Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

“Fawn in Sapsucker Woods”

Book Excerpt: Merciful Days

Jesse Graves is the author of four poetry collections, including Basin Ghosts and Specter Mountain, a collaboration with William Wright. His work received the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He teaches at East Tennessee State University, where he is poet-in-residence and professor of English.

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Falling Back in Love with October

On losing the joy of autumn and finding it again

In Alabama, October was the first month that you could trust cooler weather was coming to stay. Occasionally, I could even wear a sweater in the morning, and although it was wrapped around my waist by afternoon, the heat was not overbearing. Finally, at night, I could snuggle under a sheet and fall asleep. To make a good thing even better, the month began with my father’s birthday and ended with Halloween. There was nothing bad about October in my eyes.

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Fighters Keep Fighting

A 12-year-old girl finds her voice in Jamie Sumner’s Tune It Out

A girl, a guitar, and a move to Nashville. With these three clues, you might think you know what Tune It Out, Jamie Sumner’s second middle-grade novel, is all about. But if you assumed 12-year-old Louise Montgomery is a rising star with a manager mom, you’d be wrong. Or at least you’d only be partially right

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When to Hold on and When to Let Go

Rita Sims Quillen’s sixth poetry collection focuses on the restorative power of being present

Some Notes You Hold by Rita Sims Quillen is an engaging collection about surviving life’s hardships. While these poems do not shy from the ravages of loss, they also acknowledge all the ways joy is patiently waiting for us, be it through prayer, meditation, song, or communing with nature. Quillen will appear at a virtual event hosted by Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on November 18.

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More to Them Than How They Died

Allison Moorer turns family tragedy into bittersweet art


In Blood, country music artist Allison Moorer describes the circumstances that led to her parents’ murder-suicide in 1986 and the crime’s devastating effect on her and her only sibling, fellow singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne. Moorer will appear with Silas House in a virtual event hosted by The Porch in Nashville on October 28. 

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What the Water Took

A love that is buried in one generation may be resurrected in another

Charlie and Maude began their marriage on a homestead perched near the banks of the Cumberland River. The first child came within the year of their marriage. Eight more followed. Whooping cough claimed one of the babies, and the river’s frequent flooding eventually claimed the house.

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