Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Brushing the Divine

For novelist Amy Greene, a haunted town hidden on the Cumberland Plateau is the perfect place to write

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: The Celts believed heaven and earth are three feet apart but even shorter in these thin places. Are such locations where we’re able to brush up against the divine? Sometimes writing feels to me like a brush with the divine. Maybe that’s why places like Rugby call out to those of us who write, putting stories into our heads and almost demanding that we set them down on paper.

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Scared Yet?

Vanderbilt historian Michael Bess explores four ways humanity might destroy itself

How does the world end? Futurist and Vanderbilt history professor Michael Bess lays out four convincing scenarios in Planet in Peril: Humanity’s Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them. After making well-researched arguments for the existential dangers of global warming, nukes, pandemics, and uncontrolled artificial intelligence, Bess offers hopeful antidotes to our imminent mass destruction.

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Making a New Sun

Saeed Jones writes poetry of grief and survival

Alive at the End of the World is the latest apocalyptic collection of poetry from Memphis native Saeed Jones. A copious Twitter user and cultural sage, Jones is also author of two earlier collections: When the Only Light Is Fire (2011) and Prelude to Bruise (2014).

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Of Blood and Darkness

Cormac McCarthy returns with The Passenger and Stella Maris

A cult hero for the first half of his career, Cormac McCarthy is now a literary institution. As he approaches 90, he delivers two companion novels, The Passenger and Stella Maris, which fuse dizzying intellectual exploration with his trademark gift for depicting outsiders drawn unwillingly into gripping intrigues with lethal consequences.

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Flowers Blooming in a Blizzard

Understanding the work of poetry and place

Joy Harjo’s Catching the Light offers short vignettes on the meaning of language, poetry, and place, taking us to a realm between ordinary reality and artistic vision.

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