Author Archives: Poetry in the Brew

THE LAST BREW

It’s the last Brew this Saturday, and you know what to do. Join us, hopefully with a poem on your lips!

This is not a drill. This is the last drop, and it’s been good. Poetry in the Brew has always been what you make it, and it has been life affirming from the get go. The promise lingers, the poetry ever flows, and we sound a note of everlasting appreciation for our founders. Come December, we’ll be back in the loft for a new reading series, the Writer’s Wart open mic hosted by Silence Wordsmith. One last time on November 12, we gather for Poetry in the Brew. It’s the day after Veterans Day, and we have a seasoned voice to guide us through the night: JW Heacock.

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. Nov. 12th (the final Brew!)
Feature poet JW Heacock
Open mic signup 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

Tips are always appreciated, so please remember cash for Patrick and the Portland Brew East crew who stay open late for us.

Growing up, JW never had any interest in becoming a writer. Back in the 80s, a writer’s job was to document the triumph and tragedies of a life chasing booze, adventure, and women (all writers then were assumed to be cis dudes), and the role models were guys like Vonnegut and Hemingway. JW, however, had no interest in being captured by the Nazis and even less in shooting some poor elephant or lion to prove his masculinity, so he took a hard pass on the writer’s lifestyle. His experiences were just too bland and boring to record in print.

But as the years passed, JW’s travels took to exotic locales like the malls of Boca Raton and suburbs of Connecticut, from southern dive bars to Bible Belt strip joints, from the excuse-littered moral battlefield of law school to the literal battlefields of Iraq. JW finally decided that he’d seen and suffered enough to pour out his life’s wisdom onto the printed page.

But alas, his life still wasn’t interesting enough to become literature.

Until one day, he had a revelation: he would lie. Instead of being tethered to the mundane truth, he’d recount what he wished he’d done. So he started writing poems that bemoaned loves long lost, both earned and spurned, and spinning tales that transformed his real-life adventures into sagas. He took the reality and gave it a makeover. Fake it until you make it, then fake it some more.

Since then, JW has retired from the military, earned a masters degree in English on the government’s dime, and has continued to put the “artifice” into art.” He was a National Parks Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Gettysburg National Military Park where he began a hybrid work addressing the legacy and mythology of the Civil War. His poems and stories have appeared in Beyond Words, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Fredericksburg Literary and Arts Review, Kestrel, The Esthetic Apostle, SHIFT, and The Write Launch. JW’s short story “December Sand” was a finalist for the Iowa Review’s Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award.

To hone his verbal lying skills as well as his written ones, he has presented several memoir pieces as part of the Tenx9 Storytelling series and been the featured writer at Nashville’s Lyrical Brew and East Side Storytelling series and its accompanying podcast.

JW looks forward to lying to you on November 12, 2022, the day after Veterans Day. He may or may not recite some poems or stories about his wartime experiences—but if he does, some will be true, others false, and the point is never knowing which is which.

JW Heacock performs “I Do Not Like Nature Poems” at Americano Lounge, September 21, 2022

You can find JW Heacock on Facebook.


Thursday, November 17th, Brew host Christine Hall bids farewell to poetry for the time being with a one-hour feature set for Poet’s Corner at Scarritt Bennett Center.

Reading starts 7pm in the Bennett Hall Social Room, 1027 18th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212. Free parking in Lot A and B off 18th. The event will be livestreamed and archived on Scarritt Bennett’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

JW HEACOCK FEATURES AT THE BREW

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. Nov. 12th (the final Brew!)
Feature poet JW Heacock
Open mic signup 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

Tips are always appreciated, so please remember cash for Patrick and the Portland Brew East crew who stay open late for us.

November Feature JW Heacock

Growing up, JW never had any interest in becoming a writer. Back in the 80s, a writer’s job was to document the triumph and tragedies of a life chasing booze, adventure, and women (all writers then were assumed to be cis dudes), and the role models were guys like Vonnegut and Hemingway. JW, however, had no interest in being captured by the Nazis and even less in shooting some poor elephant or lion to prove his masculinity, so he took a hard pass on the writer’s lifestyle. His experiences were just too bland and boring to record in print.

But as the years passed, JW’s travels took to exotic locales like the malls of Boca Raton and suburbs of Connecticut, from southern dive bars to Bible Belt strip joints, from the excuse-littered moral battlefield of law school to the literal battlefields of Iraq. JW finally decided that he’d seen and suffered enough to pour out his life’s wisdom onto the printed page.

