Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Tom Markham

Rituals of Movement in the Writing of Judith Ortiz Cofer

Rituals of Movement in the Writing of Judith Ortiz Cofer

Edited by Lorraine López and Molly Crumpton Winter
Caribbean Studies Press
308 pages

“Ortiz Cofer has been illuminating the Puerto Rican community’s journeys back and forth between the Caribbean island and the U.S., between rural landscapes and urban landscape, and between Spanish and English.”

Rigoberto Gonzalez

Eating Those Poisonous Words

New-wave novelist Ben Marcus talks with Chapter 16 about language, religion, and the inspiration for The Flame Alphabet

September 26, 2012 Ben Marcus’s new novel, The Flame Alphabet, takes place in a world that seems at first not too dissimilar from our own, but there is one exception: speech and the written word have become fatally poisonous. Young children appear to be the source of the “infection,” and Marcus’s protagonist, Samuel, must find a way to care for his ailing wife and hang on to his increasingly distant daughter, who carries the poison of language and, like all other children, has become an enemy to adults. Ben Marcus will discuss The Flame Alphabet at Nashville’s Southern Festival of Books on October 13 at 3 p.m. in Legislative Plaza, Room 16. All festival events are free and open to the public.

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Penning an Award Winner

Nashville children’s Patricia McKissack wins new PEN award

August 30, 2012 Prolific children’s author and Nashville native Patricia McKissack has been honored for her picture book Never Forgotten. The PEN American Center recently awarded McKissack the PEN/Steven Kroll award, which, according to the PEN website, “acknowledge[s] the distinct literary contributions of picture book writers.”

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One Small Step

Margaret Lazarus Dean reflects on the legacy of Neil Armstrong

August 29, 2012 At first Knoxville novelist and The Huffington Post space blogger Margaret Lazarus Dean didn’t plan “to write about the death of Neil Armstrong.” For her, it felt like a personal loss, coming so soon after the death of Armstrong’s fellow space pioneer Sally Ride. Nevertheless, Dean, who has loved NASA since childhood, seems to have found a way to reflect on the brighter parts of the astronauts’ legacies.

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Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel

Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel

By Ronda Robinson
Mazo Publishers
146 pages

Beyond Politics calls us to expand our understanding of ‘what is going on in Israel today’ by focusing not on our current events, but on the lives of people—individuals living today in Israel—immigrants from different parts of the world and those born there. It is a must read for anyone who cares deeply about the future of Israel and the Jewish people and seeks to foster dialogue, cooperation, and shalom in the Middle East. Reading Beyond Politics was a joy that enhanced and enriched my own understanding of Israel—and I live there! If you want to understand the true face of Israel—in all its diversity and depth—Beyond Politics is a must read.”

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Gardener Remembers

Gardener Remembers

Corey Mesler
Pocketful of Scoundrel
190 pages

“This fantasy interview is a smartly-rigged device for an extended rumination on the 60s/70s cultural sea change and the conflicting forces that both motivated and frustrated the artists of that era…Gardner is an intriguing, paradoxical character…he’s arrogant and self-deluded one moment, vulnerable and self-effacing the next—the standard bag of contradictions for any ‘tortured’ rock star.”

–Mike Stax, in Ugly Things #33 (Spring/Summer 2012)