Chapter 16 hits Chattanooga for the seventeenth biennial Celebration of Southern Literature
by Tina LoTufo
May 6, 2013 “Being Southern is something you just are,” novelist Elizabeth Spencer said at last month’s Celebration of Southern Literature: “I couldn’t turn it off if I tried. And I never tried.” Held April 18-20 in Chattanooga and sponsored by the Southern Lit Alliance (formerly the Arts & Education Council), this year’s gathering—the seventeenth biennial—included participation by more than twenty-five members of the Fellowship, who handed out ten awards for fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and drama, including the Cleanth Brooks Medal for Lifetime Achievement to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley.
Published Monday, 6 May 2013
Novelist Richard Bausch teaches his writing students patience, toughness, and the willingness to fail
April 18, 2013 A Celebration of Southern Literature, the biennial gathering of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, begins today in Chattanooga and will run though April 20. Novelist Richard Bausch, a member of the Fellowship and a legendary writing teacher, is beloved in the literary community for his Facebook posts that spur and encourage and guide aspiring writers. In conjunction with the Chattanooga celebration, he has kindly permitted Chapter 16 to repost a selection of his Facebook updates.
Published Thursday, 18 April 2013
Poet Jesse Graves considers the life and literary achievements of Jeff Daniel Marion
by Jesse Graves
April 11, 2013 On April 11 and 12, Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City will celebrate the life and work of poet Jeff Daniel Marion with a series of readings by nationally recognized writers Ted Kooser, George Ella Lyon, and Robert Morgan, all long-time friends of Marion. Other sessions at the Jeff Daniel Marion Festival include panels of writers and scholars discussing Marion’s work as a writer and a teacher, and the festival—which takes place just in time to welcome Marion’s newest collection of poems, Letters to the Dead: A Memoir—will conclude with a public reading by Marion himself. In honor of the event, poet Jesse Graves considers the lessons he’s learned over the the years—about poetry, love, home—from Jeff Daniel Marion.
Published Thursday, 11 April 2013
Novelist Ann Patchett takes a ride with Charlie Strobel, Nashville advocate for the homeless
by Ann Patchett
March 27, 2013 More than twenty-six years ago Charlie Strobel, a Catholic priest, conceived of a unique way to meet—if only temporarily—the Nashville homeless population’s most pressing need: a place to come in from the cold. Room in the Inn, an ecumenical network of overnight shelters housed in area churches and synagogues, opened in December 1986 with four congregations. Today the program, which runs November 1 through March 31, includes 6,000 volunteers from more than 180 congregations and provides meals and temporary shelter for up to 400 homeless guests each winter night. Last summer, novelist Ann Patchett made the rounds with Room in the Inn’s founder, Charlie Strobel. As the 2013 Room in the Inn season comes to a close, Chapter 16 is proud to publish Patchett’s essay about the experience. The piece appears in Not Less Than Everything: Catholic Writers on Heroes of Conscience, From Joan of Arc to Oscar Romero, edited by Catherine Wolff.
Published Wednesday, 27 March 2013
A Chapter 16 writer reports from the Mildred Haun Conference on Appalachian writing
March 18, 2013 The Mildred Haun Conference: a Celebration of Appalachian Literature, Scholarship, and Culture, held each year at Walters State Community College in Morristown, lands somewhere offers something for both writers and scholars of the region’s literature. The free event champions mountain culture and heritage while simultaneously shedding light on some of its shadows. In the third incarnation of the Mildred Haun Conference, held February 1-2, 2013, writers came from across the region to celebrate their craft by both reflecting on the past and cautiously looking forward.
Published Monday, 18 March 2013
In a story discovered after his death, William Gay tells the tale of a good-hearted drifter who finds an unlikely landing place at the drive-in
by William Gay
February 22, 2013 Novelist William Gay died suddenly on February 23, 2012, but he left behind a body of work that will surely long outlive all of us who loved him and loved the work he did, in near isolation, from his home in Hohenwald, Tennessee. “William Gay was born a writer,” Chapter 16’s Serenity Gerbman wrote at the time. “As a late-life literary success who didn’t attend creative-writing programs or pay for professional workshops, Gay symbolized the hopes of struggling writers, especially rural ones. He was good, and he found a way to let the world know he was good—those are facts we cling to as evidence of what is possible. Throughout history, people have made long pilgrimages to witness lesser miracles.” To commemorate the anniversary of Gay’s death, Chapter 16 is proud to publish a new story that Gay’s family found among his papers. The story was discovered in manuscript form and is faithfully reproduced here without significant editing.
Published Friday, 22 February 2013
Novelist Adam Ross makes the case for writing what you don’t know
by Adam Ross
February 21, 2013 In the first installment of Chapter 16’s new series of essays by writers on writing, Nashville novelist Adam Ross, author of Mr. Peanut and Ladies and Gentlemen, considers that most common exhortation to new writers: write what you know. Ross will give a free public reading on February 21 at 7 p.m. in Buttrick Hall, Room 101, on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville.
Published Thursday, 21 February 2013
The University of Tennessee’s Arthur Smith has built a life centered on poetry
February 4, 2013 Poets are not immune to the rush of contemporary life. Too often, writing—even for a respected poet—comes to seem like an afterthought, the work that gets done when all other obligations are finally taken care of. The University of Tennessee's Arthur Smith is the rare writer who eschews the noise of the world, sculpting a life of quiet contemplation. Smith is also a poet who offers the kind of deep yet accessible poems that readers seek but so rarely find. His fourth collection, The Fortunate Era, will be released February 26 by his longtime publisher, Carnegie Mellon University Press. Its bold, honest, lyrical reflections offer a respite from the noise of the world.
Published Monday, 4 February 2013
East Side Story, Nashville’s newest bookstore, carries books by local authors exclusively
by Sarah Norris
December 18, 2012 Nashville’s newest bookstore and the only one featuring exclusively local authors, East Side Story is the brainchild of founder and owner Chuck Beard. “It’s great that people come in and see their books on the shelves,” Beard told Chapter 16. “Unless you’re Stephen King or J.T. Ellison, there’s not a guarantee that your book’s going to make it to a shelf” in a more conventional bookstore. The tiny shop has become a gathering place for local authors and readers and recently launched a reading-and-music series, East Side Storytellin’. The next event in the series, featuring a reading by crime novelist J.T. Ellison and a musical performance by Crackerboots, will be held tonight, December 18, at 7 p.m. at Rumours East. The event is free but reservations are required; call 615-262-5346 for details.
Published Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Talking shop with Roy Burkhead, founder of Tennessee’s newest literary quarterly
by Tina LoTufo
December 10, 2012 In May 2011, Roy Burkhead was hit by a car at the intersection of Church Street and 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville. (He was not seriously injured.) In many people, such an experience might spark musings on mortality, but for Burkhead it sparked the idea for a literary journal. “This event forced me to pause and look around,” he says. “I was interested to realize just how many different aspects of Nashville were represented from this particular spot of town. Maybe it was the impact of the bumper, but I started to ponder that this specific spot could work as a great metaphor, a virtual location in this actual city.” One year later, he published the first issue of 2nd & Church.
Published Monday, 10 December 2012
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