Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Praise Song and Elegy

Margaret Renkl on beauty, climate change, and her literary devotional, The Comfort of Crows

Essayist and New York Times columnist Margaret Renkl brings her keen eye and tender observations to her Nashville backyard in The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year. Renkl will appear in Nashville at David Lusk Gallery on October 14, the 2023 Southern Festival of Books on October 21-22, and Harpeth Hall School on October 24; at The Book & Cover in Chattanooga on November 6; St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Knoxville on November 13; and Novel in Memphis on December 4.  

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Word & Revelation

Poet Terrance Hayes minds and mines language in a pair of new books

In a new poetry collection and a volume of prose and images, poet Terrance Hayes undertakes a multi-faceted exploration of expression. Terrance Hayes will appear at Tennessee State University’s Otis Floyd Campus Center in Nashville on October 18 at 7 p.m. as part of the 2023 Southern Festival of Books.

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Something Between a Letter and a Poem

Lisa Dordal reshapes her late mother’s letters into poetry

Twenty years after her mother’s death, Nashville poet Lisa Dordal unexpectedly found a trove of letters from her. This discovery set Dordal reeling, eventually resulting in Next Time You Come Home, a fascinating experiment in how to honor a loved one’s legacy. Lisa Dordal will discuss Next Time You Come Home at the 2023 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on Oct. 21-22.

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A Revolution on the Airwaves

Night Train to Nashville tells the story of two men behind WLAC’s groundbreaking R&B broadcasts

Paula Blackman’s Night Train to Nashville fuses family history with music history to chronicle a radio revolution in the Jim Crow South. Blackman will appear at the 2023 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 21-22.

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Survival of the Hungriest

C Pam Zhang’s Land of Milk and Honey is set within an elite bubble in a poisoned world

In C Pam Zhang’s new novel, Land of Milk and Honey, an Asian-American chef escapes ecological catastrophe by going to work for an elite research community on a remote mountain in the Alps. C Pam Zhang will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on October 4.

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Forgotten Wars

Ron Rash’s latest, The Caretaker, is a haunted fable of love and loss

At the center of Ron Rash’s latest novel, The Caretaker, is Blackburn Gant, who does his best to look after both the dead and the living. Ron Rash will appear via Zoom with George Singleton at The Emporium in Knoxville on October 5.

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