Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Spinning through Knoxville

On seeing Knoxville’s past and present

I watch the TikTok videos of a man in Knoxville. He roller skates — backwards — across Market Square plaza, inside and outside the Convention Center, and down Volunteer Landing that snakes parallel to the Tennessee River. He skates down the brightly graffitied Strong Street alley. Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy, Mercy Me” plays as he skims past the images and murals on the alley walls. The pictures swirl into swaths of neon colors like a psychedelic dream.

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“Self-Portrait as Getting Drunk Dialed by God”

Book Excerpt: I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World

Kendra DeColo is the author of two previous poetry collections, My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (2016) and Thieves in the Afterlife (2014). She is a recipient of a 2019 Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and has taught creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and Vanderbilt University. She’ll discuss I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 23.

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A Modern Mother’s Surprising Secret

In The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames, a daughter confronts her mother’s Dickensian childhood

Growing up, Justine Cowan struggled with her demanding, ambitious mother, Eileen, a talented pianist who claimed noble Welsh ancestry. In her memoir, The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames, Cowan explores the grim truth of her mother’s origins and comes to understand their fraught relationship.

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She Found Ways to Be Fascinating

Natalie Standiford’s Astrid Sees All charts the course of a young friendship in early 1980s New York City

Natalie Standiford’s Astrid Sees All follows Phoebe, a naïve young woman under the sway of an intoxicating friendship, into the perilous, glamorous world of early 1980s New York City. Standiford will discuss the book at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 20.

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The Full Story

Brandi Carlile pens a frank, vulnerable memoir

Americana artist Brandi Carlile disarms us with her earnestness in Broken Horses, a candid rendering of her personal story and her ascent to Grammy-winning fame.


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Noir Way Out

Willy Vlautin combines suspense and social commentary in The Night Always Comes

Willy Vlautin’s latest novel, The Night Always Comes, delves into the dark underbelly of American cities and sheds light on individuals caught up in the systemic web of poverty.

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