Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Kim Green

Love for Life

A writer’s grateful tribute to poet and teacher Bill Brown (1948-2023)

My freshman English teacher was a shaggy-haired hobbit-poet in horn-rimmed glasses. Most of Bill Brown’s students towered over him, but his sheer exuberance left us gazing up at him in wonder.

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Merry Christmas! You’ve Got Cactus Man

Sometimes a community needs a Christmas tradition all its own

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: He appeared at my threshold late one night, uninvited: Cactus Man, a ceramic figure in biker regalia, planted with a suggestive succulent. What began as a gag gift from my Ultimate Frisbee teammates grew into an outrageous ritual that, for our little tribe, came to embody the Christmas spirit.

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Patrick Radden Keefe’s Rogues draws back the curtain on secret worlds

Rogues, a new collection of Patrick Radden Keefe’s magazine features, opens a curtain to reveal secret worlds. Keefe will discuss Rogues at the 2022 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 14-16.

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Imani Perry explores the South’s centrality to the American story

Imani Perry’s South to America weaves history, travelogue, and memoir to argue that the U.S. South is not a place apart, but central to the American story. 

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Much-Needed Reckonings

An accidental food writer looks for lessons from the canon

Maybe part of a food writer’s job is to contribute to much-needed reckonings, whether the topic is race, food justice, climate change, workplace inequity … or genocide and disappearing cultural memory. In that sense, maybe nothing is food writing. Maybe everything is.

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Radical Joy

In Alice Randall’s Black Bottom Saints, a dying man eulogizes the “Black Camelot” of mid-20th-century Detroit 

In Alice Randall’s fifth novel, Black Bottom Saints, a terminally ill columnist, club impresario, and dance school founder dictates tender hagiographies of the Black creatives who built and nurtured a thriving community in mid-20th-century Detroit. Randall will take part in the presentation of the 2021 John Egerton Prize, awarded by the Southern Foodways Alliance at an online session of the 2021 Southern Festival of Books on October 7.

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