Khaos and Honest Lewis

Beard on Books | July 2016 Nashville Literary Happenings

  Before we get started, I'd like to be one of the first friends to publicly announce that our dear friend at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and, Joe Pagetta, became a new…


Before we get started, I’d like to be one of the first friends to publicly announce that our dear friend at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and, Joe Pagetta, became a new dad of twin girls this past month. Joe gives me the opportunity to share all of the local literary updates I can squeeze into these posts, and I have no doubt that he will be one of the best dads around. That said, let’s get on with July 2016’s Nashville literary highlights.

(Ed Note: Thanks, Chuck! – jp)

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, July 9 from 5:30-8:30 p.m., the event will feature the lyrical musings of Khaos and will be hosted by the legendary Map. The event, which never disappoints, is free to attend and fills up quickly.

tenx9 changeEric Benick will host another reading in his Life Is Boring series on Tuesday, July 12 with Keegan Cook Finberg and Dylan Morison, with one or two more poets TBA and a band TBA. It’s at the local DIY and house show spot called drkmttr (1116 3rd ave. S) and begins at 8 p.m. There’s a suggested $5 donation at the door for admission.

Michael McRay will once again be hosting his Tenx9 Nashville Storytelling this month, on July 25, from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., at Douglas Corner Café (2106 8th Avenue South). At this Belfast-originated monthly community storytelling night, nine people have 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. This month’s theme will be “change.” If you have a story of change, let McRay know about your idea at

DNR Publishing is back again and hitting the ground running with their always enlightening Night of Free Speech show on Wednesday, July 20 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.

Ciona Rouse is back this month her monthly events for lovers of words. Writings on the Wall series take place at Atmalogy (2320 West End Avenue) on the third Thursday, July 21, at 6:30 p.m. July’s event will be hosted by Dana Malone and will have a timely-appropriate theme of “freedom.” Poets are asked to read at least one theme-related piece. If you want to be a part of this event, write Ciona at Rouse will also return as host of the wonderful series, Lyrical Brew, on her usual final Friday of the month (in this case, July 29) at Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt University (2501 West End Avenue). Beginning at 7 p.m., the round will feature poets from the staff of Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt (because often our favorite booksellers are writers, as well). These budding stars include Christina Ashworth, Jasmyn Shaw, Genny Santos, and possibly even one of the baristas who goes by the name Kenny. You’ll have to show up in person to find out. Both Rouse events are free to attend.

East Side Storytellin' 86East Side Storytellin’

Consistent with the last three-plus years, I will again be hosting two East Side Storytellin’ shows in July. The first will be on July 5, at 7 p.m. at The Post (1701 Fatherland Street). East Side Storytellin’ 86 will feature writer Lagnajita Mukhopadhyay and musician Matt Walberg. Two weeks later, on July 19 at the same venue and time, East Side Storytellin’ 87 wiill include Matt Johnstone and Drew Kohl. Both events are free and BYOB.


Parnassus Books has dozens of author events each month, in the store and around town. This month’s calendar includes East Side Storytellin’ alumnus Victoria Schwab, Leanne W. Smith, Juli Brenning, John Gregory Brown, and more. See the complete list at

Susannah Felts
Susannah Felts


The Porch Writer’s Collective continues its efforts this month to bring you some of the best writing workshops in the region, including another stellar creative nonfiction workshop you won’t want to miss. On every Tuesday, from July 5 – August 23 from 7 – 9 p.m. at The Skillery, Porch co-founder and writing instructor extraordinaire Susannah Felts will lead Inventing the Truth: The Art and Craft of Memoir. Participants will take part in several writing exercises that will explore the ways in which techniques of narrative craft can be harnessed to impose order, or shape compelling stories out of real-life material. Learn more at

East Side Story and other friends

Who doesn’t love ice cream? In honor of National Ice Cream Day, East Side Story will be hosting a very special book release by our good friend and talented writer, Steve Simpson. On Sunday, July 17, from 1-3 p.m., Simpson and Third Milby Publishing will release his much-anticipated book, The Ice Cream Gypsy. There will be live music at 1:30 p.m. and ice cream until it’s gone, so get there on time! It’s free to attend and open to the public for all ages.

The Regenerates are back with a Regenerates II Revival. The event, on Saturday, July 2 at 7 p.m. at Track One (1211 4th Avenue South), will be filled with libations, quotations, celebrations, and conversations beyond the typical scope.Twelve Southern artists will be interpreted by 12 Southern authors like never before. Artists such as Moriah Claud, Tim Durham, Robyn Leigh Lear, Drew Holden and eight others will have their work interpreted by authors including Lance Umenhofer, Matt Johnstone, Ericka Suhl, Michelle Farro and eight others. There will be several featured photographers and live music to entertain and enlighten your world. A suggested $5 donation will be given to The Contributor.

chance chambers
Chance Chambers

I’m going to leave you with an celebrating the work of Nashville’s biggest literary fan and friend and poet, Chance Chambers. Chance will be the Poet’s Corner featured author on Thursday, July 28 from 7-8 p.m. at Scarritt Bennett Center (1008 19th Avenue South). It is a monthly series that is free and open to the public. Originally from Paris, Tennessee, Chance has lived and called Nashville his home since 1985. You’ve probably seen him supporting every other Nashville writer at any and all of the events and programs I’ve ever mentioned in Beard on Books. I believe it’s time for the entire Nashville writing community to make time to return the love and support Chance has been dishing forever.

I’ll be back on here well before the 13th Annual Tomato Art Fest in August, don’t you worry. Until then, I hope you have a great month ahead. Remember to be nice to one another out there.



Ed Note: For a comprehensive list of upcoming literary events, be sure to check the Books and Poetry section at