But alas, his life still wasn’t interesting enough to become literature.

Until one day, he had a revelation: he would lie. Instead of being tethered to the mundane truth, he’d recount what he wished he’d done. So he started writing poems that bemoaned loves long lost, both earned and spurned, and spinning tales that transformed his real-life adventures into sagas. He took the reality and gave it a makeover. Fake it until you make it, then fake it some more.

Since then, JW has retired from the military, earned a masters degree in English on the government’s dime, and has continued to put the “artifice” into art.” He was a National Parks Foundation Artist-in-Residence at Gettysburg National Military Park where he began a hybrid work addressing the legacy and mythology of the Civil War. His poems and stories have appeared in Beyond Words, Cathexis Northwest Press, The Fredericksburg Literary and Arts Review, Kestrel, The Esthetic Apostle, SHIFT, and The Write Launch. JW’s short story “December Sand” was a finalist for the Iowa Review’s Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award.

To hone his verbal lying skills as well as his written ones, he has presented several memoir pieces as part of the Tenx9 Storytelling series and been the featured writer at Nashville’s Lyrical Brew and East Side Storytelling series and its accompanying podcast.

JW looks forward to lying to you on November 12, 2022, the day after Veterans Day. He may or may not recite some poems or stories about his wartime experiences—but if he does, some will be true, others false, and the point is never knowing which is which.

You can find JW Heacock on Facebook.


This Sunday, October 16th, visit the 3rd annual National Black Poetry Day Fest sponsored by Po’boys & Poets, EBCM, and the Free Nashville Poetry Library. Festivities start 3pm at 507 Hagan St.


ATTN: This is *the last Brew* before Christine retires as open mic host/organizer! Starting in December, Silence Wordsmith will be hosting an open mic called Writer’s Wart in the same timespace (Portland Brew East, 5pm on the 2nd Saturday). Join her Facebook group for more! We’re thrilled to welcome JW Heacock as our feature for the final edition of Poetry in the Brew. Here are some other local readings to visit:

  • 1st Friday, 8pm: MOOD showcase/open mic hosted by MAMA, 2524 Heiman Street, Nashville, TN 37208. Email g.mamaspeaks@gmail.com to sign up
  • 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 6pm: Spoke N-Words of Po’boys & Poets hosts Poetry at the Branch open mic at Copper Branch restaurant, 601 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219 (attached to the downtown Nashville library, can park in the library garage and get it validated)
  • Every Saturday, 6pm: Matt Awesome hosts the spoken word open mic at Twin Kegs 2, 327 Hermitage Ave, Nashville, TN 37210
  • 3rd Wednesday, 7pm: Wesley Tresch and Caroline Morris (Care the Poet) host Uncorked poetry open mic night at Americano Lounge, 434 Houston St Suite 120, Nashville, TN 37203
  • 4th Thursday, 7pm: Poet’s Corner feature at Scarritt Bennett Center, 1027 18th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212 (Christine Hall’s feature is November 17, which breaks the 4th Thursday rule on account of Thanksgiving)

Online:

  • 2nd Tuesday, 7pm: Black Dog Poetry Open Mic on zoom is organized by Sandy Spencer Coomer and Nancy Coats Posey. Email sandy.coomer@gmail.com to sign up
  • 4th Saturday, 3pm: Gestalt Poetry Open Mic hosted by Amy Hoskins on zoom. To sign up, email amyhoskinscc@gmail.com

These groups also host local poetry events:

The Prodigal Poets keep a calendar of events, and local poetry happenings are posted in the Nashville Poetry Events Facebook group, as well.

You can now view our entire Poetry in the Brew playlist on Youtube, including all the archived livestreams from our Patreon. We have plenty more videos on our Facebook page, too.

Looking forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!

Based in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Christine Hall. For more info: poetryinthebrew@gmail.com

OCTOBER 8TH POETRY IN THE BREW

We begin today with a rapturous poem from our October feature Kendra DeColo.

I Pump Milk like a Boss

I pump milk on the side of the road where the grass is biblical green
as if first cousin to the cow, her pink and swollen tits immaculate

as the plumbing of a church organ sending up calls to god, brassy mesh
of notes, fermented and dank as kush. I pump milk with my bare hands

into a bar’s bathroom sink, above which is a mirror where someone’s scrawled
I Love Cricket Pussy and below that, Everyone Deserves to be Loved.

