Knox Word

A website focusing on poetry events in Knoxville and the surrounding areas. Each entry will usually include a calendar of events, featured poetry, and essays regarding all aspects of poetry.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Knoxville Poetry Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 4

The Knoxville Poetry Newsletter, March 27, 2005

In This Issue:
Knox Word Goes Out with the Proverbial Bang
Poetry Calendar
Contests and Opportunities
Unfinished Business

So listen - the last Knox Word event ever (or at least for a very long time in human years) is coming up this weekend - you owe it to yourself and to your country and to all the children starving from lack of poetry to be there. Julia Nance, one of the finest Knoxville poets of the past decade, is premiering her first one-poet show at the Black Box Theatre on April 1 and 2. It's a multimedia poetry show called The Bookmark Slideshow, and it should be fantastic. For the past two years Knox Word has presented poetry shows at the Black Box and the Emporium, bringing in poets from across the country (Derrick Brown from Venice, Saddi Khali from New Orleans, Eitan Kadosh from L.A., Ayodele and Jon Goode from Atlanta, John Kilpatrick from Chattanooga, etc.) and featuring the best of local spoken word poets (Seed Lynn, Marilyn Kallet, Daniel Roop, Kari Hoffman, Shonna Cole, Kali Meister, Black Atticus, Rhea Sunshine, etc.). It's been a beautiful ride, and it comes to an end this weekend - so do not miss this show. Julia has been working her metaphorical butt off on this show - it's your chance to tell your grandkids (who are gonna think your tattoos are really corny, by the way) that you saw Julia's first one-poet show. And they won't believe you. Because kids in 2042 are gonna have even less respect than kids do now. They'll be carrying around their Portable Julia Nance which is gonna be a microchip the size of an atom, and they'll be like, "Grandma or Grandpa as the case may be - you didn't see Julia's first show - there's no way she ever performed in a backwater town like Knoxville." ('Cause by then she'll be like this old aristocratic lady of letters who sips martinis and speaks at Harvard, and says "M*therF*cker!" far less than she does now, but still a bit more than an aristocratic lady of letters should - anyway, point is, they won't believe she ever lowered herself to appearing in Knoxville.) And you'll correct them, and tell stories of the glorious days of Knoxville poetry and all the poets and venues, and how Julia was one of the best of them all, and they'll say "Wait a minute - you mean that landfill east of Papermill used to actually be part of the city?" And then they'll run off and go play their PlayStation 26's, and do MEGAcrack and have virtual sex. And you'll be awash in memories of The Bookmark Slideshow, and how poetry never felt as real as it did that night. So my point is - April 1 and 2 - be there. Julia Nance. Black Box Theatre. Knox Word's Grand Finale. And they sell Jones Soda, too. Don't get the one that tastes like bubble gum. You'll throw up. If they have the blue one, I forget the name, get that. I'm sure it's some kind of berry.


Friday April 1 and Saturday April 2, 8pm
Black Box Theatre
5213 Homberg Drive, admission $6
call 909-9300 for reservations
Julia Nance has featured her poetry throughout the nation, including the long-running Cliterati Reading in Atlanta, GA; Asheville and Winston-Salem, NC; Athens GA; Birmingham AL; Miami, West Palm Beach, and Del Ray FL; Memphis TN; Ann Arbor MI; and is a former champion of the Green Mill Poetry Slam, the world-famous Chicago venue where poetry slam began. She has excelled in regional and national events, including a top two finish at the prestigious Lake Eden Arts Festival Slam, and is the only female poet from Tennessee to ever place in the top 20 at the National Poetry Slam. She has taught workshops at the North Carolina School of the Arts as well as local high schools with her poetry troupe Aloud. She's Knoxville's Finest, and this is her night.

