OCTOBER 12, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

October’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

Each reader on the open mic gets a turn to share one poem in the 1st round, and anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign-up list may have another turn in the 2nd round.

October Feature Shawn Renee

Shawn Renee is a fledgling in the poetry community but you’d never guess she hasn’t always shaped the wind around her wings and soared. Born in Haun Germany on an airforce base, she quickly returned to the states before the age of one and has breathed Tennessee air ever since. She enjoys art in all forms, from sketching to painting and sculpting; but words have always been the ink flowing through her paper veins.

When asked where her love of writing stems from, Shawn states:

“I don’t think I can specifically pinpoint a time or a person. I think words have always lived in me. Pretty sure I was scribbling on my mother’s egg with my tail as a sperm in her womb. Words and all other forms of creative expression are the only things that make sense in this backward world. It was the only way I could make sense of it. The only way I could be seen and heard. All other times I was expected to be nothing more than a closed mouth and a pair of ears.”

Shawn can be reached and enjoyed on her newly created but promising pages and sites. She truly hopes you’ll pay her a visit.

Sample a poem from Shawn here, then find her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and her blog.

Before They Valued My Silence

What do you remember from your birth, he asks

Words, I say

Because I remember…
being a face full of ink blinks
and a body of wiggling calligraphy 
my skin pale parchment
soggy and crumpled
but still scribbling screams 
from fragile lungs

I remember 
being words

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SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

September’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

Each reader on the open mic gets a turn to share one poem in the 1st round, and anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign-up list may have another turn in the 2nd round.

September Feature El

El is a former Army brat who moved from Tacoma, Washington, to Nashville, Tennessee, 19 years ago. Her love for words came from her mother who had been creating poetry to accompany El on her life lessons. She reached for the pen as self-expression and uses her writing to solve problems that find their solutions throughout the course of the story. 

She began dedicating more and more time writing and has officially begun a site called Rainbow Minds. Whether there is a poem on the mind or a story of another that has to be heard, there will always be a home for every form of writing to be shared.

September’s feature poet El

Surviving My Memoirs 

I’m not scared of my last day, why? I survived

A mother who beat her insecurities into me, a “friend” who didn’t hear the word no and tried to make this body his own, a father who never wanted his heart to be my home, a dad who was surprised by the color of my skin, recognizing this bastard child did not share his blood and was deemed to feel forever alone

Surviving each “you’re stupid” “you need makeup” “what are you wearing”, you only get to see what I choose to show

Did I show the mark on my arm from the shattered frame holding baby me, was completely shocked by the pain but was happy to bleed?

How about the lines on my hips, making me a woman before I was ever ready?

No, because you only care about the color of lipstick and when I was dumb enough to not to hide when I cried

You took a part of her, but it’s okay

Today’s the day these purposeful lips say fuck you while loving me

When I’m gone, release my poems

Show them I’ve been through hell but froze it over and made it back

Smudged to perfection, doing things even when I’m not good enough

Not good enough

An epidemic my DNA is wearing to disguise who she really is

I’ve enough of not good enough

She’s a later bloomer just trying to find her spring

I won’t stand for your victim shaming just like I won’t stand for my victimizing

Because these contemporary moving atoms survived

So, fuck you, I love how her feet control the snare of her marching band

This epidermis is epically exemplary

Her hair horrifyingly heavenly harmoniously hers

A monarch metamorphosed miraculously

These curls, Mine

Sunken eyes, Mine

Rubbing thighs, Mine

Double chin line, Mine

You may have won the battle, but through the war I will survive

AUGUST 10, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

August’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

Each reader on the open mic gets a turn to share one poem in the 1st round, and anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign-up list may have another turn in the 2nd round.

August Feature Via Perez

Via was raised in the hills of Tennessee, and originally used writing as an outlet for the frustrations of youth. As time passed it formed into a way of life. She has lived a lot of places and worked many occupations, but for Via poetry remains a constant. It’s a way to translate the human experience, which can so often be tangled in the day to day. Her work is cryptic and can be interpreted in any way you please. Just let the words be absorbed.

This is the first piece Via read aloud in 12 years and also the first piece she read at Poetry in the Brew.

Self Portrait 1

Shades of silver glinting off the open pool.
All that has passed can be wrapped on a spool, most likely by the fool in the flower pattern.

That was once the marking of your soul.All the love I ever had. 
So grand.So full.Apologies.None I could spare for you.
How truly wise you have become.
Almost as wise as a child.With somber Solene eyes.She smiles because she is wild.You stumble because you simply cannot jump, perhaps if I tug.
The way your hand lies so limp on the crumpled sheet. 
I can almost take an interest in you.
As for your tears; they have no affect on me.
You can cry and cry out for as long as you wish.
When you are done I will still be here. 
Willing and golden.If you plan to cancel all your other plans. 
What remains will be tender words rendered by a beautiful mouth such as yours.

With a laugh and a smile.
A push and purge.
A cat and a hard wood floor.
A creak in the hall.
A sound in the breeze.
A linear motion out of old forgotten weeds.
A famous artist with hair streaming quite as black as yours.
You will remember me as I planned all along. 
Finally you may have permission to be plain and adored.

-ViaP

We’ll look for you come the 2nd Saturday, and till then, you can read more of Via’s older work at Ophelia Zerep – poet at allpoetry.

JULY 13, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

July’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

Each reader on the open mic gets a turn to share one poem in the 1st round, and anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign-up list may have another turn in the 2nd round. Our feature for this month’s 8th Anniversary show is travelling poet Ananda Lima, who takes the stage around 7pm.

July Feature Ananda Lima

Ananda Lima’s work has appeared or is upcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets’ Poets.org, The Kenyon Review Online, Colorado Review, Rattle, The Common and elsewhere. Her chapbook Translation (Paper Nautilus, 2019) won the 2018 Vella Chapbook Contest. She served as the poetry judge for the 2019 AWP Kurt Brown Prize. She has an MA in Linguistics (UCLA) and an MFA in Fiction (Rutgers-Newark). She has taught at UCLA, Montclair State University, Rutgers University and was a mentor in the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Program – Newark and the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program.  

Connect with Ananda on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Find samples of Ananda’s poetry on her website, as well as at the links above, and visit Rattle once more to read When They Come for Us on the 7 Train.

JUNE 8, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

June’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

June Feature Serge Ray Rodrigo

In June, our featured poet is Serge Ray Rodrigo, a multi-talented writer, storyteller, and poet. We unveiled a new format last month, created with community input, and each open mic reader will have a turn to read one poem before our feature again this month. Anyone who places a star next to their name on the sign up list may have another turn in the second round.

“I was born Sergio Ramon Rodriguez. Then, the world started calling me ‘Serge.’ Eventually, I turned that into ‘Serge Ray Rodrigo’ until I decided that I needed an alternate pen name. So ‘Sir-Reyna Lucio’ was born. These are the names that make us who we are. And this is the story of our lives connecting with their lives.”

Silver Water is the first novel by Sir-Reyna Lucio. “Abel tragically lost his disabled, niece, Rachelia. He longs to open a school and home for disabled youngsters in her memory. However, before he can achieve this dream, he must bring ‘The Kraken’ to some type of controlled end. ‘The Kraken’ is a seemingly mindless Godzilla-Moby Dick creature, floating around our not-too-distance world. No one knows where it came from, or why it’s here. But to attain ‘Silver Water,’ Abel must team with Samera (and others) to bring ‘The Kraken’ to ‘The Science Prophet,’ by any means necessary? Who is ‘The Science Prophet’ and what do they want with the ‘The Kraken?’ Abel, Samera, and their fellowship fight to find out. ‘Silver Water’ is our deepest, darkest, most complex dreams…come to beautiful life.”

You can hear a story from Serge on Versify #3: Bone Deep. “Serge Rodriguez hasn’t seen his family in years. He was excommunicated by their church and grew apart from his parents and siblings. But now as a writer in Nashville, his little sister is never far from his mind. Without warning, she troubles his thoughts and finds her way into everything he puts on paper. In this episode, we find out how family rejection has actually helped Serge to better understand unconditional love. And then Nashville poet Ciona Rouse turns Serge’s story into an original poem.”