I look at myself under the fingered smudge, the bodily fluids spattered
like haikus and I pump as if my milk is propaganda,

fingers bowing across my chest like a pawnshop violin,
milky graffiti tagging the spit-clogged drain.

I pump like I’m writing my name in blood
which turns to the milk my child sucks dry, which she turns into blood.

I pump like I have a tattoo on my pudenda
that says Aerosmith backwards, I pump

as if my hands have teeth, one combat boot hitched up on the toilet seat,
each hiss of milk chanting like a choir yes bitch yes,

my tits bitten and salt-veined, as when my baby
took her first gulp of air, humming

from the engorged crevasse of me
like a herd of wildebeest, as if the hive of me could have burst,

the infrared honey, the glop glop
of afterbirth dripping down my left leg,

spittle and amen, amniotic residue
fluorescent with prayer—

Do men lactate is a popular google search and I wonder
what would happen if they could, our presidents

lifting their offspring to their breasts in the deep pockets
of night, listening to the dribble of milk

sipped from the pulpit of their bodies. Tonight my breasts
became so engorged I said I’d pay someone to suck my tits

half-joking. But a woman who heard followed me to the bathroom, read me
a sex poem while I pumped my milk, leaning away from the need in her voice

and the milk came slow and I pumped and waited for her to finish
and a streetlight scribbled in the parking lot

and I know there is a price we pay for loneliness
and a price we pay to forget it and I dedicate my libido

to my younger self and this is how I want to live, milk-stained, a little bit emptied,
a little bit in love with the abundance of my body,

my milk pale yellow with a layer of cream
which I will save long after it’s turned, praising its curdled glow

every time I open the fridge, as if its presence is enough to keep me safe,
as if it’s enough to make me invincible.

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. October 8th (the penultimate Brew!)
Feature poet Kendra DeColo
Open mic signup 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

Tips are always appreciated, so please remember cash for Patrick and the Portland Brew East crew who stay open late for us.

Kendra DeColo is the author of I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World (BOA Editions, 2021), My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (Third Man Books, 2016) and Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She is also co-author of Low Budget Movie, a collaborative chapbook written with Tyler Mills. She has received honors and awards from MacDowell, Millay, Split This Rock, as well as a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Find her on twitter/instagram @kendradecolo, or visit kendradecolo.com.


Beloved poet Andrew P. Dillon will be leaving Nashville for Amsterdam soon, but he was so kind as leave us a book. Generous, too—it is available to experience entirely online. Immerse yourself in The Great Permission and emerge fully grateful for the personal renaissance that is poetry.

Andrew is a stalwart supporter of the poetry scene, having infused us with many an artful thought and nuanced point of view. His reach into higher elevations of humanity is rooted in integrity. We wish Andrew ever greater enjoyment of his manifestations, replete in all that nurtures creative community.


A transposed note from your host Christine:

In November 2014, the three original organizers of Poetry in the Brew asked me to steward this event. Come this November, I’m moving on to other engagements, specifically putting my all into finishing this book I’ve left open for over a decade. It is a bittersweet announcement, and while I will surely miss our time together in the loft, I am so excited to share these final two readings with you.

I believe in the power of poetry, of people coming together to speak and listen in turn, of creativity to heal and reimagine what it is to experience life on earth. I appreciate all our moments of sacred communion and look forward to new iterations of all our expressions.

When the Brew started, there were no other regular poetry readings here in town. Now we are replete with offerings! Here are a few where we hope to connect with you, including links to social media/websites for latest updates.

  • 1st Friday, 8pm: MOOD showcase/open mic hosted by MAMA, 2524 Heiman Street, Nashville, TN 37208. Email g.mamaspeaks@gmail.com to sign up
  • 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 6pm: Spoke N-Words of Po’boys & Poets hosts Poetry at the Branch open mic at Copper Branch restaurant, 601 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219 (attached to the downtown Nashville library, can park in the library garage and get it validated)
  • Every Saturday, 6pm: Matt Awesome hosts the spoken word open mic at Twin Kegs 2, 327 Hermitage Ave, Nashville, TN 37210
  • 3rd Wednesday, 7pm: Wesley Tresch and Caroline Morris (Care the Poet) host Uncorked poetry open mic night at Americano Lounge, 434 Houston St Suite 120, Nashville, TN 37203
  • 4th Thursday, 7pm: Poet’s Corner feature at Scarritt Bennett Center, 1027 18th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212 (Christine Hall’s feature is November 17, which breaks the 4th Thursday rule on account of Thanksgiving)