The Knoxville Writers Guild has named famed Knoxville author Jon Manchip White to receive its 2005 Career Achievement Award. Acclaimed historian and Metropulse writer, Jack Neely, will present White with the award, considered the most prestigious of many the Guild will bestow on area writers at its fourth annual awards gala April 22. Novelist Julie Auer will emcee. Also bestowing awards will be News-Sentinel columnist Don Williams, writers and poets Laura Still, Marybeth Boyanton, Judy Loest, and Brian Griffin, prize-winning author of "Sparkman In the Skyand Other Stories." The program also will feature food and beverage, live music by the Rocky Wynder Jazz combo, free beverages, set-ups and appearances by celebrated writers. More than $1,500 in prizes, plus trophies and plaques will be given to winners of recent awards for fiction, poetry and essays. The gala begins with socializing and food at 7 p.m. Friday, April 22 at The Emporium, located at the corner of South Gay Street and Jackson Ave. Tickets are $15 each, $10 for students. To reserve your seat, send checks, payableto KWG, to Gala, PO Box 10326, Knoxville, TN, 37939. Write "Gala Tickets"on your check. Or email Type "Tickets" in the subjectfield. For more information, including directions to The Emporium or phone 428-0389. Born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1924, Jon Manchip White is the author of nearly thirty books of fiction, history, travel, and biography. After studying at Cambridge University he served in the Royal Navy and the Welsh Guards and was a member of the British Foreign Service. He then moved to America where he spent ten years as a professor at the University of Texas before becoming the holder of the Lindsay Young Chair of English at the University ofTennessee. He has lived in Knoxville for more than a quarter-century. His acclaimed books include "The Journeying Boy," a touching account of his journey back to his Welsh homeland, "Cortes," a biography of the conquerorof the Aztecs, and more recently, "Echoes and Shadows," a book of stories with a supernatural aspect. Over the years he also has written for TV, radio and film.

The Lost Savant, another new book store (yay for Knoxville!), has opened at 5703 B North Broadway between Halls and Fountain City. Our friend Rip Lydick is hosting an open mic there the second Thursday of each month from 7:30pm to 9pm. They have a coffee bar, beer, food, etc., and of course, books and great poetry. Call the Lost Savant at 865-869-9990 for more info.


CALL-FOR-SUBMISSIONS: CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual, Volume Three

CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual is a new publication dedicated to the interdisciplinary study and artistic appreciation of the South (broadly defined) and Southern culture. Published as an annual book by Mercer University Press, CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual will continue the editorial approach of CrossRoads: A Journal of Southern Culture, a semi-legendary periodical originally published in the early 1990s by a dedicated group of graduate students affiliated with the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture. The original periodical version of CrossRoads featured previously unpublished material by many of the leading scholars and artists committed to interpreting and celebrating the South, including Rob Amberg, A. R. Ammons, Mary Ulmer Chiltosky, Jim Clark, James Dickey, Robert Drake, William Ferris, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Wayne Flynt, Ernest Gaines, David Galef, Eugene Genovese, Kathryn Gurkin, Alex Haley, Fred Hobson, David Huddle, Patricia Spears Jones, Jack Temple Kirby, Jeff Daniel Marion, Ed McClanahan, Walter McDonald, Ethelbert Miller, Robert Morgan, Marilyn Nance, Tom Rankin, John Shelton Reed, Sheryl St. Germain, Jon Michael Spencer, Joel Williamson, and Steve Young.

The first volume of CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual, published in June 2004, offers new work by such scholars and artists as Kimberly Greene Angle, Brooks Blevins, Henry A. Buchanan, James E. Cherry, Mariea Caudill Dennison, G. Wayne Dowdy, Jo Angela Edwins, Bart Galloway, Allean Hale, M. Thomas Inge, Dorothy Hampton Marcus, Robert Morgan, Mendi Lewis Obadike, James A. Perkins, Ron Rash, Randy Rudder, Jean-Mark Sens, Charles D. Thompson Jr., Jaclyn Weldon White, and Brenda Witchger. The second volume of CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual, to be published by Mercer University Press in the summer of 2005, will similarly feature fascinating, accessible scholarly works that explore a wide range of topics (including Southern literature, music, food, and “sense of place”) and that elucidate Southern perspectives on religion, politics, race, ethnicity, gender, education, and regional identity. As in Volume One, Volume Two of CrossRoads will contain new, compelling creative works by a number of leading writers and visual artists from the South. Jeff Daniel Marion, Linda Parsons Marion, Judy Loest, and Connie Jordan Green are Knoxville-area authors whose work will appear in the forthcoming volume of CrossRoads.

To order copies of the first and/or second volumes of CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual, please contact Mercer University Press via phone (toll free) at 800-637-2378, ext. 2880 or 800-342-0841, ext. 2880 (in GA), or via email at

CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual is currently seeking submissions for its third volume. These submissions can include—but are not limited to—analytical academic essays, oral histories, memoirs, profile essays, photo essays, creative writing, and artwork. The main criteria ensuring consideration are that all submitted materials should (to borrow Faulkner’s famous phrase) “tell about the South” and that they should do so memorably.