The Untold Story of Omari Boyd is a forthcoming documentary by Sergio Ramon Rodriguez, Monique Gooch, and Fredrick Hayes. “This epic film will be based on the life and untold story of a professional Mixed Martial Arts Fighter who is a well know figure in other regions of the world, but born and raised in a thriving city of gentrification, massive growth, development, and reconstruction, where the odds are against most that strive to succeed, within one of the newest city attractions of the world.”

We look forward to seeing you on June 8 for an evening of poetry in the loft!

MAY 11, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

May’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

May Feature Destiny Birdsong

Dr. Destiny Birdsong

photo credit: Hunter Armistead

Destiny O. Birdsong is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist whose work has either appeared or is forthcoming in African American ReviewThe Adroit JournalBest New Poets 2018The Cambridge Companion to Transnational American Literature, storySouth, Guernica, and elsewhere. Destiny has won the Academy of American Poets Prize, Naugatuck River Review’s 2016 Poetry Contest, Meridian’s 2017 “Borders” Contest in Poetry, and Crab Orchard Review’s 2019 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize. She has received support from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Jack Jones Literary Arts, The MacDowell Colony, Pink Door, The Ragdale Foundation, and the Tin House Summer Workshop. She earned both her MFA and PhD from Vanderbilt University, where she currently works as a research coordinator.

Read Destiny’s poem “Auto-Immune” in Guernica, and head over to Rattle where “Long Division” appears.

APRIL 13, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

April’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

April Feature Leslie Garcia

LeslieGarcia

Leslie Garcia is a Salvadorian-American poet who hopes to teach others how to use writing as a form of rehabilitation. For the past three years she has worked as a poet mentor at Southern Word, a non-profit that puts writers into schools. Southern Word’s mission is to teach literacy through the performing arts. Her work has been featured in NATIVE magazine and the Nashville Arts Magazine.

Find Leslie Garcia on Instagram.

See Leslie’s spoken word performance from TEDxNashville:

MARCH 9, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

March’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

March Feature Cassidy Martin

Cassidy MartinCassidy Martin was raised all over Nashville. She has been writing since she was 12 and has had her nose stuck in a book all her life. She works at the Nashville Public Library and considers downtown her home. She attends Trevecca Nazarene University pursuing a degree in Communications but is open to other ideas. She likes creating visual and verbal art, but she only sings in the shower. With a mixture of natural leadership, religious optimism, heavy satire, and genuine sincerity, she lives life by pushing through the cracks of the sidewalk with open petals. She hopes to water her fellow humans with liquid courage and life experiences disguised as poetry.

A willingness to engage with topics of any nature, whether graphic, explicit, or simply human, characterizes Cassidy’s potent writing. The following poem of hers may touch sensitive areas, where poetry can do true work.

A Poem of Things I Need to Hear

You don’t have to know how to go about the rest of your life
You don’t need to stress about eating day old pizza at 11 pm
Your mom loves you
You need to stop worrying about what time you go to bed
You’re not gaining weight
You still look great even with purple very permanent hair dye you decided to try the day after christmas
It’s okay to cry for 10 minutes about absolutely everything and absolutely nothing at the same time.
You don’t have to rush yourself in the morning so brush your teeth for however long you want
Your mom still loves you
It’s okay for your vagina to have off days
And really really on days
at the same time
It’s okay if you don’t brush your hair everyday
It’s okay if you forget to brush your teeth
It okay if you have an anxiety attack because you didn’t finish a movie all the way through and you thought about it all day the next and then finished right where you left off
It’s not okay to not eat
It is okay if you happen to overeat
But not anymore because that’s why you threw up 6 times the next day after 6 years of never throwing up
It’s okay if your bookshelf gets dusty
It’s okay if your phone dies while you’re using it to listen to music in the shower
It’s okay to not want to talk
Or write
Or think
Or be awake
It’s okay to not be okay
It’s okay if no one likes you
And yes
Your mom still really really loves you.

Find Cassidy Martin on Facebook and Instagram.
See Cassidy’s State of the Word performance from her time as Nashville Youth Poet Laureate:

FEBRUARY 9, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

February’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30pm
Reading starts at 6:00pm

February Feature Dominique Substance Hayes

d67acc5a-92cf-4ee5-9688-dc30435493e1Dominique, better known as Substance, fell in love with creating short poems and quotes at the age of 8. She has explored many writing forms but finds comfort in poetry with no genre or label. You’ll find that her poetry carries the energy and soul of a divine experience. Her mission is to embody the message flowing from her heart in hopes that it will resonate with another’s. Poetry introduced her to the Divine that resides within. Her poetry can be defined as a strong wind or ocean waves gently returning home to shore.

Substance has had the pleasure of performing her pieces at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., Poetry in Motion, and the African Street Festival. Her most recent share, at Vanderbilt Divinity School with NATIVe: We the Hidden People, brought forth her own truths in the piece “SPEAK,” as she painted vivid pictures of her journey from silence. Although her artistry began at 8, at 29 years young, she is journeying through self-love, self-discovery, and healing with poetry, visual art, and photography as her MAP.

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Substance defined: A Goddess who is—
Substantially Using Both Sides of her Temporals while Adjusting into New Celestial Elevation—vibrating higher.

“Let my words paint vivid pictures, explore uncharted feelings, and tug you toward your mission.”

+Substance  ©2019

 

JANUARY 12, 2019 POETRY IN THE BREW

January’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

January Feature Owen Flanagan

OwenFlanagan

 

Born in San Francisco and raised in Nashville, Owen Flanagan has received a scholarship to the Sewanee Young Writers Conference and is a member of the youth cohort of the Year at OZ program with The Porch and OZ Arts. He is currently at work on a debut collection of poems and a novel.

Read this new piece from Owen now, then meet us in the loft for the first Brew of 2019:


night of

Me and my father, a concert. A singer

In a white dress punctures eyes on fire

And lets leak their kerosene onto the floor

Of a stadium suspended in frenetic gold lights,

Billowing song. Real song. And from the stage

Greased with feet and their emptied amazement,

A singer in a white dress leans into a microphone

And tells her audience to hold hands

For this next one. Me and my father, I deign us

Always grammatically correct. We cannot be

Expunged from the unremarkable history

No one ever thought to write. Me and my father,

His balled fist refusing to be summited,

This ballad, writing its lyrics on every forehead,

Decidedly not for us. The night of October the third,

A month of shimmering nothing. What use

Is night of? If it’s this untidy curl into a poem,

Into undoing, wouldn’t night already be implied,

No need for disquieted lips? What use anyway,

I can’t remember what day it really was.  When he came back,

when we hurtled enough days into each other to make an inside joke,

When we started going to major life events

And not needing to make an acronym, a mneumonic device.

To remember. What use anyway, what is this yawp

You already knew?

We drove home and I didn’t forget. I didn’t have to.

DECEMBER 8, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

December’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

December Feature Frank “Frizzy” Sykes

IMG-6497I was born in Nashville, and raised in Columbia, Tennessee. I became inspired to write from the many things in life. Seeing environments that were just not right, I decided to use spoken words to send messages to change not only the environments, but people’s lives. I’ve been performing the art form known best as Spoken Word since 2015.

So let me introduce myself to you. I’m a country boy from Columbia, currently 34, who through my journey in life have seen and been through a lot of things. I’m no different from the next person, but I’ve decided to take this approach and put myself out there in effort to reach those who feel that they are going through this journey in life alone. Those who have gotten frustrated with, what I consider to be life’s happening, and can’t seem to find the answers to the question that they keep asking themselves. (Why?)

I’ve had an exposure to some things that have taught me valuable lessons, and have decided to take the time to share with you and anyone else who will take the time to listen and learn from my journeys.

When you look deep into my past you will get to see how a young boy at a very young age had to grow up fast as he faced things in his environment that pressured his growth. You will see the tragic loss of a beloved father as this young man was 13 years of age. You will learn the journey of an athlete who excelled both on and off of the field. You will see the mental struggles that he faced and challenges that came as he grew. You will see his accomplishments as a actor in plays through his high school years. You will see his stories in college and his decision to drop out and start working. You will understand his job choices as he struggled to survive in a growing economy. You will see how the last 11 years of his life in law enforcement has placed him in multiple environments and allowed him to see things from more than just his perspective. You will understand how this man that you now see in front of you has the compassion and drive to make a difference for the better of all men and women, and just maybe one day, you will get to hear him perform it through his written pieces of poetry in the form of spoken words.

With all this being said,…. Hi! I’m Frank “Frizzy” Sykes the Spoken Word Artist. It’s nice to meet you!


