Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Of Berries and Death

Book Excerpt: The Comfort of Crows

Margaret Renkl’s The Comfort of Crows is a literary devotional that moves through a year of beauty, joy, and grief in the teeming natural world of Renkl’s own backyard. The book includes 52 original color artworks by Billy Renkl and will be published by Spiegel & Grau in October 2023.

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“To the Aliens, Letter #4”

Book Excerpt: Star-Tent: A Triptych

Amie Whittemore was the 2020-2021 Poet Laureate of Murfreesboro and an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. She teaches at Middle Tennessee State University, where she directs MTSU Write.

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Book Excerpt: What Bends Us Blue

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: Former Knoxvillian Tom Lombardo is a poet, essayist, and freelance medical writer who lives in Midtown Atlanta. His poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Ambit, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and New York Quarterly, among others. He is the editor of an anthology, After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life Shattering Events, and is the poetry series editor for Press 53. His M.F.A. is from Queens University of Charlotte. 

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Alexander van der Pool

Book Excerpt: Edge of the Wind

Set in a West Tennessee town, James E. Cherry’s Edge of the Wind explores the connection between jazz and poetry — and between racism and mental illness. The novel, originally published in 2016, has been reissued in a new edition with a foreword by Charles Dodd White.

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Ball of Fire

Book Excerpt: Walk Through Fire

Yasmine S. Ali’s Walk Through Fire: The Train Disaster that Changed America recounts the 1978 derailment and explosion in Waverly, Tennessee, that killed 16 people and led to the creation of FEMA. Dr. Ali will appear at Parnassus Books in Nashville on February 27, the Humphreys County Public Library in Waverly on March 3, and the Tennessee State Museum on April 8.

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