To have your work considered for the third volume of CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual, you may send materials postmarked before June 30, 2005, to:Ted Olson, EditorCrossRoads: A Southern Culture AnnualETSU, Box 70400Johnson City, TN 37614Please include disposable copies of manuscripts. Submissions will not be returned. Should you have any questions, you may contact the editor:423-439-4379 (tel)423-439-4126 (fax) or


The Poetry Calendar's "Continuing Events" Section has fallen on hard times. I blame you, because otherwise I'd have to blame myself. And that's not gonna happen. If you have a continuing event you'd like listed, please email me the info, and I'll get it on the calendar - weekly readings, monthly meetings, etc.
May 7 is Free Comic Book Day. Don't worry, I'll remind you again closer to time.
National Poetry Month begins on Friday - so you only have four more days to be unpoetic. Rest up until then - it's hard work being all poetic and crap for 30 days straight.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Knoxville Poetry Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 3

The Knoxville Poetry Newsletter, March 2, 2005

In This Issue:
Read This Then Rush Out Into the Poetry-Filled Streets
Crazy Chock Full Poetry Calendar
Unfinished Business

April's all like, "Hey, I'm National Poetry Month."
And March is all like, "Uh-uh, trick, I'm National Poetry Month."
And April is all like, "You better watch what the f*** you're saying!"
And March is all like, "What then, b****, let's do this!"
Then they rush at each other, and the Jerry Springer security guards pry them apart, attempting to move as slowly and yank as much clothing as possible.
And March, it appears, comes out the winner.
An insane number of really wonderful events - I'm on a short deadline here, and I don't want to delay this issue - so I'm gonna have full details for events that are very close, like MARIE HOWE!!!; and for future shows, just short blurbs.
Next issue we'll have featured poetry from Art Smith, and an interview with the crew from Carpe Librum, which is one of the most wonderful new bookstores I've seen in years. You've gotta check them out - go there and buy Knoxville Bound, or Migrants and Stowaways, or Marilyn Kallet's new book, Circe, After Hours.
Speaking of Marilyn Kallet - the UT Young Writer's Institute is coming up this weekend, and there are still spots open to register - if you are a high school teacher or student (and Marilyn has actually mentioned the possibility of opening this to college students and teachers as well) and you'd like to attend, contact Marilyn beforeFriday noon. 974-6947, or

Thursday, March 3 and Friday March 4
Major American poet Marie Howe will be the Knoxville Writers' Guild speaker on Thursday,March 3, at 7 pm, at the Laurel Theatre, corner of 16th and Laurel. Marie Howe is the author of "The Good Thief" and "What the Living Do." She is a professor of creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Marie Howe will also hold an informal discussion with writers, March 4, 7-10pm, in 1210-1211 McClung Tower, at UT. I've heard wonderful things about Marie Howe, and Julia Nance is a Marie-Howe-freak, so you know she's gotta be good.

Friday March 11, show at 8pm, signup at 7:30
Emporium Building, corner of Gay and Jackson
BYOB, $3 at the door
Hosted by the inimitable Julia Nance. Open mic, slam, and lots of hijinks. Last month everyone got a free handmade valentine from Julia, and lots of wonderful poetry from our out-of-town features.

The Lost Savant, another new book store (yay for Knoxville!), has opened at 5703 B North Broadway between Halls and Fountain City. Our friend Rip Lydick is hosting an open mic there the second Thursday of each month from 7:30pm to 9pm. They have a coffee bar, beer, food, etc., and of course, books and great poetry. But only if you read. I don't say that to everybody. Just you, Chuck. After all these years, it's time you knew the truth. Ignore me, and call the Lost Savant at 865-869-9990 for more info.