Watch Frizzy perform a poem he wrote during his time as a Deputy Sheriff:

Keep up with Frank “Frizzy” Sykes on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

NOVEMBER 10, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

November’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

No-Feature November

This election month we’re hosting a No-Feature November because every voice counts.  Early sign-up is open online. Email your first three choices of odd-numbered spots to poetryinthebrew@gmail.com. We will reply with a confirmation of your spot on the list. Even-numbered spots will open for sign-up at 5:30pm on Saturday.

Update: odd numbers 21 and under spoken for so far

Poetry in the Brew, October 2018

our beautiful community gathering before last month’s show

OCTOBER 13, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

October’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

October Feature Andrew Dillon

ADillon_HiRes_Colin_PottsAndrew P. Dillon earned his BA from the University of Tennessee, and later graduated in their inaugural MFA class. He was awarded a scholarship to the Virginia Center for Creative Arts workshop in Auvillar, France, and has been nominated for the Best New Poets anthology and the Pushcart Prize. His work is forthcoming or has appeared most recently in Analog Science Fiction and Science FactStirring: A Literary CollectionConnotation PressRivet: The Journal of Writing That Risks, and Public Pool.

He taught for a few years, but now works in healthcare in Nashville while completing his first collection, currently titled Captain for Dark Mornings (after a track on his favorite Laura Nyro album). He is tragically committed to the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, and Tennessee Vols. He strongly supports the use of semi-colons, em dashes, and the serial comma.

Synesthesia

In defining love, every poet becomes a synesthete—
trying to explain why the letter A is red, or rattle
tastes oaky, trying to order the unfiltered mind:
you orbit the dense, central bridge of my mind the way
twelve numbers every hundred form a chronometric solar system.
I cannot visit my friends’ newborn because baby powder
sounds like a man and woman searching for catharsis
in each other’s mouths. I love you as surely as
twenty-two is closer to my heart than fifteen,
and September is more trustworthy than June.
When I taste Korean food, I lose the ability to distinguish
my mouth from my ears, my throat, my navel—
the awareness of my limbs as distinct and specialized.
Or maybe it can be expressed as simply as this—
when I said time with you feels like two galaxies
recklessly merging their satellites and stars, I meant
I’m already torn from the orbit that anchored me.


Keep up with Andrew Dillon on Twitter: @DillonAndrewP

SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

September’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

September Feature Regan Smith

Regan Smith is a writer and poet based in Nashville, Tennessee. Regan is the creator of Introspective Collective, a poetic platform highlighting beautiful words all across the country. She co-hosts monthly write night readings, has been growing her craft of spoken word poetry within the city and assists with poetry workshops for younger writers. She is also the author of her debut poetry collection, Morning Air, Morning Lightwhich is currently available for preorder

September feature poet Regan Smith

Regan Smith’s book Morning Air, Morning Light will be released Sept. 5

Sisters

Baby blue stitches,
little crossed threads creating denim patterns;
though fading in the elbows.

She paints oranges, develops photos of her sisters,
and captures footage of the Cinquefoil flowers.

She wraps her arms around her brothers,
and laughs loudly;
honeydew hope is held in her eyes.

On a basking blanket between two Cottonwood trees,
with a short story collection between her palms,
her face begins to freckle—
beneath her full eyebrows,
and on her soft shoulders.

She is in the wind, and will grow weary,
belly swells as baby grows—
resting her spine on the bed,
as she pulls splinters from her fingers.

Gray strands emerge from her scalp,
woven throughout her cocoa curls;
it holds the air of the forest,
and unravels beneath streams of warm water.

A lively life looms,
indigenous to encouragement.

Her heart is held,
familiar to a full mind—
but not foreign to today.

I think she understates,
how many good traits she received from her mother;
how they both speak with words that break the bones of death,
and shift tides with a whisper.



Find Regan Smith online at her blog/site introspectivecollective.com, which also accepts submissions.

AUGUST 11, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

August’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

August Feature Tricia Schwaab

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Tricia Schwaab has written since childhood but had never read at a poetry open mic until coming to Tennessee. Her poetry has been published in journals including Calliope and Dead Snakes.

In addition to poetry, she can also be found writing shorter fiction and plays. Her first one-act, an adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Prophetic Pictures, was produced in Maryland. Her first full-length play, When the Letter Writers Have All Died, was part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in 2013.

Tricia is also a past participant of the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage. She’s currently working on a play about life, death, and some of things in between.

Visit Tricia on Twitter: @TASchwaab.

JULY 14, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

July’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

July Feature Craig Freeman

Craig Freeman

Craig Freeman, a Nashville native, is a creative writer who weaves introspection into intricate woven rhythmic poetry, essays and short stories. He utilizes his writing to provoke thought and question behavior.

In the summer of 2016, he steered away from the traditional corporate flow to dive deeper into the stream of his creative abilities. “Self expression lives at the core of the human experience; without it we limit life’s offering.”

Soul on Fire.

Life is short
But it’s the longest thing / you’ll ever do /
What will you do / between the line /
Of your time / before night sets on your eyes /

Windsor knot ties / choked the voice
In my mind / blind thoughts
Told me what I ought to see /
Then I smelt the coffee /

Pyramid schemes / stole my dreams /
News screens / say what to think /
I can’t even blink / without clicking on a fake link / So out of sync /

Have to disconnect / from the internet
And introspect / the thoughts of my flesh /
Find faith in every step I take /
Can I find my pace / in this zombie race /

Some days / I can’t recognize my face /
Misplaced masks / followed tasks /
For the cash / as I ash / my burning soul /
For someone else’s high /

How many lives / will it take to see who am I / while I’m alive

JUNE 9, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

June’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

June Feature Corey White

Poetry inspired by Hip Hop and Art.

When I was younger I could draw better than I could write. They wanted me to write ‘A’ and had an apple beside it. I drew the apple. I always learned differently, but poetry and hip hop helped me find joy in writing.

I believe art is about displaying extraordinary emotion. Love, beauty, tragedy, pain, life, death heaven, hell and everything in between. I figured out, you have to display this through your eyes. So, now I call myself an artist. I use many different media. I’m a painter, writer, poet, drummer, hip hop, visual, graphic, and landscape artist. I create.

I’m passionate about showing the beauty in the world. It is the beauty seen as I see it.
So when someone likes, hates or loves my art, they connect to me somehow. One of the most important things I’ve learned to do as an artist is to create something new. Not necessarily new to the world, but new to you.

Love Poem

A poem to love

I love you Love

I love you Love

It’s the meaning of life.
It’s always right.
It’s there in the air as we always knew it to be.
It’s in you it’s in me
It’s what we should be.
We can have it whenever you want it.
Because it’s in us all,
but we stall, we pause,
We run, we hide.
We decide to not take the risk.
We’re basically running away from bliss.
If you ever had any questions,
It truly does exist.

It’s God. It’s good all the time.
It’s what keeps me whole and saves my mind.
It gives me what I need at the right time.
It’s the only thing
that has ever really gotten me out of a bind.

It’s creation over destruction.
It’s my foundation and my function.
It’s forgiveness for malfunction.
It’s willpower over seduction.
It’s a whistleblower in corruption.
It’s a baby that’s been breastfed.
It’s a servant of God that has been led.
Always giving of its self
& it has unlimited wealth.
But not flashy or popular
Because it moves in stealth.
It’s freedom in the face of death.
It will be all that is left.
It’s as simple as feeding a hungry child
As complex as saving animals in the wild
It’s in the strongest person you know
It’s the only thing that ever allows you to grow
It’s that real planted seed.
It’s that forgiveness that you need.
It’s that miracle that only you see.
It’s the fact there is a me.
It’s that sacrifice no one believes
The same way the trees lose their leaves
The sun yields to night
How you started out wrong,
But you’re going to end up right.
You know the person that helped you
And it wasn’t even their fight.
It is the strength that gets you through
If you only knew how it would help you
If you let it,
it will make every part of you anew.

Please… just, let it do, what it do.
It’s the best thing that ever happen to you.
It’s the best thing you’ve ever known
It’s proof that you’ve grown.
It’s telling the truth to your friends
It’s the only thing that never ends
It will satisfy your soul
It’s the thing that…
Finally, makes you whole.
It is…
Lord knows it is
You know & I know it is.
It is
It is the only reason why
there is
infinite, infinite infinite power
in the words words words
I Love you…
Love, I Love you

Follow Corey White on facebook, and keep up with community happenings in the Nashville Poetry Events and Nashville Visual Arts groups.

