Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Ciona Rouse

“On the Sidewalk of Troy, TN, 1904”

Book Excerpt: Vantablack

Ciona Rouse is a poet, editor, and educator based in Nashville. The author of the chapbook Vantablack (Third Man Books, 2017), her poetry also appears in Oxford American, Poem-a-DayNPR MusicThe SlowdownBooth, and other publications. Ciona Rouse will host a “A Celebration of Tennessee Poets for National Poetry Month,” part of the TN Writers | TN Stories series, at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville on April 13.

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To Notice and Be Wild

Drew Lanham’s new collection is an ode to joy in a harsh world

Poet and wildlife biologist J. Drew Lanham calls humanity to embrace the wild possibilities of a better way of living in Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves.

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Afrofuturism and the Art of Seeing

Reflections on Tales of Wakanda and the visionary literature of the African diaspora

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Black authors, along with visual artists, musicians, designers, and activists, have long learned to zip into the cloak of art we now call Afrofuturism to imagine possible futures that embrace truly liberated Black bodies and stories. Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda, an anthology edited by Memphis native Jesse J. Holland, joins this tradition through multiple perspectives on the world of Marvel’s T’Challa.

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Poetic Borders and Landscapes

Khaled Mattawa’s lyrical cartography of human migration remembers, inspires

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: In his fifth collection, Fugitive Atlas, poet Khaled Mattawa — a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga — issues a timely invitation to examine our many migrations, gently calling us out of ourselves and into the world. In a series of imaginative and provocative poems, he asks us to consider the borders that exist off the map and apply meaning to our real lives.

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Saving What Remains

Poet Natasha Trethewey’s memoir revisits her Mississippi childhood and her mother’s violent death

In Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey returns to the love and pain of her childhood and the trauma of her mother’s murder. Trethewey will speak at East Tennessee State University on April 6.

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Doing the Work

Nikky Finney’s fifth poetry collection is an essential collage of life and art

Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry, Nikky Finney’s first new collection in nearly 10 years, demonstrates how the National Book Award-winning poet continues to push herself and expand our idea of poetry’s scope. Finney will appear at the 2022 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, March 24-27.

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