Online:

  • 2nd Tuesday, 7pm: Black Dog Poetry Open Mic on zoom is organized by Sandy Spencer Coomer and Nancy Coats Posey. Email sandy.coomer@gmail.com to sign up
  • 4th Saturday, 3pm: Gestalt Poetry Open Mic hosted by Amy Hoskins on zoom. To sign up, email amyhoskinscc@gmail.com

These groups also host local poetry events:

The Prodigal Poets keep a calendar of events, and local poetry happenings are posted in the Nashville Poetry Events Facebook group, as well.

You can now view our entire Poetry in the Brew playlist on Youtube, including all the archived livestreams from our Patreon. We have plenty more videos on our Facebook page, too.

If you’d like to read a little more about my topsy turvy journey through the arts world, there’s a new interview with me over on Canvas Rebel magazine.

Looking forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!

Based in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Christine Hall. For more info: poetryinthebrew@gmail.com

KENDRA DECOLO FEATURES AT THE BREW

Kendra DeColo is the author of I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers from the World (BOA Editions, 2021), My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (Third Man Books, 2016) and Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. She is also co-author of Low Budget Movie, a collaborative chapbook written with Tyler Mills. She has received honors and awards from MacDowell, Millay, Split This Rock, as well as a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Find her on twitter/instagram @kendradecolo, or visit kendradecolo.com, and join us in celebrating this monumental reading at Poetry in the Brew on October 8th.

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. October 8th
Feature poet Kendra DeColo
Open mic signup 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

Tips are always appreciated, so please remember cash for Patrick and the Portland Brew East crew who stay open late for us. Tips for Poetry in the Brew are welcome in cash or via Cash App $PitBNash, PayPal @poetryinthebrew, and Venmo @ChristineRaquel.


Poetry Popup at Scarritt Bennett Center, Saturday, September 17, 2022

A note from Brew host Christine:

In November 2014, the three original organizers of Poetry in the Brew asked me to steward this event. Come this November, I’m moving on to other engagements, specifically putting my all into finishing this book I’ve left open for over a decade. It is a bittersweet announcement, and while I will surely miss our time together in the loft, I am so excited to share these final two readings with you.

I believe in the power of poetry, of people coming together to speak and listen in turn, of creativity to heal and reimagine what it is to experience life on earth. I appreciate all our moments of sacred communion and look forward to new iterations of all our expressions.

When the Brew started, there were no other regular poetry readings here in town. Now we are replete with offerings! Here are a few where we hope to connect with you, including links to social media/websites for latest updates.

  • 1st Friday, 8pm: MOOD showcase/open mic hosted by MAMA, 2524 Heiman Street, Nashville, TN 37208. Email g.mamaspeaks@gmail.com to sign up
  • 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 6pm: Spoke N-Words of Po’boys & Poets hosts Poetry at the Branch open mic at Copper Branch restaurant, 601 Church St, Nashville, TN 37219 (attached to the downtown Nashville library, can park in the library garage and get it validated)
  • Every Saturday, 6pm: Matt Awesome hosts the spoken word open mic at Twin Kegs 2, 327 Hermitage Ave, Nashville, TN 37210
  • 3rd Wednesday, 7pm: Wesley Tresch and Caroline Morris (Care the Poet) host Uncorked poetry open mic night at Americano Lounge, 434 Houston St Suite 120, Nashville, TN 37203 (Andrew P. Dillon is featuring at Uncorked on September 21)
  • 4th Thursday, 7pm: Poet’s Corner feature at Scarritt Bennett Center, 1027 18th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212 (Christine Hall’s feature is November 17, which breaks the 4th Thursday rule on account of Thanksgiving)

Online:

  • 2nd Tuesday, 7pm: Black Dog Poetry Open Mic on zoom is organized by Sandy Spencer Coomer and Nancy Coats Posey. Email sandy.coomer@gmail.com to sign up
  • 4th Saturday, 3pm: Gestalt Poetry Open Mic hosted by Amy Hoskins on zoom. To sign up, email amyhoskinscc@gmail.com

These groups also host local poetry events:

The Prodigal Poets keep a calendar of events, and local poetry happenings are posted in the Nashville Poetry Events Facebook group, as well.