MAY 12, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

May’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

May Feature Sommer Jade 

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Born in Okinawa, Japan, Sommer Jade was raised in Nashville, Tennessee, where she found her love for creative writing. She is a graduate of Tennessee State University, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Music, and currently pursuing a Master’s in Poetry from Southern New Hampshire University.

Jade began singing at the age of 4 and writing at age 9. Her inspiration comes from life experience. Jade has performed at many functions, mostly at Fifth Fridays, an event hosted by Mount Zion Baptist Church. She has worked artists such as Irocc Williams, Nashville’s Andre the Poet, Atlanta’s Terri Davis, and her father, Ronald Adwaters. Well known for her authentic and sincere verses, Jade credits the Infinite, who she considers to be the Real Poet. 

Catch a preview of Sommer performing in this video from the Brew (July 2017):

 

APRIL 14, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

April’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

April Feature Andrea Pilot 

20160804_210528Andrea Pilot is the offspring of a fundamentalist preacher and a teacher of languages. She no longer settles for small gods or for others’ definitions of truth, and writes as a means of unflinching self-possession. Andrea still has hope for a world that is compassionate rather than assaultive, innovative rather than staid, and big enough to require more than five senses to experience.
For more from Andrea, check out her blog and read her poem marrow. Also find Andrea on Instagram @justsaynotoapocalypse.

 

MARCH 24, 2018 BARDS IN THE BREW

Special Event:
BARDS IN THE BREW
Saturday, March 24, 2018

Sign-up begins at 5:30
Music begins at 6:00

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

 

These days, almost every Poet has her Perch.  In a diverse, artistic city like Nashville, there are now many Open Mics for Poets.  This is in large part due to the hard work done by organizers like Ruth Hairston and Larry Pacheco of the original Windows on the Cumberland crew from the 80s, their successors D. Phillip Caron and C Ra McGuirt, and more recently, Michael “Map…” Pierce and Christine Hall of Poetry in the Brew.  And yet in this, the Music City, the old-school original songwriter is often left out in the cold.  We aim to fix this, at least for the month of March, by holding an open mic for songwriters, singers, and musicians at Portland Brew East on Saturday, March 24.

BARDS IN THE BREW #1
Live Local Words & Music

Featuring:

LEGOULE LEANDER
C RA MCGUIRT with ALLEN WELTY-GREEN
and very special Guest
TOM HOUSE

Plus Open Mic

Free Admission!

Free CDs!

 

MARCH 10, 2018 WINDOWS REVIVAL IV

Special Event:

WINDOWS REVIVAL IV
Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

poetryinapubFrom 1983 – 1993, on the 1st Thursday of each month, Charlie Fenton’s eclectic “Windows on the Cumberland” nightspot in the galleria on 2nd Avenue welcomed Nashville area poets to an open mic “Poetry in a Pub” experience. Started by Ruth Hairston and Larry Pacheco, the “Windows Scene” grew stronger and larger by the year, and influenced many area poets. In 1986, D. Phillip Caron and C Ra McGuirt were drafted as co-hosts of the monthly Windows show. They served honorably for 7 years, until gentrification closed the doors of the Windows to poetry in 1993.

Now, 25 years later, Ra hosts the 4th annual Windows Revival, a celebration of Nashville poetry’s “Golden Decade” at Windows. We’ll be expecting many of the finest veteran voices of the Windows Era, and with no featured poet for this event, there will be plenty of time for everyone to read, just like the good old days. Come lend your best lines to this historical literary event!

FEBRUARY 10, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

February’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

February Feature Cynthia Ring

 

cynthiaringCynthia Ring has been writing poetry since the age of 14. Cynthia’s poetry rises directly from her unconscious mind. When asked how she came up with this or that image, or scene, she can never really answer the question. She phases into a zone of creativity, reshaping the chaotic blur of surrealism into narrative sequences that can be analyzed and understood. Her work has appeared in Contemporary American Voices, Haggard and Halloo, And/Or and BlazeVOX, among others. In 2017, she published her first book of surreal romantic poetry. In the future, Cynthia plans to push poetic boundaries by incorporating augmented reality into her work, but does not desire to be forced into any particular direction. Cynthia wishes for her work to be free, without constraint or mandate. Her work is growing, maturing; it is in full bloom. [Introduction by Dr. Louis Gallo, edited by Cynthia Ring]
Read a sample of Cynthia’s previously published poetry at: www.cynthiaringpoetry.tumblr.com
Follow Cynthia on Instagram @cynthiaringca

 

RESCHUDULED: JANUARY POETRY IN THE BREW

In the interest of everyone’s safety and with gratitude to Portland Brew East, we are rescheduling tonight’s show for next week. Hope to see you all on the 20th!

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JANUARY 13, 2018 POETRY IN THE BREW

January’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

*RESCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 20TH DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER*

Located at:

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

January Feature Angie Gonzalez

Angie Gonzalez

Angie Gonzalez grew up as a Houstonion, but left at 18 to the Big Easy. After two formative years of the city she vowed to create music to connect with others and challenge herself. She resides in Nashville pursuing not only the creative outlet of music, but poetry as well. She has met many people across the country, and she tries not to miss them all at once. Her favorite word is almonds.

 

DECEMBER 9, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

December’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

December Feature Robert Parker

Robert Parker believes in the Faeries, and that he might in fact be a changeling. He misplaces keys often. He is infested with rhythm that manifests as poetry and the stitching together of electronic music. He’s always been at most a distant cousin of any tribe he visits…always a visitor, never a tribesman.

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Check out Robert’s work on tumblr and Mixcloud, and enjoy this sample of his poetry:

Judge Hennie
offers to pay a penny
pecked from the
flesh of your face
[along with a heaping side
of sharp thoughtful wit
willed to disgrace]
for every pound of
fleshless spectral insult
you failed to deliver
to her door,
yet yours to endure.

She cares less
that she sits
green-stemmed
on her bench
and you
life’s gallows-paths
have trod,
lived,
and obtained
the one-eyed wisdom
hence
to tell
the time
when you know
it won’t go
so well.

So sentence thyself
to forty years of shrugs,
satchel thy back,
jump thy fence…

And get thee hence.

NOVEMBER 11, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

November’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

November Feature Ami Mattison

Ami MattisonHailed as “a spoken word force to be reckoned with” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ami Mattison is the recipient of the 2013 Spoken Word Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Touring professionally since 2002, she has performed her original poetry and stories at universities, theaters, festivals, conferences and art venues around the US and Canada. She is the producer of three spoken word albums, including her latest album, Speaking of Love.

Author Dorothy Allison writes, “Anyone who has had the opportunity to hear…Ami Mattison knows how powerful and effective poetry can be—how words can enlarge the soul and animate the dismissed and the misunderstood. The body of work Ami has brought to life ranges from the desperate to the messianic….Always she speaks for the despised in verse that hallows grief and embodies joy. The world is larger, wider, fuller for the people she brings alive in words.”

Here’s a video of Ami performing “Sistah” at TEDxAntiochSalon:

For more, visit Ami Mattison on Bandcamp.

OCTOBER 14, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

October’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

October Feature Jamal Jazz Ukwu

My Name is Jamal Jazz Ukwu, Tennessee’s very own local Poet and Author. I am 23 years of age and have been writing for several years, authoring two published books: Her Name was Love and Her Lullaby. Her Lullaby is available through Amazon, Kindle, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, etc., and NY Times bestseller Eric Wilson is among its reviewers.

Jamal Jazz Ukwu

My journey in life is to simply overwrite the prevalent presence for destruction in the world that’s trying so hard to coincide with the beauty of the world. With that being my crusade, I focus on channeling my energy through Art! The ability to write and to perform something impactful can and has opened up the mind to the limitless bounds of what humans are capable of. Only by reaching out to more people, the strength to overwrite destruction is no longer a one man job but a team effort…

Visit Jamal Jazz Ukwu’s website, and check out his Tumblr too.

Here’s a video of Jamal performing at Poetry in the Boro:

 

SEPTEMBER 9, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

September’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

September Feature Mo Christo

20930655_10212211644224944_1072654234_oMo Christo is an incredibly talented and humble poet hailing from the land of the yellow bricked path. Author of Froze in Poetic Prose (2016), he co-hosted a poetry/art talk show of the same name. The show ran on public television in Kansas, digging deep into the psyche of local poetic talent in an interview setting.

