet her anyways. Side note, they will especially cheer for poems that include one or more of this month’s challenge words, which were determined by their February audience: fruitcake/jalapeno/queen/curdle/run/absence/aorta/plethora/sausage/duplicitous.
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 my birthday and all of the April flowers. 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.
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