Welcome back to the Beard on Books May 2019 Literary Edition.
The showers, random weather, marathoners, and NFL craziness have all passed. You can finally relax and bask in the blooming of the real Nashville springing forward. This month will be another full set of activities involving the literary scene, but it will be at a pace that you can fully enjoy, and do it all without breaking a sweat. Enjoy the snapshot schedule we have thrown together for your enjoyment below, and feel free to let others know about any and all events that make your reading heart skip a beat.
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 Aven.). This month, on Saturday, May 11, from 5:30-8:30 pm, open-mic signup is at 5:30, and readings start at 6 sharp. The host for this event will be the legendary Christine Hall, and the May featured poet is East Side Storytellin’ alumnus Destiny Birdsong. 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, May 20, from 7:30-9:30 pm, at Douglas Corner Café on 8th, the theme of the May show is Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time.
Po’Boys & Poets are back at it again with another fantastic open-mic session. On Friday, May 10, at The Dream Fulfillment Center, INC. (1801 Jefferson St., #201), from 7-10:30 pm, the open mic will take place. PBNP Nash presents An Open Mic featuring Writers Block “We Write The Block.” I’ve heard that the legendary Ciona Rouse will be onsite, as well. Sign up is at 7pm, and there is a $5 cover fee to attend. You can follow Po’Boys & Poets on IG at @Pbnpnash, and be on the lookout for their literary battle of the sexes event on May 30.
Flatrock Poetry Open Mic is back again too. On Saturday, May 25, from 2:30-5 pm, 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, and I’m excited to share that the featured poet for May will be Nathan Spoon.
PoemoftheWeek.com is continuing their series called Writers in Conversation. Led by poet and Nashville native, Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, WIC is PoemoftheWeek.com’s signature event, promoting writers and writing of all genres, from poetry to songwriting to film to journalism to TV. Each episode opens with a performance by the guest writer, followed by an interview with Andrew that probes the writer’s life, their work, and the tools of their trade. The second event will take place on Tuesday, May 14, from 7-8:30 pm at the Darkhorse Theater in Sylvan Park, and it will feature none other than the great Bill Brown. It’s open to all ages, and there is a $10 cover at the door. Find more information about tickets at @poemotweek.
Ciona Rouse is back at her regular routine of hosting her amazing series Lyrical Brew. This month will feature another round of amazing talent. It will go down on Friday, May 31, from 7-8:15 pm at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Ave.).
Scarritt Bennett Center
The Scarritt Bennett Center (1027 18th Ave. S.) will again host its monthly Poet’s Corner series. On Thursday, May 23, at 7pm, at the Fondren Hall, 2nd floor, the May round of Poet’s Corner will feature Sandy Coomer.
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 Jeannie DuBose, Robin Preiss Glasser, Gary Slaughter, Ruthie Lindsey, Miles Adcox, Stephanie Garber, David Maraniss and more. Parnassus is pairing up again with Salon@615 to put on two special events this month. The first is May 1, with Melinda Gates at TPAC’s Polk Theater at 6:15 pm. The second will be on May 13, with Katherine Applegate at the Nashville Public Library at 6:15 pm.
This month, The Porch Writers’ Collective continues to have more workshops than I can keep track of in one post, and you’ll have another cool event they are co-hosting in the next paragraph with The Bookshop, but feel free to visit their website to find any and everything they are doing this month. Another grand event they are co-hosting with Analog will be called Books, Bars, & Guitars: Writes of Spring. Featuring Jericho Brown and Destiny Birdsong reading on the mic, followed by music from Jason Eskridge and John Shakespear, and hosted by Nashville Public Radio’s Jakob Lewis, this event will take place on Friday, May 4, at 7 pm, at The Hutton Hotel. There is a $10 suggested donation, and you can find out more about it at www.porchtn.org/events.
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 May. Also, teaming up with The Porch for a special event that has been a long time brewing in the hearts and minds of local literary fans, The Bookshop is hosting a literary trivia event. Taking place on Tuesday, May 7, at 6:30 pm at East Nashville Beer Works (320 E. Trinity Lane), The Bookshop and The Porch will ask a lot of fun literary trivia and you have the chance to answer correctly and win some bookish prizes if you answer correctly in the top three teams. So bring your friends, and tell them it’s free to attend because it is, and come have yourself a ton of fun with other people who like to read and support local breweries.
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in May. East Side Storytellin’ 152, on Tuesday, May 7, at 7 pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland St.) features Doug Hoekstra and James Rotondi. Two weeks later, May 21, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 153 will feature Kirk Walker Graves and The Rally Club. Both events are free and BYOB.
On the outskirts of town
Murfreesboro Poet Laureate Kory Wells once again bring people together for another round of Poetry in the Boro on Thursday, May 23. The open-mic host will be Gregory Lannom, and the featured poets will be Sherry Paige and Ashley Trabue. This will go down at Murfreesboro Little Theater (702 Ewing Blvd.). It is free to attend and open to the public. It will be outside on the set of Othello, weather permitting, so bring your own chair or blanket. But come on even if it’s raining, as we can be in our usual inside space.. Doors open at 6:30 pm. After the features, there’s time to mingle and purchase books before our open mic time begins. Readers can share one piece of poetry, spoken word, or even short short prose, so pick your best, or what you most want to try out on the audience, and go for it. Reading a favorite poem by another writer is fine, too. If your piece is over four minutes, please speak to the hosts to see if we can accommodate that.
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 then — my brother’s birthday is in June. 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.