News & Notes

Diann Blakely, 1957-2014

Poet Diann Blakely has died after a long illness

by Margaret Renkl

“I should note that I don’t consider myself a literary critic,” Diann Blakely once wrote. “Rather, I am a passionate, studious, unfashionably earnest reader and an advocate for the books—especially books of poetry—I care deeply about.” Blakely wrote a lot of words during her years as a poet and a reviewer of poetry, but these could serve almost as a mission statement for her entire life, which ended on August 5 following a long struggle with a hereditary lung disease known informally as Alpha 1.

Published Monday, 11 August 2014

Authors on the Way

Humanities Tennessee announces the author lineup for the 2014 Southern Festival of Books

by Chapter 16

July 12, 2014 At a party at the Brentwood Public Library tonight, Humanities Tennessee unveiled the lineup of bestselling and award-winning authors set to headline the twenty-sixth Southern Festival of Books, which will be held October 10-12, 2014, at Nashville's Legislative Plaza and downtown library.

Published Saturday, 12 July 2014

John Seigenthaler, 1927-2014

Legendary journalist John Seigenthaler has died at his home in Nashville

by Margaret Renkl

July 11, 2014 John Seigenthaler—revered reporter, editor, author, and advocate for books, civil rights, and the First Amendment—died today after a long struggle with cancer. He was eighty-six.

Published Friday, 11 July 2014

Fifty Years Later

Clay Risen, author of The Bill of the Century, comments on the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

by Margaret Renkl

July 3, 2014 Both NPR and NBC's Meet the Press have tapped Nashville native Clay Risen, frequent Chapter 16 contributor and author of The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act, for commentary on the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the contentious Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Published Thursday, 3 July 2014

Random Penguins for Penguin Random House

Mary Laura Philpott signs a book deal for her adorable penguins

by Margaret Renkl

June 17, 2014 Mary Laura Philpott, editor of Musing, the online literary magazine at Parnassus Books in Nashville, will soon have a book of her own: look for Penguins With People Problems in the summer of 2015.

Published Tuesday, 17 June 2014

From Pickwick Dam to Poet Laureate

Library of Congress names Charles Wright the next Poet Laureate of the U.S.

by Margaret Renkl

June 13, 2014 Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced yesterday that Charles Wright will serve as the Library’s twentieth Poet Laureate of the U.S. Wright will assume his post in the fall of this year, beginning with a reading at the Library on September 25.

Published Friday, 13 June 2014

Brad Thor, Nashvillian

A bestselling author of thrillers makes the move to Music City

by Serenity Gerbman

June 2, 2014 Brad Thor routinely hits the top of the bestseller lists with immensely popular spy novels featuring counterterrorism agent Scott Horvath. The tech-savvy writer stays connected to his fans via social media, so it’s no surprise that he recently chose to make a big announcement via Twitter: he is moving to Nashville from Chicago, citing high crime and taxes as his primary reasons for leaving Illinois.

Published Monday, 2 June 2014

Our National Champion

Anita Norman, winner of the Tennessee Poetry Out Loud competition, takes home the national prize

by Margaret Renkl

May 1, 2014 Earlier this week, we told you about Anita Norman, winner of the Tennessee state Poetry Out Loud finals. Now we're here to report that Norman, a junior at Arlington High School near Memphis, has been awarded first place in the national championship held this week in Washington, D.C.

Published Thursday, 1 May 2014

Berlin or Bust

Adam Ross heads to Germany as a Berlin Prize fellow

by Margaret Renkl

April 30, 2014 As he ends his year as a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University, Nashville novelist Adam Ross has just received another prestigious appointment: he'll be in the 2014-2015 class of Berlin Prize Fellows.

Published Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A Prize-Winning "Start"

Elizabeth Spencer's new story collection, Starting Over has won the Rea Award

by Serenity Gerbman

April 22, 2014 We won’t condescend to Elizabeth Spencer by counting her age (which is ninety-two) as the most extraordinary element of her recent productivity. Any working writer of any age would live for years like the one Spencer is having, which includes a prestigious award and a critically acclaimed new collection of stories, slyly titled Starting Over.

Published Tuesday, 22 April 2014

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