 

20884906_10212211651545127_13935754_nCurrent host of the Po’ Boys and Poets open mic, Mo Christo encourages freedom of artistic expression and speaking from the heart with a passion at this monthly “no judgement zone” event. Along with hosting other shows around Nashville, such as The Vox in Antioch Slam Poetry, he is regional coordinator for the nonprofit Poetry for Personal Power.

Check out Mo Christo’s video for “Old America” for now, and we’ll see you Sept. 9th:

AUGUST 12, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

August’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

August Feature Caroline Randall Williams

Caroline Randall Williams, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, is a cookbook author, young adult novelist, and poet. She received her MFA from the University of Mississippi, and is currently Writer In Residence at Fisk University. Her debut poetry collection, Lucy Negro, Redux, came out early in 2015. She has been named by Southern Living magazine as one of the “50 People Changing the South.” February of 2015 saw the publication of Soul Food Love, a cookbook written by Randall Williams and her mother, the novelist Alice Randall, that goes beyond basic recipes to cover the past, present, and future of a misunderstood cuisine. Her poetry has appeared in several journals, including The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Palimpsest. Her debut collection, Lucy Negro, Redux, is out now with Ampersand Books, and will be turned into a ballet for Nashville Ballet’s 2018-2019 season.

JULY 8, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

July’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

July Feature Kat Marsh

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Born into an earthly form to help those near and far, Kat uses her works and voice to inspire, humor, provoke, and remind all that we all are deserving of happiness and love. Her expressions range from the coy to the taboo breathing perspectives to things that are sometimes overlooked—even when it hurts. She’s not afraid of a good release. She has been heard around town at Poetry in the Brew, A Night of Free Speech, Writings on the Wall, An Art Affair by Olasubomi, The Literary Jazz Festival, award ceremonies, and more.

She is a hiking nerdlet who is always exploring people and places. If she’s not writing, she’s dancing, watching a film, or enjoying her heart song.

Come check her out. Her voice is soothing, and you might just hear her sing.

Here’s an excerpt from Kat’s poem We’re Romans and Greeks:

You’re kept busy with entertainment, sports
So, with politics, you won’t have retorts
The Romans and Greeks did it right
Kept them busy with the games
Kept them distracted with blades
Kept perplexed with sex so carnal ways not be vexed
While feeding a beast of cruelty and power
And numbing the idea that all men and women alike be towers

JUNE 10, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

June’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at:

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

June Feature Ciona Rouse

Ciona_bw imageCiona Rouse is a poet, living in Nashville, Tenn. She curates many poetry experiences and reading series in the city, including the monthly Lyrical Brew at Barnes & Noble and Writings on the Wall at Atmalogy. Her poetry is featured on WPLN Nashville Public Radio, Nashville Public Television, Matter and Native. Rouse’s poetry chapbook Vantablack will be released this year by Third Man Books.

MAY 13, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

May’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

May Feature Honest Lewis

HonestLewisHonest Lewis is an author, activist, organizer, and polemicist – the Diogenes of the Cumberland River. He is the author of the novel Parasites, has one novel awaiting publication, and is always at work on his next project. Lewis hosts the monthly event the Night of Free Speech and is the editor at DNR Publishing – a small press that specializes in subversive and transgressive literature. For his Poetry in the Brew feature, Lewis has gone through over 2000 pages of his published and unpublished novels, prose, poetry, essays, polemics, and journalistic efforts, compiling a unique performance piece from this surgical curation of his own work. Lewis is fond of dinosaurs, sharks, octopuses, Thomas Hobbes, Shirley Jackson, and anything that quickens the pulse, inflames and incites the mind. Honest Lewis is not honest.

LewisatthebrewHere is a poem by Lewis:

T-Rex Poem 1.

This is a book of dinosaur poems.
Not every one of these poems will be about
The Tyrannosaurus Rex,
and yet there will be a lot of
Tyrannosaurus Rex.
So don’t worry.
You will get your fix of T-Rex.
Also, mentioned will be Velociraptors,
Diplodocus,
Apatosaurus,
Triceratops,
Pterodactyl,
Stegosaurus,
As well as some stuff you haven’t heard of
So I look smart.

This particular poem is a T-Rex poem
In that it references not only T-Rexes
But both the authors and the readers desires
for poetry about the Tyrannosaurus Rex
Also
This T-Rex poem is aware of its own existence
And references itself
As a T-Rex poem –
Which makes it a T-rex meta-poem.
If you read this aloud at a yell
It would be a T-rex meta-slam-poem.
That this T-rex meta-slam-poem exists in
Awareness of its shouted self-referencing is a built in
Ironic device
Where in
It claims its place in
the post-modern tradition.
But this post-modern T-Rex meta-slam poem knows
That by claiming its place in the post-modern tradition
it proves itself to be more post-post-modern or hypermodern
or whatever term they will use to describe this work
and works like it
in some unknown number of years.
When it comes time to categorize it,
Label it,
And stash it somewhere,
Along some time-line
of whatever
And what not.
Hey,
Right now there is an asteroid out there with your
name on it
And if you are lucky enough
To find yourself well-preserved
There is a
A museum as well.

 

APRIL 8, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

April’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

April Feature Ari Eastman

AriEastmanAri Eastman is a spoken word poet, writer, and mental health activist. Her work has been featured in Thought Catalog, The Rising Phoenix Review, and Words Dance Publishing. She currently works full-time as a staff writer for Thought Catalog and has published three poetry collections. She resides in California and enjoys crying to old Buffy The Vampire Slayer episodes.

Sample a poem from Ari in this Spoken Word Saturday video:

MARCH 11, 2017 WINDOWS REVIVAL III

Special Event:

WINDOWS REVIVAL III
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

poetryinapubFrom 1983 – 1993, on the 1st Thursday of each month, Charlie Fenton’s eclectic “Windows on the Cumberland” nightspot in the galleria on 2nd Avenue welcomed Nashville area poets to an open mic “Poetry in a Pub” experience. Started by Ruth Hairston and Larry Pacheco, the “Windows Scene” grew stronger and larger by the year, and influenced many area poets. In 1986, D. Phillip Caron and C Ra McGuirt were drafted as co-hosts of the monthly Windows show. They served honorably for 7 years, until gentrification closed the doors of the Windows to poetry in 1993. Now, 24 years later, Ra hosts the 3rd annual Windows Revival, a celebration of Nashville poetry’s “Golden Decade” at Windows. We’ll be expecting many of the finest veteran voices of the Windows Era, and with no featured poet for this event, there will be plenty of time for everyone to read, just like the good old days. Come lend your best lines to this historical literary event!

FEBRUARY 11, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

February’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

February Feature Henry L. Jones

henryljonesHenry L. Jones is an award-winning writer and artist who focuses on cultural connections and social issues in both his art and writing. He’s inspired by his heritage and history to show how they relate to contemporary time. This resulted in his activism in the arts and society. Jones is from a long lineage of family members who were activists especially during the Civil Rights Movement. He believes, “I can’t remain silent about what I see. I must do something to promote social change.” He published Run into Blackness: Feeling My Poetic Gumbo (Pneuma Publishing), which was his first book of poetry. It included topics such as racial identity, love, spirituality, community affairs and history.

He has received several awards, honors, and recognitions for his literary and art work. In 2016, he was the recipient of the GANSPA Award for his art. Another honor was his inclusion in The African Male Museum Series, a photography and poetry project with photographer Carlton Wilkinson. The series won the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship (visual art). His poetry has been published in anthologies, journals, newspapers and magazines such as Chicago Quarterly Review, The Black Digest, Fisk Herald Journal, Vanderbilt Review, Chicago Writers Journal, Healing Poems Journal, Center Stage Magazine, Urban Flavor, Blacks in Asia Magazine, Style Magazine, and others. Poetry Train America, a book and film about poets around America, featured him in its literary documentary.  The House of Blues Music Company & Platinum Entertainment commissioned Jones to write about the church burnings in the South during the 1990s. His essay and poem “Our Houses are Burning” was published in the book for Houses of God, a gospel CD release. This music project was produced to raise money to rebuild the Southern churches burned by domestic terrorists. Nearly half million dollars was raised.

