Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Maria Browning

Life’s Most Overwhelming Love

In The Foundling Wheel, poet Blas Falconer considers the complicated joy of parenthood

December 3, 2012 In his second poetry collection, The Foundling Wheel, Blas Falconer writes about the complex emotions of new parenthood. Through rich and arresting imagery, he conveys a vivid sense of life’s most overwhelming love, as well as its effects and resonances within the family and beyond.

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Imagination and Wit, with a Side of Conscience

A brief look at Margaret Atwood’s remarkable body of work

October 23, 2012 Since her first novel, The Edible Woman, was published in 1969, Margaret Atwood has always seemed a writer very much of her time and yet prescient, with an almost uncanny ability to show us clearly who we are and where we might be headed. One of a tiny handful of authors who enjoy both critical respect and wide popular appeal, Atwood has used her prominence to advocate for the environmental causes that are her passionate concern. As the Nashville Public Library Foundation prepares to honor Atwood with the 2012 Nashville Public Library Literary Award, Chapter 16 surveys her body of work. Atwood will give a free public reading on October 27 at 10 a.m. in the auditorium of the Nashville Public Library downtown.

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Writing Back to Charlotte Brontë

Margot Livesey talks with Chapter 16 about The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel inspired by Jane Eyre

September 17, 2012 Scottish-born writer Margot Livesey first read Jane Eyre at the age of nine, and the book has been a literary touchstone for her ever since. After publishing six acclaimed novels, Livesey has returned to Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece and re-created its archetypal heroine as a young woman in 1960s Scotland. The Flight of Gemma Hardy draws heavily on the spirit of Jane Eyre yet tells an original story of struggle, secrets, and love that stands beautifully on its own. Livesey recently answered questions from Chapter 16 about, as she puts it, “writing in the shadow” of a classic. She will discuss The Flight of Gemma Hardy at the twenty-fourth annual Southern Festival of Books, held October 12-14 at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. All events are free and open to the public.

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“I Shall Never Have a Friend Like Her”

With a superbly edited collection of letters, Irene Goldman-Price offers fresh insight into the life of novelist Edith Wharton

September 12, 2012 In 1873, when Edith Wharton was eleven years old, her parents hired a young governess named Anna Bahlmann. The two developed a close relationship that lasted until Bahlmann’s death forty-two years later. In My Dear Governess: The Letters of Edith Wharton to Anna Bahlmann, Irene Goldman-Price traces the disparate but intertwined lives of the two women through their correspondence, offering a new picture of Wharton’s early years. Goldman-Price will join novelist Jennie Fields, author of The Age of Desire, for “A Talk on Edith Wharton” on September 20 at 6:15 p.m. at the Nashville Public Library, as part of the Salon@615 series. The event is free and open to the public.

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Faithful Humanist

Poet Mark Jarman talks about his work, his evolving spirituality, and why the digital revolution is good for poetry

July 25, 2012 Poet Mark Jarman rose to prominence in the 1980s as an advocate of New Formalism and narrative poetry. He has since become known as one of the few academic poets of his generation to struggle explicitly in his work with questions of faith. In advance of the publication of his latest collection, Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems, he talks with Chapter 16 about his work, the flawed genius of Robinson Jeffers, and why the digital revolution is good for poetry. Jarman will read from Bone Fires at the twenty-fourth annual Southern Festival of Books, held October 12-14 at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. All events are free and open to the public.

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A Solitary Being

Benjamin Busch’s memoir, Dust to Dust, examines life through an elemental lens

June 22, 2012 In Dust to Dust, Benjamin Busch recounts his life through a series of meditations on the physical world. This unorthodox memoir, which concerns itself quite literally with the stuff of a life, puts the reader in touch with the elemental struggle we all share. Busch will discuss and sign Dust to Dust at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis on June 24 at 3 p.m., and at Parnassus Books in Nashville on July 11 at 6:30 p.m.

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