Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

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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Earning the Respect of the Materials

Clarksville artist Billy Renkl illustrates his first children’s book

Clarksville artist Billy Renkl discusses figurative language, his love of paper, and creating the illustrations for his first children’s book, Diana Farid’s When You Breathe.

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The Problem with Policing

In Occupied Territory, Simon Balto digs at the roots of the current turmoil over race and policing

Simon Balto’s Occupied Territory provides a history of race and policing in Chicago over the course of the 20th century. Balto will speak about the book on October 20 at a virtual event hosted on the Facebook page of the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, which awarded him its 2019 National Book Award.

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Same War, Same General

Connor Towne O’Neill grapples with America’s legacy of white supremacy

In Down Along with That Devil’s Bones, Connor Towne O’Neill explores the battles over Nathan Bedford Forrest monuments in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Memphis, and Selma, Alabama, in a quest to understand how white supremacy continues to shape American society. O’Neill will appear at a virtual event hosted by Novel in Memphis on September 29 and at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Surviving the Curse of “Nowville”

Greetings from New Nashville considers the city’s transformation and its future

In Greetings from New Nashville, a collection of essays edited by Steve Haruch, contributors grapple with the rise of the city as a tourist destination and the municipal issues that have arisen as a result. Haruch will discuss Greetings from New Nashville at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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Another Way to Be

Michael Ian Black makes the case for a new masculinity in A Better Man

Michael Ian Black’s A Better Man is a tender, funny, hopeful book, conceived as a letter to his 18-year-old son. Through a mix of memoir, comic commentary, and fatherly advice, Black makes the case against the cultural pressures that harm men, from impossible ideals of strength and independence to damaging rhetoric about toxic masculinity. Black will appear at the 2020 Southern Festival of Books, held online October 1-11.

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