You can now view our entire Poetry in the Brew playlist on Youtube, including all the archived livestreams from our Patreon. We have plenty more videos on our Facebook page, too.


Brew host Christine Hall features with Po’boys & Poets at Copper Branch this Thurs. Sept. 22nd

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!

Based in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Christine Hall. For more info: poetryinthebrew@gmail.com

JAM FEATURES AT POETRY IN THE BREW

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. September 10
Sign-up at 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

Jamala McKenzie (formerly known as Jamspoken) is an inspirational writer who aims to provide revelation to her listeners. Her mission is to invoke thoughts that lead to internal healing and change. She embodies the quote by Maria Robinson: “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Life is about choices and she chooses to lead her life by example. She is a motivational speaker and freelance writer. Her art is a representation of vulnerability and progress because one must be vulnerable enough to move forward. You can find her work on all social media platforms. She goes by Jamspoken on IG and Jam Mck on FB.

A sample of Jam performing at the Brew ahead of her upcoming feature (incl. heavy content)

Sat. September 17, we’ll be on the Labyrinth at Scarritt Bennett for a Poetry Popup starting at 1pm. The address is 1027 18th Ave S, and parking is available in lot B.

Please bring blankets or lawn chairs to make yourself comfortable in this lovely and meaningful outdoor location. If there is rain, we will move indoors. Anyone is welcome to take a turn sharing poetry in this freeform event.


Last Saturday’s online open mic was our zoom finale, and you can check out the free-flowing poetry and emotions here:

1. Alexandra Psaropoulou 2. Davy Yue 3. Generalissimo Bryan Franco 4. Nina Adel 5. Mike Sindler 6. Bauke Kamstra 7. Paul Bernstein 8. Phil Linz 9. Phynne~Belle 10. Caroline 11. Henry L. Jones 12. Clive Oseman 13. Nayma Chamchoun 14. Carl Lowe 15. Sergio 16. Jeff Cottrill 17. Eddie Foreman 18. PropagandaPoet 19. Jamie A M 20. Martin Parker 21. Terri Rose Jertson 22. Donna Whitney 23. Rishi 24. Cathy Carson 25. Gregory Lannom 26. Prince A. McNally 27. Hil H 28. Michael Collins 29. Jamie McCormick 30. Prasanna Kkumar

You can also now view our entire Poetry in the Brew playlist on Youtube, including all the archived livestreams from our Patreon. We have plenty more videos on our Facebook page, too.


We have some fantastic news to share on behalf of the Brew Crew: Wandering Hil‘s highly anticipated new book These God-Forsaken Notes is available for order. Purchase directly from them here!

Another exciting opportunity to support a beloved Brew poet extending their expressive reach in the arts: you can help fund Rebekah’s Closet, a short film by Amy Hoskins. Amy is a visual artist, writer and survivor of child abuse, creating with disabilities from her home studio in South Nashville. Rebekah’s Closet started as an art therapy project and ended up as a novel employing magic realism (published 2011). To learn more and sign up for Amy’s newsletter, visit www.amyhoskins.com.

On a bittersweet note, we invite you to former Brew feature Andrew P. Dillon‘s farewell-to-Nashville reading, and the celebration of the release of his first collection The Great Permission. Andrew is featuring at Uncorked on September 21. Wesley Tresch and Care the Poet host this open mic at Americano Lounge from 7–10pm on the third Wednesday of every month.

Andrew P. Dillon graduated in the University of Tennessee’s inaugural MFA class, 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 recently appeared in Poetry Salzburg Review, Stirring, The West Review, Please See Me, and Second Chance Lit. His debut collection, The Great Permission, is a booksite that will be released on September 21, 2022. Visit his website at andrewdillonpoetry.com.


Eternal thanks to our Brew Crew members on Patreon, who have our expenses covered till November. Tips are always appreciated, so please remember cash for Patrick and the Portland Brew East crew who stay open late for us. Tips for Brew host Christine are welcome in cash or via Cash App $PitBNash, PayPal @poetryinthebrew, and Venmo @ChristineRaquel.

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!

