Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Cracking the Code

Gordon A. Martin revisits United States v. Lynd, the civil rights case that forever changed the South

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Most Americans are familiar with the landmark civil-rights case Brown v. Board of Education. Less known is United States v. Lynd, the 1962 trial that paved the way for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Count Them One by One: Black Mississippians Fighting for the Right to Vote is an account of the groundbreaking trial that put Hattiesburg, Mississippi, at the center of the civil-rights debate. Written by Gordon A. Martin, Jr., one of the Justice Department attorneys in the case, the book uses oral history, legal commentary, and first-person reportage to put readers on the front row of a trial that forever changed the nature of race relations in Mississippi and the South. 

Read more

Chasing Tales

Ray Trotter’s short story collection of Southern gems shines

Ray Trotter assembles a stylized, bite-sized, pure personality of a debut short story collection, And Dogs to Chase Them, exploring the quirks and nuances of rural Southern living.

Read more

Muscadine Vines

Monic Ductan gathers stories of tangled small-town legacies in Daughters of Muscadine

Cookeville writer Monic Ductan’s debut story collection, Daughters of Muscadine, reveals the entangled historical and psychological legacies at work in several generations of Black families in Muscadine, a fictional rural town in northeast Georgia.

Read more

Good Old-Fashioned Murder

Michael Sims’ new anthology of short fiction presents antique whodunit gems

In his latest anthology of Victorian-era fiction, The Penguin Book of Murder Mysteries, Michael Sims presents the evolution of the short-form murder mystery.

Read more

Cutting Remembrances

Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds, discusses the delicate art of writing about war

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: A National Book Award Finalist and winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction, The Yellow Birds by Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers has been hailed by a host of literary luminaries as an instant classic. Written in lyrical prose that veers between terse understatement and vivid figurative language, The Yellow Birds is a rich literary experience as well as a harrowing narrative about the effects of war on both soldiers and families. 

Read more

A Poet of the Heart

Remembering Arthur Smith (1948-2018)

Arthur Smith came to Knoxville from central California, by way of Houston, Texas, and for more than 30 years he helped poets at the University of Tennessee find the path toward their own voices. His friend and fellow poet Jesse Graves remembers Smith on the fifth anniversary of his death.

Read more