JULY 11, 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

This month marks the 4th Anniversary of Poetry in the Brew. Feature poet Michelle Awad joins guest host Joseph Powell up in the loft for another night of poetic transport. To celebrate our four years coming together as a community, we’d like to reach out to another community that could use some help. In order to meet the material needs of those who are homeless in this city, we’re collecting items and donations in support of “Nashville, Help Tent City.” Wish list and more info here: www.facebook.com/groups/NashvilleHelpTentCity/.

July Feature Michelle Awad

Michelle AwadI was born in Johnson City, TN, but did most of my growing up in Columbia, TN. I have nothing but Tennessee blood.

I wasn’t supposed to be a redhead, but I was. My mother would attest to that. They say being raised by a single parent affects you in ways that children of two-parent families couldn’t dream of. I’d say that’s probably true, but I was never lacking in love. The truth is, I don’t remember a whole lot of my childhood, but I remember that it was good. I spent most of my time wishing I was older, and now I spend most of my time wishing I could take that back.

In high school, I was lucky enough to have a few influential teachers who took an interest in whatever budding talent I may have had and decided to run with it. I started writing poetry as an outlet for all of the things I thought and felt that I wasn’t able to talk about otherwise. It was a way for me to express things that were meaningful to me without being a total downer at parties or ruining casual conversations at the lunch table. It was and remains to be a place where I can be serious, since I spend most of my life laughing and making light of things for the sake of my sanity, an attribute that runs in my family.

In May 2014, I graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in English Writing and a minor in sociology. There, I was fortunate to meet many professors who encouraged me, appreciated my writing, and helped me to develop it and find my voice. I was nominated by the English Department staff on multiple occasions as a candidate for the Authors and Artists Scholarship, and I was honored to win it each time that I entered. In 2014, I received the Thelma Styles Igou Poetry Award Scholarship for “excellence in poetry,” as decided by various English faculty members for my poem “A Bushel and a Peck,” which is probably my personal favorite of all of my poems to date. I was also lucky enough to have two different original poems published in UT Chattanooga’s yearly literary journal, the Sequoya Review.

Currently, I reside in Chattanooga where I work as the Administrative Services Manager for a company that provides background checking services to other companies. One day, I hope to break into the publishing industry. My ultimate goal is to find a position in editorial publishing where I can contribute to the world of literature in some meaningful way. I am also (slowly) working on an original novel that I may finish some time before death takes me.

The biggest influences on my writing include the people I have been in my past lives, the death of my grandfather, how the seasons change, the resilience of every woman that I know, and all the dogs that I have kissed, both human and canine.

July Guest Host Joseph Powell

Joseph Powell

Joseph Powell is a poet and writer, and the author of three collections of poetry: Joby, Uninterrupted: Bittersweet Symphonies and Bohemian Rhapsodies(1989-2009), Poetry Man, and The Writing’s on the Wall. He is also the creator and author of the blog, “The Joby Chronicle.” Originally from Chicago, Illinois, he relocated last year to Nashville, Tennessee, from Burbank, California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Greenville College in Illinois. He has performed at a number of venues around the country including the Austin International Poetry Festival and most recently, the Tucson Festival of Books. His work has been featured in a variety of print and online journals, including the Nashville-based Calliope magazine. He cites James Baldwin and Maya Angelou as his primary influences and credits his girlfriend, Cindi, and stepdaughter, Santi, as his motivating forces.

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