Welcome back to Beard on Books. October is the beginning and end of all things ARTOBER in and around Nashville. If you are a creative person or want to be surrounded by everything and everyone creative, this is your month. October in Nashville is also home to some of the coolest events to hit your calendar to enjoy the best of Nashville’s literary community.
To start things off just right, October and Artober pretty much begins and is totally represented by Humanities Tennessee’s Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word. This year, the festival turns 30! A three-day festival celebrated each year during the second full weekend of October, this year’s fun will take place from Friday, October 12 – Sunday, October14 at Downtown Nashville’s Legislative Plaza and the Nashville Public Library. It is free to attend and offers readers and writers an opportunity to interact with and to create a public community around a festival that promotes and celebrates the joy of reading and of lifelong learning. The festival will bring about 200 of the nation’s and region’s most prominent authors. You can get your books signed and enjoy solo readings and panel discussions galore. Also joining the fun in the plaza this year will be Watkins College’s Handmade & Bound Festival. To save me from writing a novel of a blog, and to save your time in general, here is a link that details the entire schedule of this year’s Southern Festival of Books. Enjoy!
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 Ave.). This month, on Saturday, October 13, from 5:30-8:30pm, the series will feature Andrew Dillon. Open mic signup is at 5:30 pm, readings start at 6 sharp. The event is free to attend and fills up quickly.
Ciona Rouse, a Poetry in the Brew veteran, will be handling her usual hosting duty this month. Her Writings on the Wall series, which she co-hosts with Dana Malone, will take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on Thursday, October18, at 6:30pm. The theme of this event will be “Hand(s).” This particular round will be guest hosted by Henry L. Jones, with music by Greg Johnson. If you want to be a part of this event by sharing your original poetry (up to three pieces), please write Ciona at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday, October 26, at 7pm at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Ave.), Lyrical Brew is going on. In the great tradition of medically trained poets like William Carlos Williams, the October Lyrical Brew features poet doctors Brenda Butka, Brian Christman, and Julie Sumner. You can find out more information about this event and future dates here.
On Friday, October 5, at Art and Soul Studio from 7-9pm, come join the inaugural Poetry Night at Art and Soul’s fabulous new space at 4340 Sidco Drive. Hosted by Ksanti Maria Gaskill and Rain Voss, there will be spoken word pieces that explore themes of fall and falling: falling leaves, falling in love, falling from grace, falling up, and, of course, falling for the muse however she beckons. Anyone is invited to read or just come listen. Bring a friend and a snack or bottle of something to share, and enjoy a cozy night among kindred spirits at Art & Soul Studio. Poetry and Flash Prose welcome. Those interested in reading should contact Rain and plan to arrive at 6:45pm to sign in. You can find more information about Art & Soul here.
On Saturday, October 27, Amy Jackson will once again put together another round of Flatrock Poetry Open Mic. With an early afternoon 2:30 pm signup and 3 pm open mic, you have plenty of time to experience this round of fun before taking a nap for the nightlife. This round will feature one of my favorite human beings and poets in this world and others, Chance Chambers, and will, as usual, go down at Flatrock Coffee, Tea & More (2640C Nolensville Pike.).
Scarritt Bennett Center
The Scarritt Bennett Center (1027 18th Avenue S.) will again host its monthly Poet’s Corner series on Thursday, October 25, at 7pm. The featured poet for this round of reading will be Jenny Sadre-Orafai.
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 as part of the Salon@615 partnership with the Nashville Public Library Foundation. This month’s calendar includes store appearances and readings by the likes of Ketch Secor and Higgins Bond, Drew and Jonathan Scott “Property Brothers,” Markus Zusak, Anastasia Higginbotham, and many more. On Monday, October 22, at 6:15pm, Salon@615 will go down with the actress Nathaniel Philbrick. For more information about Salon@615 and their schedule, click here.
