Nashville’s Second Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading
Portland Brew East
1921 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206
Sign-up at 5:30
Reading starts at 6:00
November Feature Dana Malone
Dana 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:
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
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
looks like a dress rehearsal for David
instead of the first psalm
sung with the believability of a bleeding throat,
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
Brew 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.