Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Hope Smiles

A holiday experiment yields a lesson in kindness

In return for sore feet, knuckles slammed in register drawers, and more of that sort of amusement, I had the privilege of watching, over and over again, one of the most powerful human emotions: generosity, and the genuine desire to give to others, not as a perfunctory requirement, but as an expression of love.

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The Games of Life

Fight like hell and then forgive, but don’t forget

Everyone in my family played something. Dad loved word games, dice games, and pool. Mom was a fierce competitor at Monopoly, rummy, and double solitaire, during which, in her motherly way, she would trash talk her offspring to gain psychological advantage.

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The Girl Their Hymns Forgot

A debut poetry collection grapples with the vulnerability of children in a violent world

In her debut collection, Hive, Nashville poet Christina Stoddard writes in the voice of a teenage Mormon girl about violence and its lifelong effects. Stoddard will read from her work at Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville on December 16.

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“Ballad”

Book Excerpt: The Girl Singer

Marianne Worthington is a poet, editor, and cofounder of Still: The Journal. Her work has appeared in Oxford American, CALYX, Grist, and other outlets. She is coeditor, with Silas House, of Piano in a Sycamore: Writing Lessons from the Appalachian Writers’ Workshop. She grew up in Knoxville and currently lives in southeastern Kentucky.

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“The Holes I Have”

Book Excerpt: Sinew: 10 Years of Poetry in the Brew

Henry L. Jones is a Black poet, artist, playwright, performance artist, and activist. His poetry has appeared in The Willow Review, The Vanderbilt Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. His second poetry collection, Black Skillet Blues: Poetry without Cornbread (Beatlick Press) is due in late 2021. A Fisk University graduate and the inaugural poet laureate of Hendersonville, Jones is an editor of Sinew: 10 Years of Poetry in the Brew, an anthology of work from the long-running open-mic reading series based in Nashville.

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Where No M.E. Has Gone Before

Cornwell’s Scarpetta conducts an autopsy in space

In Patricia Cornwell’s Autopsy, Dr. Kay Scarpetta must determine whether a pair of astronauts were killed by possible space debris that ripped through their satellite or by a surviving astronaut. To do so, she must remotely navigate a rescue team through a pair of autopsies in space. Zoom anyone?

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