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 very special package The Porch has put together, with our friend Ciona Rouse. It’s worthy of me repeating this news in this blog again, because it’s is something you need to know about ASAP. If you’d like join a writing retreat in San Miguel De Allend, Mexico, from November 8-13, The Porch can take you there with the help of Atmalogy and Ciona. They are offering a six-day writing retreat that will include five night’s accommodation, daily communal craft conversations/writing prompts, one-on-one writing sessions with Ciona or Susannah Felts, lots of space and time for writing, shopping and exploring, daily breakfasts and drinks, and a day trip to Sanctuary of Atotonilco and Dolores Hidalgo. Check your schedule and bank account now to get in on this wonderful adventure. You can find more information about the trip here.
Also on The Porch’s radar, they are bringing back The Idle Reading Series for one last finale show (stupid real-estate developers). The Idle Hour Series will be on Friday, October 19, at 7 pm, at Bobby’s Idle Hour (1028 16th Ave. S.). This free show is short and sweet and sharp. Four writers, five minutes each, and endless cold beers. This month will feature Kristin Russell, Chet Weise, Elena Britos, and Joanna Currey.
The Bookshop (1043 W. Eastland Ave.) will continue to host her weekly Saturday Storytime at Her Bookshop every Saturday, at 10am, for the month of October.
April Gloaming Publishing & Cheekwood Harvest
One of the finest indie local publishing companies, April Gloaming Publishing, will be setting up a mini-residency of sorts at Cheekwood on October 6, 13, and 20 during the Cheekwood Harvest series. More times and details will soon follow, but look out for at least one featured author from April Gloaming Publishing to be feature familiar classics and new original works inspired by the gardens at Cheekwood. You can stay tuned to all of the information as it pours in here.
East Side Storytellin’
I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in October. East Side Storytellin’ 139, on Tuesday, October 2, at 7pm at The Post (1701 Fatherland St.) features Eiko Shawnsie and Annika Bennett. Two weeks later, on October 16, at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 140 will feature Marla Faith and Jesse Correll. Both events are free and BYOB.
On the outskirts of the city limits
Kory Wells is taking an October break from her usual Poetry In The Boro event, but she asked me to share the news about an alternative event called A Ghostly Gathering: A Weaving of Storytelling, Music and Poetry. This event will be held on Thursday, October 25 at Murfreesboro Little Theater. The 7pm show will feature performances by storyteller Kara Kemp, musician Tara Syester, Murfreesboro Poet Laureate Kory Wells, and others. Donations at the door will benefit MLT. More information for this event can be found at the following link.
On Saturday, October 6, at 7pm at 101 Franklin Street, Clarksville, Tennessee, everyone is welcome to join the festivities of an epic open mic and reopening celebration of Hudubam (used books and more). It will be a fun time, a worthy cause, and I find it important to know that Hudubam plants a tree in town for every time they sell 75 books. Now that’s something wonderful, in case you need a wonderful excuse to go buy a book other than the joy of buying a book. You can find more information about Hudubam at www.hudubam.com.
Big News on the horizon in Nashville
The Free Nashville Poetry Library now has a digital and physical space, and is now accepting donations of all poetry (plus poetry-related) titles. Although the library does not yet have regular open/accessible hours (It will open in November, and we’ll have more details on the specifics next month.). Its creator, Matt Johnstone, is spending more and more of his time there, and several individuals and poets, and small presses are sending books. The library will serve as the new home of the Bookman/Bookwoman poetry section (whose relocation was funded by over $500 from a community supported GoFundMe campaign, a space for poet talks and presentations on all things poetry, free workshops, and poetry readings. The mailing and physical address is 100 Taylor St. Suite C8, Nashville, TN 37208 (in Germantown), and online @nashvillepoetrylibrary!
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 Thanksgiving. 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 survey of events. For a comprehensive list of upcoming literary events, be sure to check the Arts > Literary section at NowPlayingNashville.com.