October is my second favorite month in our annual lap around the sun.* Besides Halloween and scary movies, there is the Southern Festival of Books. Always on the second weekend of October—this from October 14-16—the event takes place in and around War Memorial Plaza. There will be more big name authors and readings than you can shake a stick at. Notable authors this year include Megan Abbott, Cat Cora, Gayle Forman, John Hart, Adam Hochschild, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jay McInerney, Ann Patchett, and Curtis Sittenfeld, among many others. For a full list of names and times and special events, because there would be too many to list here without publishing a novella, see the complete list on Humanties Tennessee’s Southern Festival of Books web site.
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 Avenue). On Saturday, October 8, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the event will featured Mike Pierce (aka MAP, one of the founders of Poetry in the Brew) and be guest hosted by local great, Chance Chambers. The event, which never disappoints, is free to attend and fills up quickly.
On Saturday, October 15, Ursus Americanus Press will have a release party for Daniel Pujol’s chapbook, “Pujol Sucks V: Paperback Writer.” The event takes place at The East Room (2412 Gallatin Avenue) from 8-11 p.m., and will include music by Pujol, Husband stitch, and Watcher. There will be readings by Pujol, Eric Benick, Laura Birdsall, Joshua Gillis, and Nick Rossi. The cost of admission is $8 and it is only for those 18 years of age or older. Oh, and it’s Daniel Pujol’s birthday too!
On Saturday, September 2, beginning at 8:15 p.m., at Sauvage (1114b 3rd Avenue South), Matt Johnstone will be hosting several artists in one spot for another epic night of creativity. This round of his Et Al. Poetry will feature a reading from NY transplant, Dan Hoy, singer/songwriter Tristen Gaspadarek, and the visiting poet, Alex Cruse. Nashville visual artist Anne Catherine Carter will be showing her work. Admission is free, but wine will be available for a small donation.
The Global Education Center at 4822 Charlotte Avenue is making October a month of fantastic reading and writing. On Friday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m., visiting poet Claudia F. Savage will be reading of her original prose. Then, on Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. – noon, there will be a writing workshop called “Recapturing the Sensual: Poems of Food and Memory.” This particular workshop will be $30 for GEC members and $40 for everyone else. Learn more at the Global Education Center’s web site.
Michael McRay will once again be hosting his Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling. A Belfast-originated monthly community storytelling night where 9 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. On Monday, October 24, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at Douglas Corner Café (2106 8th Avenue South), the theme of the show will be “Secrets.” If you interested in participating with your own secret story, please contact at TenX9 Nashville’s site.
DNR Publishing’s A Night of Free Speech this month will be on Wednesday, October 19, from 7-10 p.m., at Bearded Iris Brewing (101 Van Buren Street). Hosted by the ever-pervasive 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.
Scarritt Bennett Center will once again host their monthly Poet’s Corner series. On Thursday, October 27, at 7 p.m., the featured poet for this round of reading will be Kelly Cass Falzone. It is free and open to the public.
Ciona Rouse hosts two events this month. Her Writings on the Wall series take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on the third Thursday, October 20, at 6:30 p.m. October’s theme is “Masks.” So if you want to be a part of this event, and you’d like to share your poetry (up to 3 pieces), please write Ciona at email@example.com. October’s Lyrical Brew will take place on the final Friday of the month, October 28, at 7 p.m., at Barnes and Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue). For more information on Lyrical Brew, please visit its Facebook page.
East Side Story and Storytellin’
Going strong for close to four years, I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in August at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street). The first, East Side Storytellin’ 92, will be on October 4, at 7 p.m. and will feature artists Blu Sanders and Andrew Ray Adkins. Two weeks later, on October 18, East Side Storytellin’ 93 will shwcase the work of Leeah Vickers and Dustin Lowman. Both events are free and BYOB. In other East Side Story news, I will hosting a unique appetizer of sorts for the local Upper Rubber Boot Press. Before their Saturday, October 15 afternoon panel at the NPL Conference Room 3, the editor and poets behind The Floodgate Series, Volume 3 will be at East Side Story (1108 Woodland Street) to do a noon-time reading and Q & A. Co-hosted by poemoftheweek.org, poets expected to read include Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum, F. Douglas Brown, Geffrey Davis, Anders Carlson-Wee, and Kai Carlson-Wee. Then, to get you in the Halloween mood, on Saturday, October 29, from 5-6 p.m. we will be hosting a signing party for new author of “Boo” and host of WXNA’s Nashville Haps, Ashley Crownover. We will have refreshments and books ready for your pleasure.
Parnassus and Salon@615
Parnassus has dozen of author events each month, in the store and around town. This month’s calendar includes Leanne Smith, Belle Blackburn, Paul Harmon, Jeff Silingo, and more. See the complete list at Parnassusbooks.net.
Salon@615, presented by Parnassus, the Nashville Public Library and the Nashville Public Library Foundation, features great, nationally-recognized writers every month. This month, on October 6, Rick Riordan (“The Hammer of Thor”) is destined to pack the house at War Memorial Auditorium. Advance tickets are available through Salon@615.
The Porch Writers’ Collective continues to offer some of the best writing workshops in the region. Always on the cutting edge of writing, The Porch is hosting a very special workshop for parents. Writing Motherhood will be a generative workshop to explore the rich, complicated, and transformative experience of becoming a mother. From writing non-traditional birth narratives to experimenting with voice, form, and style, instructor, newly published and new mother Kendra DeColo (“My Dinner with Ron Jeremy”) will use different writing exercises to subvert/expand/reclaim the mother conversation. It will take place on Saturday, October 8, from 2-5 p.m. at The Porch. Learn more at Porchtn.org.
Athens of the South Music and Arts Festival
Before I leave you guys to your Halloween fun, I want to share what I think is the coolest new Nashville thing happening this month. The Athens of the South Music and Arts Festival, on Saturday, October 22, from 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m., at East Park (700 Woodland Street), boasts quite an impressive line-up of Nashville-based bands, songwriters, visual artists, craft vendors, food trucks and local literary stars. There will be musical performances by Tristen, Darrin Bradbury, Becca Mancari, Forlorn Strangers, Justin and the Cosmics, and more. There will be 20 local visual artists, performances by Authors and Artists: The Regenerates, literary readings from The Porch, spoken word from Southern Word, and more activities, food, and drink than you can handle in one spot. Athens of the South a family-friendly, dog-friendly, community-minded, free event that will take place rain or shine. And when you need a break from the crowd, you can easily walk down the street and visit me at the store. It doesn’t get any better than this. .
I’ll be back on here before everybody starts decorating for Christmas, unless you never took down your decorations from last year. Until then, I hope you have a great month ahead. 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.
*Ed. note: we’re assuming Chuck’s favorite month is December, because it’s when his son was born and includes Christmas.