Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Obsessed with Understanding

Poet Jenny Qi on what shapes her work

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: The child of Chinese immigrants, Jenny Qi entered Vanderbilt at 16, lost her mother while she was still an undergraduate, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical science while pouring her grief into poetry. Her award-winning debut collection, Focal Point, explores sorrow, death, and what we owe to each other.

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It Ain’t Math

A new biography limns the life of musician and artist Terry Allen

Brendan Greaves’ Truckload of Art: the Life and Work of Terry Allen gives the lowdown on the esteemed country musician whose art has been exhibited around the globe.

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Buzzing with Life

James Seay’s essay collection reflects on mortality, literature, and the natural world

James Seay takes readers to Mississippi, Moscow, and many places in between in his latest book, a reflective and tender essay collection titled Come! Come! Where? Where? 

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Goddesses and Coal Miners

Michael Sims remembers the bookstore where he found the world

I loved opening the bookstore alone on Sunday. I loved how it smelled — all those books with their genie-in-a-bottle dreams of love and fear, goddesses and coal miners — Sherlock Holmes on the foggy moor — barefoot Sappho — Harriet Tubman, vampires, Lassie. Often I would arrive well before noon, to have some time alone with the books.

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The Irreplaceable Gift

A lyrical, atmospheric new picture book celebrates author and environmentalist Wilma Dykeman

In her new picture book, Of Words and Water, Shannon Hitchcock tells the story of underappreciated Appalachian author and environmentalist Wilma Dykeman.

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Arcs of Hope and Tragedy

Frye Gaillard delivers a sprawling, panoramic history of the 1960s

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Frye Gaillard’s A Hard Rain pulls the reader into the 1960s, not just to witness its momentous events, but to feel its idealism and disenchantment. First published in 2018, A Hard Rain has recently been released in paperback and as an audiobook.

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