Based in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Christine Hall. For more info: poetryinthebrew@gmail.com

SEPTEMBER AT POETRY IN THE BREW

This Saturday, September 3, we’ll be online and welcoming you to join in the open mic.

The zoom session begins 4:45 PM CDT and we start the event at 5:00 PM. Each poet has 5 minutes to share their words.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82248909827

EDIT. Signup full. Join waitlist here:

When you send the form, you’ll receive the confirmation on this page. An email with list order will follow at the end of the week, before the reading.


September 10 Feature Jam

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. September 10
Sign-up at 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

Jamala McKenzie (formerly known as Jamspoken) is an inspirational writer who aims to provide revelation to her listeners. Her mission is to invoke thoughts that lead to internal healing and change. She embodies the quote by Maria Robinson: “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Life is about choices and she chooses to lead her life by example. She is a motivational speaker and freelance writer. Her art is a representation of vulnerability and progress because one must be vulnerable enough to move forward. You can find her work on all social media platforms. She goes by Jamspoken on IG and Jam Mck on FB.


We’re thrilled to be gathering for a Poetry Popup on the Labyrinth at Scarritt Bennett, 1pm Saturday, September 17. The address is 1027 18th Ave S, and parking is available in lot B.

Please bring blankets or lawn chairs to make yourself comfortable in this lovely and meaningful outdoor location. If there is rain, we will move indoors. Anyone is welcome to take a turn sharing poetry in this freeform event.


Eternal appreciation for our Brew Crew members on Patreon, who have our expenses covered till November. Tips are welcome, with more info available on our guidelines page.

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!

Based in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Christine Hall. For more info: poetryinthebrew@gmail.com

Tomato Art Fest Haiku Contest Winners

Congrats to this year’s crop of winners! 

Heirlooms

1st: Katherine Brick and Zach Blair

Vines invade thy yard
Bow down ye peas and carrots
Long live tomato!

2nd: Heather Liddington

Summer in the south,
Maters’ fried, tea on my lips,
Y’all, we do it right.

3rd: Camille Tambunting
perhaps it is the color of the sun cut flat

purling tomatoes,
how sweet when sundered, the sun
pulsing in its flesh

Honorable Mentions:

Jake Dowler

Red waxing gibbous,
blood moon on the horizon
of my dinner plate

Taylor Emery

Gardeners’ heirlooms—
Amethyst, rubies, emeralds,
Edible summer jewels

Aimee Johnson
Shakshuka Recipe 

Oil. Peppers. Onions.
Mash tomatoes with a spoon.
Crack in eggs. Simmer.

Bliss Button-Hale
Volunteers

Tomatoes will grow.
Intentionally or not,
tomatoes will grow.

Ali Hendrickson

My regal red friends
Catch eyes with crown-laden heads
Queens of the garden

Deep scarlet in hue
Yet heavy like gold in hand
Richer than Buffett

You’re not an apple
But I consume you like one
Juice trickles down wrists

Funnies

1st: Rick Willmott

Do you know how to      
Fix a broken tomato?
Try tomato paste.

2nd: Bryan Franco

A jalapeño
asked a tomato to dance,
and salsa was born.

3rd: Maya Ahuja
Tomato Hunks

Sign me up for that
Beefsteak Better Boy. Need me
a Mortgage Lifter.

Honorable Mentions:

Wendy Weisner

Haters gonna hate
Uniter, not divider.
Maters gonna mate

Caley Foster
A Tomato’s Choice

You can be rotten
Or you can be an heirloom.
Make your mama proud.

Caroline Burrows
Tomato

To martyr? To mate?
To veg out, or be fruitful?
My cherry. My choice!

Greenhouse

1st: Asher Lekki, age 11

When I see ketchup,
Red tears tumble down like rain.
I’m a tomato.

2nd: Lewis Campbell, age 11

Tomatoes are fruit.
No, wait. Are they vegetables?
Well, both can be good.  

3rd: Sterling Lekki, age 9

You need to ketchup.
Or I am going to win.
I will win the crown.

Oddities

1st: Elizabeth Clark

A tomato as ripe as a peach,
if only my small arms could reach.
But I’m just an ant, so clearly I can’t;
guess I’ll just sit here and screech.

2nd: Anita Louie
The Journey of a Tomato

Below the ground a fragile seed takes root
As summer rainfall tickles earthy soil
The dainty tendrils unfurl into spouts
And wriggle up, relentless in their toil.

