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
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
In 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
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…
Five 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.