Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Dark Night Will Not Rob You of Your Way

Poets offer their perspectives on the global pandemic in Together in a Sudden Strangeness

In Together in a Sudden Strangeness, editor Alice Quinn gathers more than a hundred poets, whose consummate skill and invaluable insight shed light on the unprecedented experiences of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Encounter with a Future Killer

I knew nothing about this person I once called a friend

Perhaps the trauma of that evening a few months later, when Clarksville became a footnote in the grisly story, is when it began to set in. An obsession that would become full-blown OCD started to grow as I struggled to understand what happened.

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Desert Saints

Daniel Hornsby’s novel Via Negativa follows a retired priest’s troubled pilgrimage

In Via Negativa, the debut novel by Memphis writer Daniel Hornsby, a homeless priest and a wounded coyote travel across America on a quest for reconciliation and revenge.

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Memphis Calling

Robert Gordon revisits his rollicking tale of a revolutionary musical city

Robert Gordon’s It Came From Memphis celebrates wild times and transformative music by shining a light on the likes of Furry Lewis, Mud Boy and the Neutrons, Big Star, disc jockey Dewey Phillips, and wrestler Sputnik Monroe.

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Reaching for Joy

Poet Toi Derricotte discusses isolation, community, and taking risks

Toi Derricotte’s “I”: New and Selected Poems spans over four decades of work by a poet unparalleled in the tenderness and honesty with which she writes about the self, trauma, and memory. She unpacks race, gender, sexuality, class, violence, motherhood, and more, with rich detail and incantatory music.

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Go Tell It in the Valley

Wrestling with God and a three-letter word

I cannot recall now whether it was by some serendipitous search or opportune recommendation, but Go Tell It on the Mountain was soon in my hands. I had never read James Baldwin, but judging by the forlorn Black boy on the cover, I knew that the book was for and about me. The opening lines confirmed my thoughts: “Everyone had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father.” I was there, in Cleveland, and in seminary, to answer just that call — or threat. For when the saints marked you as a preacher, you could run, but you could never really hide.

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