Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Just the Way We Were

Remembering a friend, 30 years later

One of my friends looks exactly as he did 30 years ago: skinny, black shaggy hair, beige corduroy pants, untied Hush Puppies, a wrinkled dress shirt, and a loosely knotted knit tie. He is still 19 years old. That is when he died.

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“A View That Wasn’t There Before”

Book Excerpt: A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being

Jeff Hardin is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Small Revolution, No Other Kind of World, and A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being. His work has been honored with the Nicholas Roerich Prize, the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, and the X. J. Kennedy Prize. Hardin will read from his work at Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville on November 18.

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The Things That Come for Us All

Ann Patchett’s essays consider the gifts of life and the inevitability of death

Nashville writer Ann Patchett’s second volume of essays, These Precious Days, can be enjoyed as a grab bag of personable pieces depicting her interesting life and times. But everyone who opens the book will also be confronted by serious, universal themes — the abundant gifts of life and the tragedy of its inevitable end. Patchett will discuss the book at a virtual event with novelist Amor Towles on December 7.

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“The Voice Is My Key”

Playwright and poet Dan O’Brien searches for meaning in the chaos of trauma

Dan O’Brien’s A Story That Happens, a collection of essays originally delivered as craft lectures at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, weaves observations on the art of playwriting with deeply personal memoir.

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I had no idea my father was capable of such complex treachery 

In over 30 years of travel abroad I’ve had ample opportunity to haggle for things in exotic markets. I learned the rules of haggling at a very young age, long before I departed my hometown of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, destined for hard-to-pronounce places at the tattered edges of a map. My father showed me exactly how to play this game, and my first lesson occurred about a mile from our house.

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