As a featured poet, he’s recited at events such as Southern Festival of Books (Chapter 16), Celebration of Cultures (The Mud Man Series), Scarritt-Bennett Center (Poet’s Corner), Global Education Center (Line Breaks Literary Reading Series), Parthenon Museum (Dance rendition of Jones’ poem, “Abstractions Heal” by Rossi Turner and his dance troupe), EarthMatters (Book and Arts Fair), and others.  This poet conducts workshops about creative writing as well as hosts open-mic events. His last venue was Kijiji Coffee House in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s worked as an editor for several magazines and journals. A Fisk University alumnus, Jones lives in middle Tennessee with his wife and three children. Currently, he has several literary projects and art exhibits coming up.

Here’s a preview of Henry’s poetry:

Abstractions Heal

Fear trapped the darkness
in my skin.

Some of my expression
must live as whispers
and then some
must die as screams.

These symbols
to explain my dark definition
Are but shadows
Cast from my dreams.

Words that mourn lost inspiration
seeking love and understanding
for these eyes
A history of lynched baptisms
and a whispering golden sphinx
without lies.

What beast is my form
made by black magic
A snake that dances to the sun?

As rhythm and light
bend for creation
the shedding
of my fear has begun.
The joy and relief
of a fearless darkness
Our beauty
not mocked or shamed.

A healing by voiceless abstractions
Through these eyes
that once only blamed.

Also check out Henry on YouTube:

JANUARY 14, 2017 POETRY IN THE BREW

January’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

January Feature Emily Joy

emily-joy_jenny1Emily Joy is a spoken word poet, educator and professional interrupter. She has released two studio albums of spoken word poetry, funded a successful Kickstarter to the tune of $10,000, competed in the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam, and travels the country performing at schools, churches, festivals, coffee shops, and wherever poetry is heard and enjoyed. Emily is also co-founder of The Flawless Project, a blog that seeks to give women space to tell their stories and encouragement for the work of justice in the world, and Communications Coordinator for Open Table Nashville, a local homeless outreach and policy advocacy organization that housed over 100 homeless friends in Nashville in 2016. Emily holds a degree in theology and lives in East Nashville with her spouse and their two cats, Lewis and Lucy.

Check out Emily Joy’s performance video for “How to Love the Sinner & Hate the Sin: 5 Easy Steps” here:

Emily Joy is now booking for 2017. Visit emilyjoypoetry.com or email booking@emilyjoypoetry.com to learn more.

DECEMBER 10, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

December’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

As cold weather comes and we draw close to another night of sharing the spoken word, we recognize those homeless in our community who need help in the form of action. For this year’s Holidays for the Homeless drive, we’re accepting donations of new socks in partnership with Home Street Home Ministries. See you Dec. 10, socks on feet and, if you can, also in hand.

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

December Feature Joshua Moore

joshuamooreJoshua Moore is a 2014 graduate of Eureka College where he studied English Creative Writing and Biology Pre-Medicine, and was a recipient of the Ronald W. Reagan Fellowship. After a brief stint as an oncological researcher at Tuskegee University, Joshua decided to place his med-school aspirations on hold in order to first purse his love of poetry and attain an MFA. A member of the Porch Writers Collective, Joshua is the facilitator of The Porch’s poetry book club as well as director of the poetry on demand project. He currently spends his days caught in the mill of work, writing, and grad-school application prep, daydreaming of his future self; a world traveling poet/professional who also happens to be Black Batman.

NOVEMBER 12, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

November Feature Dana Malone

 

danaDana Malone has been a regular reader/feature at such Nashville venues as Southern Festival of Books, Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project, Actor’s Bridge/True Stories NSFW, Lyrical Brew, Global Education Center, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Summer Lights Festival (now Live on the Green), the Owl’s Nest, Mr. Gatti’s, Speer Presents, and the PENCIL Foundation awards ceremony. She currently co-hosts the monthly Writings on the Wall series at Atmalogy and is a participating poet in the Metro Arts Thrive-funded Neighborhoods Project/Poetry on Demand. Dana is a former professor at Tennessee State University and Watkins College of Art, Design & Film and has taught creative writing and composition to students of all ages. She has presented numerous papers on confessional poet Anne Sexton at national and international conferences, where she also was selected to read poetry and fiction. Dana has worked with Gwendolyn Brooks, Al Young, and Lisel Mueller and has participated in the Appalachian Writers workshop.

In 1995, Dana self-published a chapbook, “Summer Lights”, which won the children’s literature award from the Tennessee Mountain Writers. Subsequently, Post Oak Publications published her full-length book of poetry, Front Porch Embraces, in 1998. Her poems appear in several anthologies, and segments of her novel, The Ghost Hour, were published in Nashville Digital Magazine.

From 2007-2009, Dana produced a CD/podcast series, Poems of Passion and Protest (Watkins College and Tennessee State University) and the show “HerStory” at Tennessee State. She is among the poets of the Line Breaks Collective on the forthcoming CD Domestic Disguises.

A former advertising copy writer, public relations director, speech writer and magazine editor, Dana currently is a freelance writer and consultant, and a regular contributing writer for Sports & Entertainment Nashville, where she covers the arts, music and sports. Her current creative project, “I belong to the Band,” incorporates musical influences as context—in particular, the music of the Band (Bob Dylan’s backing band that emerged from a year of collective writing sessions in Woodstock).

Here is a preview of Dana’s writing:

The fine print
“Everything I do gonna be funky from now on.”—Allen Touissant

Moses left something off the tablet:
Before the ten commandments:

“This little light of mine’s gonna shine.”

We bury burning bushes:

Uganda
looks like an underbelly
not the Garden a

paper bag against a cheek
looks like a girl at Fisk
isn’t light-skinned enough
to get a sorority bid
instead of cast-ironed
enough to dismiss the bruises

Dixie Crystals
look like something front-men
lick off the bodies of back-up singers
instead of what flies off the shelves
when children bake Thanksgiving pies
for the women who taught them to conjure recipes

Hannah’s prayer
looks like a dress rehearsal for David
instead of the first psalm
sung with the believability of a bleeding throat,

Mary Magdalene
looks like a backstage whore
instead of the first evangelist.

None of this would’ve happened, if not
for the voice of Miriam, Moses’s sister, singing,

“Under a bushel, no.
Under a bushel, no.”

November Guest Host Brian Daly

brian-brew-picBrew regular Brian Daly will be unveiling free copies of his new chapbook, “The Brew Poems,” at the November reading. This chap collects poems he’s written and debuted at the Brew over the past couple of years. (“Women of Publix,” “The Afghanistan of You,” “Out of Spoons,” etc.) Attendees are invited to grab a chap and read it at home. Then, if it doesn’t su….I mean, if you think it has merit, come back in the next month or two and give Brew organizer Christine Hall a couple of bucks to help with the expenses of running the show. In other words, it’s a benefit chapbook, OK? Thank you.

Excerpt from “Women of Publix”:

I meet them every Wednesday afternoon
in Publix on Senior Discount Day,
these old ladies, some with husbands—
guys so decrepit, hunched over, and uncool
with their blue-and-white legs
dangling below shorts that I wonder
how any woman, even these beat-up broads,
can still love them, while I, in the flush
of youth, go straight through Hell
to trick any fool girl into keeping my sorry ass
from one spring to the next.

OCTOBER 8, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

October brings a feature set from Map… Guest host is Chance Chambers. Both are well respected and widely appreciated local poets who worked together to help create Poetry in the Brew for us.

October Feature Map…

img_4077“Map…” Michael Alan Pierce is free. The founder of Poetry in the Brew, Map… is a poet, author, and beloved figure in the community. His feature performance comes a few months after Map… celebrated five years with Poetry in the Brew, which is the longest-running spoken word open mic currently held in Nashville. Map…’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including his noted books Praying Poems and Surrender. A teacher and mentor to all who ask it of him, Map… learned the value of both language and community while in prison. He recently completed an 11-year stretch on parole. Map… is free.

Here is a preview of Map…’s poetry:

The Window

As time progressed,
I was accepting the fact,
I was a prisoner.

I was even accepting the fact
I wasn’t receiving letters
and that others
refused to accept my calls.
I realized in order for me to make it,
I had to let them go.

What I found hard to accept
was the window in my cell,
for it clearly showed
my trailer
and my car –
all that I lost.

