Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

An Unbroken Thread

Poet Jesse Graves discusses his fourth collection, Merciful Days

In haunting lyric poems and traditional narratives, Jesse Graves’ Merciful Days shows us the ‘ghost-lives’ that shaped the boy learning the rough language of cows and that imprint the returning adult who walks the fence line now without his father. Graves talks with Chapter 16 about the experiences and influences that inform his work.

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Memphis Calling

Robert Gordon revisits his rollicking tale of a revolutionary musical city

Robert Gordon’s It Came From Memphis celebrates wild times and transformative music by shining a light on the likes of Furry Lewis, Mud Boy and the Neutrons, Big Star, disc jockey Dewey Phillips, and wrestler Sputnik Monroe.

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Reaching for Joy

Poet Toi Derricotte discusses isolation, community, and taking risks

Toi Derricotte’s “I”: New and Selected Poems spans over four decades of work by a poet unparalleled in the tenderness and honesty with which she writes about the self, trauma, and memory. She unpacks race, gender, sexuality, class, violence, motherhood, and more, with rich detail and incantatory music.

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The Glorious Pastime: Indya Kincannon

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon loves biographies and My Brilliant Friend

Indya Kincannon arrived in Knoxville in 2001, a self-described “trailing spouse” who relocated for her husband’s job. Today she’s the city’s mayor, committed to “creating and spreading opportunity to all parts of Knoxville.” Mayor Kincannon, a longtime education advocate and former teacher, shares a bit of her reading life with Chapter 16 via our Glorious Pastime questionnaire.

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Soldiers with No Names

Jeffrey Jackson tells a story of love, art, and resistance during World War II

In Paper Bullets, Jeffrey Jackson reconstructs the fascinating tale of two French women living on the British island of Jersey, resisting the occupation by Nazi Germany. Jackson will launch his book with a Zoom event hosted by Rhodes College on November 10 and will appear at a virtual event hosted by Parnassus Books in Nashville on November 12.

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The Diplomat’s Shadow

Historian Thomas Schwartz chronicles the political life of Henry Kissinger

In the tumultuous, polarized atmosphere of the 1970s, Henry Kissinger served as the primary architect of American foreign policy. Thomas Schwartz examines his influences, ideas, and calculations in an impressive political biography, Henry Kissinger and American Power.

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