Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Toward What? Away From What?

A poet alone in Costa Rica considers the nature of art—and loneliness

From the Chapter 16 archive: This type of travel is not meant to soothe; it’s not like a seven-day cruise where the aim is to make sure you never feel lost, unsure, or in want. This travel is about want. About loneliness. About insecurity. About all those things that go into the poems that stay with you, the ones that risk and surprise, that ache to be written, and that talk back to you on the page.

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Happiness Is a Sad Song

Dr. Ralph Stanley discusses his 63 years in music

From the Chapter 16 archive: When he was a child, he was often called “the boy with the hundred year old voice.” In his book Man of Constant Sorrow, Stanley recounts a career spanning six decades and millions of miles.

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The Body as Storyteller

Chanelle Benz talks with Chapter 16 about her debut story collection, The Man Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead

From the Chapter 16 archive: “When I was a kid, I loved any kind of historical drama. I loved being transported to different worlds, historical or fantastical.” Fiction writer—and new Memphis transplant—Chanelle Benz talks with Chapter 16.

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Engaging Ontogeny—and Animal Sex

Michael Sims discusses biological and literary creativity

From the Chapter 16 archive: Where do babies come from? It may be a child’s question, but the answer is far from simple, especially if we consider the baby-making processes of the whole animal kingdom, as Michael Sims does in his companion to the National Geographic Channel’s television special of the same name, In the Womb: Animals. It features ultrasound images of fetal animals that are so detailed and vivid it’s almost hard to believe they aren’t simulations.

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The Choice Either to Wail or Smile

Tim Gautreaux talks with Chapter 16 about his story collection, Signals

From the Chapter 16 archive: Chattanooga-area novelist Tim Gautreaux talks about the pitfalls of regionalism, the influence of James Dickey and Flannery O’Connor, the challenges of writing short fiction, and the imperatives of religious faith.

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You Get What You Need

Mary Gauthier delves into her life and art in Saved by a Song

In Saved by a Song: The Art and Healing Power of Songwriting, Grammy-nominated folk musician Mary Gauthier unpacks her ideas around “what makes a song matter.” This investigation takes us through Gauthier’s personal narrative as a queer woman, a survivor of addiction, and an artist who reaches deep into the wounds of her childhood to reckon with her past traumas through song. Gauthier will discuss the book at a ticketed virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on July 6.

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