News & Notes

From Libya to the Academy of American Poets—By Way of Tennessee

Khaled Mattawa has been named co-chancellor of the nation's largest nonprofit poetry organization

by Margaret Renkl

January 17, 2014 Poet and translator Khlaled Mattawa left Libya when when he was fourteen, the year after Muammar Gaddafi's forces began hanging "traitors" in the public square of Benghazi, Mattawa's home city. Mattawa settled in Chattanooga, where he later graduated from UTC before going on to study creative writing at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In the years since, his commitment to both his homeland and to poetry has not waned. He is an award-winning poet and translator, and during the Arab Spring he became the unofficial voice of the Libyan diaspora. Now, as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, he will be a spokesperson for the art of poetry itself.

Published Friday, 17 January 2014

Calling All Friends of Chapter 16

Please consider a year-end gift to protect the future of this publication

by Margaret Renkl

December 23, 2013 At Chapter 16, our mission is to help readers find the books that will change their lives.

Published Monday, 23 December 2013

The Egerton School of Public Service, Truth Telling, Rabble Rousing, and Close Talking

At a public celebration of John Egerton’s life, the beloved Nashville author is remembered as a force for good in the world

by Chapter 16

November 12, 2013 At a celebration of John Egerton’s life on December 8, several hundred friends, colleagues, and admirers gathered at the Nashville Public Library to remember the author of Southern Food and Speak Now Against the Day, among many other influential books on the culture of the American South. At Chapter 16, we are honored to publish the prepared remarks given in John’s honor, a link to a video of the event by Joe York of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and excerpts from a selection of reminiscences by those who attended the celebration.

Published Thursday, 12 December 2013

Free to a Good Bookshelf

Madison Smartt Bell's publisher is giving away his new book—but there's a wonderful catch

by Margaret Renkl

December 6, 2013 Madison Smartt Bell's new book, a collection of short stories called Zig Zag Wanderer, sounds like vintage MSB: "Stretching from New York to Haiti and beyond, these luminous stories reveal Bell’s sharp eye and deep empathy for his characters—punks, hustlers, mixed figures, and lost souls of all ages, backgrounds, and denominations," according to the book's publisher, Concord Free Press.

Published Friday, 6 December 2013

Scarpetta's Back

Patricia Cornwell's latest book isn't the only new release for the crime novelist

by Margaret Renkl

November 15, 2013 Patricia Cornwell turns out a book a year, on average, so it's never a huge surprise when a new Kay Scarpetta novel hits shelves. The surprise is always in the story itself, and Cornwell has a knack for inventing tales that seem to predict the next wave of media obsession with crime. (After all, her protagonist, Kay Scarpetta, is the original fictional forensic investigator.) This year's novel, Dust, has just been released.

Published Friday, 15 November 2013

Getting Closer

With Jason Bateman joining Nicole Kidman on the project, Kevin Wilson’s bestselling novel, The Family Fang, is surely headed for the big screen

by Margaret Renkl

November 8, 2013 In 2011, when actress Nicole Kidman, who lives in Nashville, optioned Kevin Wilson’s debut novel, The Family Fang, for a feature film, the Sewanee author was dumbfounded. “It’s crazy,” he told Chapter 16’s Tina LoTufo at the time. “That’s the furthest thing from your mind when you’re writing a book. [But] maybe in the back of my head I was thinking if I could write a good-enough novel I would get to meet Nicole Kidman. And it would all be worth it.”

Published Friday, 8 November 2013

A Book to Honor the Book Festival

The Southern Festival of Books celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary with an anthology by festival authors

by Chapter 16

September 24, 2013 This fall marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Southern Festival of Books on downtown Nashville’s Legislative Plaza. The free three-day festival annually attracts more than 20,000 attendees to meet their favorite authors and get their books autographed. In honor of this noteworthy anniversary, Humanities Tennessee is proud to announce the release of a special anthology.

Published Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Shared Faith

The Sewanee Writers’ Conference convenes for its twenty-fourth annual gathering of writers

by Emily Choate

July 19, 2013 The annual Sewanee Writers’ Conference will kick off its distinguished lineup of readings on July 23, 2013, with National Book Award winner and three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Alice McDermott. During its twenty-four-year stretch of summer conferences, Sewanee has become woven into the fabric of Tennessee’s literary tradition, bringing highly regarded authors together with emerging writers for twelve days of readings, lectures, panel discussions, and intensive workshops.

Published Friday, 19 July 2013

A Nashville Cross of the Knight

YA novelist Ruta Sepetys has received a medal from the Lithuanian government for contributions to literature and education

by Margaret Renkl

July 12, 2013 Even before Between Shades of Gray hit shelves, it was obvious that Ruta Sepetys's debut novel was about to take the literary world by storm. Earning four starred reviews—one from every pre-publication review site in the country—is practically unheard of, even for veteran novelists. Between Shades of Gray, pronounced Kirkus, "deserves the widest possible readership."

Published Friday, 12 July 2013

Festival Sneak Peek

Humanities Tennessee announces the author lineup for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Southern Festival of Books

by Chapter 16

July 8, 2013 Humanities Tennessee has just released its list of the award-winning authors set to headline the twenty-fifth annual Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, which will be held in Nashville, October 11-13. The roster includes Bill Bryson (One Summer: America, 1927), Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves), Kevin Henkes (The Year of Billy Miller), Ayana Mathis (The Twelve Tribes of Hattie), Jon Meacham (Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power), Chuck Palahniuk (Doomed), Alan Weisman (Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?), and Meg Wolitzer (The Interestings).

Published Monday, 8 July 2013

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