They poke their heads up, greeting beams of sun
Their morning dew drops glisten in the light
Their time above has only just begun
But they will have to fight a brutal fight

Days shift to nights, nights shift to days and weeks
The sprouts begin to blossom marigold
They shiver through the storms and rains so bleak
But not once do they falter, standing bold

The summer dwindles but the field still glows
With plump and juicy ruby tomatoes.

3rd: Taylor Emery

Some think a peach blush,
The odor of suntan lotion
Signal summer’s here.
Others believe
Tomato red vibrancy
Summer harbinger

It was a full-fledged blast presenting these at the Tomato Art Fest on Saturday. A heaping helping of thanks to all our contributors and everyone who showed up to share in the festivities. Gargantuan gratitude to our judges, Black Widow aka Gina Carrillo, Wonder Woman Rising Sara Minges, and Brandon Long of the Prodigal Poets!

New Book Alert!

Terri Rose-Jertson, who delights us with her poetry and presence whenever she graces the Brew, has released The Chameleon Chronicles: Words Never Spoken (Read or Green Books, 2022).

You can arrange to get your copy direct from Terri on Instagram. Cash App and PayPal (terosedeclementi@yahoo.com) accepted/$15 plus $3 for shipping.

Finally, another shout out to our August 13 feature Brandon Long for bringing in the biggest crowd we’ve seen since before pandemic. The loft was packed, the poetry was flowing, and the camaraderie was real. We’ll see you next month, online Sat. Sept. 3, and at Portland Brew East with feature Jam on Sat. Sept. 10.

BRANDON LONG FEATURES AT THE BREW

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. August 13
Sign-up at 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

Brandon Long is a spoken word artist who enjoys performing at open mics all across Middle Tennessee. He is clumsy and optimistic, and loves any and all cats. Brandon’s style is energetic and animated. He is a member of the Prodigal Poets poetry club.


The Prodigal Poets are special guest judges for the 2022 Tomato Art Fest Haiku Contest! Gina Carrillo aka Black Widow, Sara Minges, and Brandon Long will be pouring over your juicy entries (along with a round of Bloody Marys) and this year’s winners are invited to read their poems on the Main Stage in East Nashville, Sat. Aug. 13th at 10:40 AM.

You have till tomorrow to enter by email: tomatohaikucontest@gmail.com. Details: https://www.tomatoartfest.com/events/tomatohaiku

Since visiting MAMA.‘s 1st Friday open mic MOOD, we’ve gotten so amped about new open mic opportunities around Nashville and want to share these upcoming events with you:

Po’Boys & Poets is hosting an open mic at Copper Branch every 2nd and 4th Thursday. Americano Lounge hosts theirs on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Madtown Coffee has a new series hosted by Noel Marie on the last Friday of the month. Come the 1st Friday of September, MOOD (2524 Heiman Street, Nashville, TN 37208) rolls round again.

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!


Sugg. $5 cover for online and in-person readings. Sustaining members of the Brew Crew on Patreon earn perks. We also accept Cash App $PitBNash, Venmo @ChristineRaquel, and PayPal @poetryinthebrew.

Open mics are livestreamed and archived on our Patreon. Special thanks to our patrons, especially Impresario Extraordinaires Rhoda Thomas, Katie Thompson, and Bonnie Solloway for keeping the Brew flowing!

Based in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Christine Hall. For more info: poetryinthebrew@gmail.com

AUGUST AT POETRY IN THE BREW

This Saturday, August 6, we’ll be online and hoping you join us to share on the open mic!

The zoom session begins 4:45 PM CDT with open mic starting at 5:00 PM. Each poet has 5 minutes to share their words.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82248909827

EDIT. Signup full. Join waitlist here:

When you send the form, you’ll receive the confirmation on this page. An email with list order will follow at the end of the week, before the reading.


August 13 Feature Brandon Long

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. August 13
Sign-up at 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

Brandon Long is a spoken word artist who enjoys performing at open mics all across Middle Tennessee. He is clumsy and optimistic, and loves any and all cats. Brandon’s style is energetic and animated. He is a member of the Prodigal Poets poetry club.


Speaking of the Prodigal Poets, this local band of bards are the esteemed judges for the 2022 Tomato Art Fest Haiku Contest! This charismatic collective of Tennessee-based spoken word artists cannot wait to gobble up your choicest fruits of poetic labor, and submissions are open now.

