Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Randy Mackin

A Duty to Language

The purpose of a writer, for William Gay, was taking notes and recording the world

February 29, 2102 William never turned down an invitation to visit my classes at Middle Tennessee State University. While uncomfortable before large crowds at readings, he seemed to relish the opportunity to talk with students about his work and creative process, and had a way about him that put them at ease and made them feel their questions were important, that their opinions about his stories and novels mattered. For most of them, William was the first flesh-and-bone writer they’d ever met, and the experience was profound and memorable.

Read more

Language and Love

As Humanities Tennessee kicks off another Southern Festival of Books, an English professor explains why such celebrations really matter

October 14, 2011 We’re coming to the Southern Festival of Books to spend time with people who create for us worlds only they can imagine, or who make us see in a more brilliant light the world we are forced to occupy. We’ll be there because we choose to inhabit their worlds, ethereal worlds that hang somewhere between language and love. We want to see these writers face to face, to learn the color of their eyes, check out their mannerisms and idiosyncrasies, confirm our suspicions, shake their hands, and have them read to us. The 2011 Southern Festival of Books will be held this weekend, October 14-16, at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. All events are free and open to the public.

Read more