Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“The Last Time”

Book Excerpt: Water Lessons

Lisa Dordal teaches in the English department at Vanderbilt University. Her first collection of poetry, Mosaic of the Dark, was a finalist for the 2019 Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Dordal will celebrate the launch of Water Lessons at The Bookshop in Nashville on April 10, with additional readings by Destiny O. Birdsong and Kendra DeColo.

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First Love

A daughter seeks to fulfill her mother’s last wish in Here Lies

In the opening line of her debut novel, Here Lies, Olivia Clare Friedman captures an emotion that is both foundational and indefinable, a feeling so primordial it predates our own memory of existence: a child’s love for a parent. Friedman explores this love with power and insight.

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Made to Survive

Poet Ocean Vuong finds an original voice for grief in Time Is a Mother

In his new collection, Time Is a Mother, poet Ocean Vuong addresses his grief for his late mother and, through the lens of his own hard-won survival, brings energy and originality to this elegiac work. Ocean Vuong will discuss Time Is a Mother at a ticketed event at Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 12.

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Disaster-Colored Glasses

Mary Laura Philpott confronts life’s toughest questions with humor and heart

Making sense of the land mines of life is the theme of Nashville author Mary Laura Philpott’s new memoir in essays, Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives. Philpott will celebrate the launch of Bomb Shelter at an event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on April 10.

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Art in the Pandemic

Finding joy during difficult times

My museum adventure is an antidote to the emotional numbness that has set in during the pandemic, an escape from an endless Monopoly game of boxes that isolate and bankrupt emotionally.

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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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