Winners can spit their prize haiku (and any oddities that may come in other shapes, as it happens) on the Main Stage in East Nashville, Sat. Aug. 13th at 10:40 AM. From there, we’ll poke around the grounds of this annual celebration, checking out all manner of tomato-themed arts and festivities. Then we’ll head over to Portland Brew East to reconvene with Prodigal Poet Brandon Long for his feature!

Send your entries (up to 5) to tomatohaikucontest@gmail.com, or see https://www.tomatoartfest.com/events/tomatohaiku for more info.

If you hunger for inspiration, here’s a heap of previous winners to whet your appetite, get those creative juices flowing, and hopefully entice you to produce your own tomato-y specialty:

We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!

Sugg. $5 cover for online and in-person readings. Sustaining members of the Brew Crew on Patreon earn perks. We also accept Cash App $PitBNash, Venmo @ChristineRaquel, and PayPal @poetryinthebrew.

Open mics are livestreamed and archived on our Patreon. Special thanks to our patrons, especially Impresario Extraordinaires Rhoda Thomas, Katie Thompson, and Bonnie Solloway for keeping the Brew flowing!

Based in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Christine Hall. For more info: poetryinthebrew@gmail.com

11TH ANNIVERSARY FEATURING BLK SOL

Saturday’s open mic marks our 11th anniversary at Poetry in the Brew! We’ve been gathering in the loft of Portland Brew East since July 2011, and are continually amazed by depths and breadths of the poetry community in Nashville. Our zoom events let us visit with poets and poetry enthusiasts around the world as well, which has a beautiful way of expanding our minds.

New voices shake us to our souls every month, and returning favorites give us fresh perspectives to appreciate each time.

Our visitors often go onto national and international stages, and it’s a joy to follow along as Brew features grow their fields of work into shining new opportunities.

Caroline Randall Williams‘ debut collection of poetry, Lucy Negro, Redux, became a critically-acclaimed ballet. She became a regular guest on MSNBC and now hosts Hungry for Answers, a discovery+ series that “explores both the known and untold history of Black food in America.”

Dr. Destiny O. Birdsong‘s debut novel Nobody’s Magic got a starred review on Library Journal and was named a Good Morning America Book Club Buzz Pick. The New York Times said, “The magic here is not the supernatural kind, but rather an attention to the grace of the ordinary. It is the magic of watching these women come into their power.” There is a particular potency to the artistic output of a poet.

Thank you to each one who has contributed to our experience at the Brew. We are so excited to see what comes next, and grateful for the grace of poetry with the bonds it forges and the openings it creates.

This weekend, we welcome feature Blk Sol coming to us from Wichita. Here’s a glimpse of Blk Sol speaking his truth at the National Spoken Word Awards:

2nd Saturday Open Mic Poetry Reading

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

Sat. July 9
Sign-up at 4:30pm
Reading starts at 5:00pm

Choose any spot on the list in the loft. Each person on the signup gets 5 minutes max on the open mic.

July 9 Feature Blk Sol

Blk Sol is a published author and performing poet from Wichita, KS, by way of Selma, AL. With an initial focus on Slam Poetry, Blk Sol represented Wichita on its only National Slam Team in 2011. After competing nationally for 4 years, he began creating more opportunities for poets in Wichita and on the road. Blk Sol cofounded TruPoetry & Art in 2014, publishing poets, organizing and promoting shows since.

Earning praises on local and national stages, Blk Sol won the 2019 National Spoken Word Awards (NSWA) Open Mic of the Year (Lyrics & Laughs) and was nominated for 2020 NSWA Promoter of the Year. He’s headlined and featured in cities across the country: Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Tulsa, Boston, LA, and Albuquerque among them. Blk Sol releases a second book Hoetry After Dark this year, following his #TruPoetry.

You can find Blk Sol on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube.

Sugg. $5 cover. Sustaining members of the Brew Crew on Patreon earn perks. We also accept Cash App $PitBNash, Venmo @ChristineRaquel, and PayPal @poetryinthebrew.

Open mics are livestreamed and archived on our Patreon. Special thanks to our patrons, especially Impresario Extraordinaires Rhoda Thomas, Katie Thompson, and Bonnie Solloway for keeping the Brew flowing!

Based in Nashville, TN, and hosted by Christine Hall. For more info: poetryinthebrew@gmail.com