My car looked all ready to roll,
just needed me to drive.
The crazy times I had in that car
flashed
before my eyes

I looked at that trailer
and realized
that was mine,
all mine.
I bought and paid
every penny for it.
Now it’s a lost item
I once had.

You can’t take it with you
when you pass,
but it sure would have been nice to have it
as you live.
Like a thief in the night
cocaine robbed my possessions
that I had.
Left me a prisoner
on the other side
of this window.

I felt fortunate
to be breathing.
Others died
in their addictions.
Price I paid
for being sick
I was not alone
even though
life outside that window
let me go.

October Guest Host Chance Chambers

14438812_10209090134184165_826710132_oChance Chambers is a Nashville, Tennessee poetry and fiction writer whose work has appeared in the anthologies MuscadineLines: A Southern Anthology and Gathering: Writers of Williamson County. He has also been a quarter-finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope: All-Story & New Century Writers Short Story Competition and a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Poetry Open. In 2015, Metro Arts of Nashville commissioned Chance, along with six other writers/artists, to create a piece inspired by a local public artwork as part of a grant funded by the Bonnaroo Works Fund and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. That poem, “White Noise, Black Sky,” can be heard—along with the pieces by the other commissioned artists—at Metro Arts’ Explore Nashville Art website. Originally from Paris, Tennessee, Chance has lived in Nashville since 1985. His online home is Drunken Poem Bodega at chancechambers.com.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

For September’s show, our feature poet is local legend James C. Floyd Jr. aka “The Jefferson Street Poet.” As usual, we look forward to seeing and hearing you there!

September Feature James C. Floyd Jr. aka “The Jefferson St. Poet”

The cocky young man
has gone his way
in search of the child
who as an infant
was lullabied to Lethe
by the womankind fragrance
of his mother’s safe breast
and dreamed a poet
turned 70.

-James C. Floyd

Also check out The Jefferson Street Poet on YouTube.

AUGUST 13, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

August Feature Legoule Liander

Legoule Liander is a writer, musician, wood sculptor, and wand maker. You can find her wowing audiences with poetic performance about town while offering staunch yet sweet support of the arts community.

Here’s a preview of Leg’s poetry to enjoy ahead of her live appearance:

Vontrapp

Some kids are planned.
Some kids arrive without an actual plan where,
the coupled only have a general sense of expectation rather than any planned path. “we will have kids at this time over here
or we will have kids sometime.”
Either one lends the idea of balance,
and they both get what ends up being average.
What most people are. Not out of the ordinary.
There are some instances where a couple will facilitate an accident,
or “oops baby”.
This pretty much ends in one or more of the following 5 ways.
Single parenthood, Marriage, late in life parents, adoption, or termination.
I was not any of these.
I was a trap

JULY 9, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW: 5th Anniversary

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

In July, Poetry in the Brew celebrates our 5th anniversary. This is the largest and longest-running spoken word open mic currently held in Nashville. Our city and poetry community grew fast, but the loft gives new and old friends a space to meet while expanding our minds. For the July event, we welcome two poets who got this movement started and keep it going now. Both use their torches to light the way for those who listen. The featured poet is KHAOS, and by request, catch a rare appearance from our founder Map… as host for the evening.

Remembering those homeless in our community as temperatures soar, we’re doing a bottled water drive to benefit Billy’s Song and Nashville, Help Tent City.  Grab some water to donate and join us.

July Feature KHAOS

13413752_1038897066204949_4995743495073349846_nIn the poet KHAOS we are met head on with a cross between an old school griot and modern day storytelling
Thus he dubs himself an oral historian
Although his roots are of Mississippi
He has spent much time around Fisk and Tennessee State University campuses
He has been involved most of his life in community activism and nonprofits that were geared toward education, youth development
And activities that served as deterrents to gang violence, high school dropouts, teen parenthood & incarceration
He is a Viet Nam veteran
Who started writing as a means of venting over the ghost haunting him from that experience
Today that venture has produced a well seasoned spoken word practitioner
Hereby known as
K. H. A. O. S.
His life goal is to promote love and understanding among his fellow man while working to enlighten they who will learn
KHAOS is fond of the sayings
Nothing is too good for m—–y friends
I love you like that
and
I can see the God in you
Please welcome and accept the humble offerings of the poet known as
K. H. A. O. S.

July Host Map…

FullSizeRenderFive years ago, Michael A. Pierce, known as Map…, founded Poetry in the Brew after returning to Nashville to find the venues lacking. At a 2011 memorial tribute to Beatlick Joe Speer, veteran poets agreed to search for a new place. Map… secured Portland Brew East on the 2nd Saturday of the month, the same night as the former Bean Central event. He enlisted the help of fellow poets to build a home for spoken word in Nashville.

Raised in Anderson, IN, Map… first moved to TN during high school, the summer following a news writing class where he got by covering sports. In northern TN, Map… spent his junior year playing basketball and met his high school girlfriend who became his first wife. He went back and forth from IN to TN once more, then settled in TN for a better job, but all he wanted to do was party. Map… and his first wife were partners in life and drugs. They had three sons starting in 1979, and an explosive dynamic fed by hardship.

He and his wife separated and he landed in jail. Map… turned to writing, first his feelings in an attempt to win her back, then stories in a jailhouse Christian magazine, Beside Still Waters. For his second wife, he wrote a lyric which surprised everyone. Map… shared that lyric with his third wife, and she told him he could do anything. All he wanted to do was write her a poem. This was his baptism in poetry.

When she left, he poured himself into the writing. A year later, Map… found refuge by accepting an invite to a poetry reading. Despite a shaky start on the mic, he got a warm reception and went back. He wrote and published titles including Jailhouse Poet, Soul Searching for a Poetic License, and 4ward Progress. He also went in and out of alcohol and drug treatment programs and trouble with the law before going to prison. The poets didn’t know where he went and Map… served about 4 years on a 16 year sentence, out on parole.

While in prison, he taught a workshop where the inmates blew him away with what they wrote. During 2004, Map… himself wrote 1700 poems. From a halfway house in Knoxville to a fresh take on Nashville beginning in 2006, Map… walked the path of recovery. He relied on friends, notably among them Laurel McManus, and poetry readings such as the one at Kijiji, until it closed. Once Poetry in the Brew was established, Map… released two more poetry collections, Praying Poems and Surrender. These 11 years of parole brought many emotions. As this period draws to a close, Map… strives to find the right and meaningful feeling in his writing.

Poetry and Performance Workshop

pitbflierJoin us for a poetry writing workshop including performances from local spoken word artists, authors, and members of our community. Bring a poem from home, pull a book off the shelf and take a turn reading aloud, or share what you write in the session. Come experience poetry’s power to transform everyday life into art. Learn about varied sources of inspiration and writers’ processes. Participation is encouraged but not required.

WHEN: Saturday, June 25, 2016, 2-4pm

WHERE: Madison Branch Library, 610 Gallatin Pike S, Madison, TN 37115

This event is presented in partnership with the Nashville Public Library Madison branch and Poetry in the Brew, the longest-running spoken word open mic currently held in Nashville.

JUNE 11, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

June’s feature is Bradley K Meyer, an out-of-town poet with thoughtful and entrancing style. Guest host is a surprise this month.

June Feature Bradley K Meyer

bkmpress2Bradley K Meyer writes from Dayton, Ohio. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in decomP, DASH, Toad, Superstition Review, Rust+Moth & elsewhere. He is the author of a chapbook, Hotel Room (Vostok East Press, 2013). He edits Pouch Magazine which lives at www.pouchmag.com.

Visit www.bradleykmeyer.com for more.

MAY 14, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

In May, we feature poet Drake Moreno. Our guest host is JR Robles.

May Feature Drake Moreno

DrmProfile2Drake Moreno is a native of Los Angeles, and a grateful graduate of El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, California. He attended Pomona College and graduated from the University of New Mexico, eventually obtaining an M.A. in Elementary Education, with emphases in Early Childhood Education, Bilingual Education and Technology. He taught students from pre-K to post-graduate, with a six-year sojourn as an organizer for the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.

Moreno’s new passion is prose and performance poetry. He pursues his long-term interests in music, books and film, martial arts, scuba, yoga, RV camping and travel, spirituality and recovery. Now retired, Moreno and his wife, Heather, moved to Tennessee in 2013 to be near their daughter, Nashville musician Alissa Moreno, and her new family.

