Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Emily Choate

How You’ll Remember You Were Made from Her

Sara Moore Wagner gives voice to the addict mother in Hillbilly Madonna

In Hillbilly Madonna, Sara Moore Wagner infuses her poems of Appalachian family trauma with deep compassion and an unusual focus on women’s experiences of addiction.

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Where the Badness Lives

Rebecca Bernard explores dangerous territory in Our Sister Who Will Not Die

By carefully wielding dangerous points of view, Rebecca Bernard’s debut story collection, Our Sister Who Will Not Die, discovers a fascinating variety of ways to tell stories that push into risky terrain.

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Portrait of the Artists

Ada Calhoun’s Also a Poet takes on entwined familial and artistic legacies

When Ada Calhoun undertakes the task of completing a literary biography of Frank O’Hara — a project that had stumped her art critic father decades earlier — she engages complex dynamics of familial angst and artistic ambition, which she details in Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me. Calhoun will appear at the 2022 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on Oct. 14-16.

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When Home Is a Place You’ve Fled

Casey Parks examines her own life through a mysterious figure from the past

When journalist Casey Parks’ grandmother revealed fond memories of “a woman who lived as a man” in her rural Louisiana hometown, Parks undertook a decade-long search for the truth behind this elusive figure — an odyssey she documents in Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery. Parks will discuss Diary of a Misfit at the 2022 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 14-16.

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Defenseless Against the Memory

Bobby C. Rogers brings depth and richness to his poetry’s West Tennessean setting

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: In Shift Work, West Tennessee poet Bobby C. Rogers mines the small-town front rooms, farmers’ fields, glass-strewn roadsides, and neglected cityscapes that suffuse the lives and memories of his poems’ many Tennessean characters. Rogers will appear at the 2022 Southern Festival of Books in Nashville on October 14-16.

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A Fight Over the Mountain Commons

Ginseng Diggers traces the history of Appalachia’s root and herb trade

In the 19th century, large numbers of Appalachians supported themselves by harvesting herbs, roots, and other botanicals that grew wild in the mountain woodlands. These “sang diggers,” as they were colloquially known, and the story of their importance in the medicinal botanical trade are the focus of Luke Manget’s Ginseng Diggers.

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