May Guest Host JR Robles

SONY DSC

JR Robles writes poems and plays about food, love, dogs, and other mysteries. His poetry has variously appeared in Calliope, 2nd and Church, Collage, and other places along the way. He lives in McKenzie, TN, and teaches writing and literature at Bethel University.

APRIL 9, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

April’s feature poet is Jon Taylor, who is ceaseless in pleasing audiences with his incisive wit and linguistics. Christine Hall guest hosts.

April Feature Jon Taylor

jontaylorJon Taylor started out long ago by writing song lyrics, and his poems today demonstrate his roots as a lyricist. All his poems are in four movements like a standard song lyric, and many of them employ “hook lines,” as they are called on Music Row, in the same repetition patterns used since the Tin Pan Alley era. Jon is proud to be the featured reader at Poetry in the Brew for the poetry month of April.

April Guest Host Christine Hall

2

Photo by: Rebecca Adler Photography Location: Carousel Ink

Christine Hall lives for the art. Her chosen forms include writing, performing, gardening, subtle rearranging of everyday objects in public spaces, parenting, editing, lucid dreaming, and helping organize events such as Poetry in the Brew.

On May 28th, Christine returns to Exit/In’s stage for The Cabaret Noir Collective presents: The Time Traveler’s Ball with special guest Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands. Like their page to keep up with the anachronistic antics leading up to the show.

 

MARCH 12, 2016 WINDOWS AT THE BREW: SECOND ANNUAL REVIVAL

Special Event

WINDOWS AT THE BREW: SECOND ANNUAL REVIVAL
Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

poetryinapubFrom 1983 – 1993, on the first Thursday of each month, Charlie Fenton’s eclectic “Windows on the Cumberland” nightspot in the galleria on 2nd Avenue welcomed Nashville area poets to an open mic “Poetry in a Pub” experience. Started by Ruth Hairston and Larry Pacheco, the “Windows Scene” grew stronger and larger by the year, and influenced many area poets. In 1986, D. Phillip Caron and C Ra McGuirt were drafted as co-hosts of the monthly Windows show. They served honorably for 7 years, until gentrification closed the doors of the Windows to poetry in 1993. Now, 23 years later, Caron and Ra will once again reunite to co-host the second annual WINDOWS AT THE BREW, a celebration of Nashville poetry’s “Golden Decade” at Windows. We’ll be expecting many of the finest veteran voices of the Windows Era, and with no featured poet for this event, there will be plenty of time for everyone to read, just like the good old days. Come lend your best lines to this historical literary event!

windowsatthebrew

C Ra McGuirt and D. Phillip Caron, former co-hosts of Poetry in the Pub, reunite to co-host this month’s Windows at the Brew: Second Annual Revival open mic at Portland Brew East on Sat. Mar. 12th.

FEBRUARY 13, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

In February the feature poet is Chance Chambers, who is steadfast in both voice and support within the Nashville arts community. Guest host is our friend, gifted writer and speaker Tricia Schwaab. We’ll see you up in the loft.

February Feature Chance Chambers

chancechambersChance Chambers was a top 100 winner in the Mainstream/Literary Short Story category of Writer’s Digest’s 73rd Annual Writing Competition for his story “Miss October,” which later appeared, along with his poem “Bleachers,” in Muscadine Lines: A Southern Anthology. His short stories have also appeared in the anthologies Gathering: Writers of Williamson County and Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction. Chance has been a quarter-finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope: All-Story & New Century Writers Short Story Competition, a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Poetry Open, and a three-time nominee for the Sensored Starving Artist awards in fiction and poetry. In 2015, Chance was one of seven writers/artists to be commissioned by Metro Arts of Nashville to create a piece inspired by a local public artwork as part of a grant funded by the Bonnaroo Works Fund and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. That poem, “White Noise, Black Sky,” can be heard—along with the pieces by the other commissioned artists—at Metro Arts’ Explore Nashville Art website.

Originally from Paris, Tennessee, Chance has lived in Nashville since 1985. His online home is Drunken Poem Bodega. For more information: chance451@gmail.com

February Guest Host Tricia Schwaab

triciaschwaabTricia Schwaab has written since childhood but had never read at a poetry open mic until coming to Tennessee. She has had short plays produced in Nashville and Maryland, and her first full-length play, When the Letter Writers Have All Died, was produced in Baltimore. Her poetry has been published in journals including Calliope and Dead Snakes. She is currently working on a new full-length play about the journey to healing and finding one’s self.

JANUARY 9, 2016 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

Our first feature of 2016 is Tiana Clark, with guest host Ciona Rouse.

January Feature Tiana Clark

Tiana Clark

Tiana Clark is a Pushcart Prize nominee and recent recipient of the 2015 Rattle Poetry Prize. She is living, performing, and teaching poetry in Nashville, Tennessee. Tiana graduated from Tennessee State University where she studied Africana and Women’s studies. She is a first-year MFA student in poetry at Vanderbilt University where she is the Writer In Residence for the East and Memorial houses, and a Poetry Reader for the Nashville Review, an online literary arts journal. Tiana serves on the board for a local non-profit literary center, The Porch Writer’s Collective. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Raven Chronicles, Word Riot, Nashville Arts Magazine, Native Magazine, Rattle, Crab Orchard Review, Best New Poets 2015, The Adroit Journal, Muzzle Magazine, Southern Indiana Review and elsewhere. For more information: www.tianaclark.com.

January Guest Host Ciona Rouse

Ciona Rouse

“do the crazy thing . . . and let them gasp right before they call it a thing of wonder.”

Ciona is a dreamer, poet, and motherfucking sorcerer. She is the author of Like Breath & Water: Praying With Africa, a book chronicling stories she encountered while traveling the continent. She believes in poetry being shared aloud and language arts being revered in Nashville and, in order to help that happen, curates several Nashville poetry experiences, including the monthly Lyrical Brew at Barnes & Noble and Writings on the Wall at Atmalogy.

Visit www.thecrazything.com for more from Ciona.

DECEMBER 12, 2015 POETRY IN THE BREW

Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

Located at

Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00

For December’s show, our feature poet is Georgia Caldwell with guest host Chris Whitelaw.

December Feature Georgia Caldwell

GeorgiaCaldwellMy name is Georgia Caldwell and I was born and raised Yankee with a love for the South. I am a lot of things! But mostly a human being with life experiences that have changed me. A being that is in search of truth, purpose, love, and some peace. Someone that doesn’t mind sharing this life I’ve been given especially if it brings any good to the reader or hearer. It seems for everything I really like to do at times I like to really do the opposite too! I was very inquisitive as a child and still am. I have always been creative and loved the arts, anything with feeling and passion. I come from a family of addiction, abuse, and other dysfunctions and my writings reflect a lot of the pain, loss, confusion, healing, and hope I have experienced and still do. I started writing in February of 2014 after being encouraged by a soul that seemed to see mine so clearly or at least clearer than I did. I had no idea what would happen with these poems but it didn’t matter. The release was spiritually powerful. Some days 4 or 5 would come out of me and it was a purging—it’s the only word that fits the experience. A year was coming and I had over 100 poems. I had read at a few open mic events. My first was Writings on the Wall at Atmalogy, next Night of Free Speech, and then Poetry in the Brew. Everywhere I read I was supported and embraced. My friends and family as well supported and encouraged me. As soon as Calliope Magazine began I had my first published poem there. I was so honored. Since that I have had one more poem published with Calliope and on March 31st, 2015, self-published my first book called Purgings. Purgings Part Two was published October of 2015. I earnestly pray that the Creator will allow these words and purgings to continue. They have blessed me and healed me in a way no other experience has. So this book Purgings is for the children with no voice, the teen that is labeled and misunderstood, and the adult hiding their pain behind some dysfunction.

December Guest Host Chris Whitelaw

ChrisWhitelaw_hostChris Whitelaw lives and works in Davidson County, usually performing spoken word pieces throughout the Nashville circuit. Chris has been writing and performing since the age of 12, having his work published in various college newspapers as well as local literary magazines. Aside from his love for literature, poetry and the English language in general, Chris is passionate about finding new ways to become more spiritual each day, a lifestyle that has helped him maintain his sobriety since August of 2015. Much of Chris’ recent work reflects his constant desire for personal growth. A former resident of Phoenix, Arizona, Chris does what he can to support and encourage fellow writers to keep the art of poetry and creative writing alive and well in the Athens of the South.

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