This is one you don't want to miss - I'll print the info in full for this March 13th event -
BACK BY UNPOPULAR DEMAND! (Greg Congleton said this, not me)

Jack Kerouac’s

A Blues Jam on a Sunday Afternoon:



WHEN: March 13, 2 – 5 p.m. (approximate)

WHERE: The Urban Bar (corner of Jackson and Central in the OC)

COVER: a $5 love offering will be acceptable

A full-length performance of Jack Kerouac’s “Mexico City Blues” to celebrate Kerouac’s birthday and the 50th anniversary—this year, anyway—of the creation of the book-length poem. A special guest performer will be Gerald Nicosia, author of Kerouac biography, “Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac.” In this work, considered the best biography of the leading writer of the Beat Generation, Nicosia discusses how Kerouac used imagery from his sojourn in Mexico to not only expound on Buddhist thinking but rebel against traditional poetic structures.

“Mexico City Blues” began as a local tradition about 15 years ago at the instigation of Knoxville actor Greg Congleton, soon joined by RB Morris and Eric Sublett. It quickly developed into such a grand spectacle involving many other local writers, artists and musicians that it has taken on a life of its own. It shouldn’t be construed as something of interest only to Kerouac fans.

Nicosia also is the author of “Home to War” about the Vietnam Veteran's Movement. His appearance in Knoxville is something of a repeat performance. The noted writer and scholar was involved in a local reading at the Candy Factory in the ‘80s with longtime friend Morris, at whose invitation Nicosia will read at 7 p.m. Monday, March 14 at Hodges Library on the UT campus as part of the university’s Writers in the Library series.

The Polyphonic Prophets (the band)

Barry “Po” Hannah, guitar
David Nichols, bass
Dirk Weddington, saxophone
Greg Horne, guitar
Harold Nagge, violin
Phil Pollard, drums
Steve McBride, keyboard

The Karma Thieves (the readers)

David Phillips (also—flute)
Gerald Nicosia
Glenn Glover
Greg Congleton (also—rumba box)
Jack Rentfro (also—didjiridu & general noisemaking)
Jim Conn
Kari Hoffman
RB Morris
Shane Chuvalas
Other special guests

Mixed media—Eric Sublett and Jim Conn
Administrative support—Anne Moffatt

CONTACT: Greg Congleton, 804-2818; RB Morris, 974-3004 or; Jack Rentfro, 922-1296 or

This group performed this same show a few months ago to a packed house, and I heard nothing but praise praise praise for it. Check it out.

And, April 1 and 2, Julia Nance will be premiering her one-poet show, the Bookmark Slideshow at the Black Box Theatre. I'll have full details next newsletter.

So then March was all like, "You don't want no more a' this, h*!"
And April, she don't take that s***, so she was like, "L****************************!"
And March was like, "What did you say? Seriously, I mean, that's the longest curse word I've ever seen typed out, and I don't even recognize it. What cuss word starts with L and has that many letters? Are you just trying to confuse me?"
And it was then in her confusion that March acknowledged April's ability to be both intriguing and enigmatic at the same time, and allowed her to retain the title of National Poetry Month. But she can't have Marie Howe.


Sunday, January 30, 2005


In This Issue:
Go Buy Migrants and Stoways to Alleviate My Guilt
Poetry Calendar
Featured Poetry from Darfur Benefit Artists
Unfinished Business

Bad Daniel. I had said I would have this issue out last week, which would have been in time to promote the final celebratory release reading for the Knoxville Writers' Guild's newest anthology, Migrants and Stowaways. Obviously, that deadline came and went. So I must insist that all of you reading this rush out to buy Migrants and Stowaways today. In all seriousness, it is a great book, and continues the Guild's tradition of releasing aesthetically beautiful books that feature loads of talented local and national writers. It's available in most area bookstores.
The big news for this issue is the upcoming Darfur benefit show at the Emporium - read all about it in the calendar section. Also, the featured poetry for this issue includes three performers in the Darfur show.
The first Knox Word Poetry Slam under Julia Nance's direction was a big success - someone suggested last issue that we write a recap/review of that show here - I've asked Julia to do so - check the comments section/link at the bottom of this issue, and Julia should have that review up shortly.
Read on.

Emporium Building, 100 Gay St.
7 - 10 pm
Admission - by donation (suggested is $20, but whatever you're able to give is welcome)
First some info on the show - it's an amazing line-up - performers will include RB Morris, John Tirro, Marble City String Band, The Breakfast Meats, AH Squared with Angela Hill, Callie Roberson, Julia Nance, Marilyn Kallet, Daniel Roop, Rhea Sunshine, special appearance by Edye Ellis, silent auction, food from Tomato Head, etc. etc. ETC. Should be an amazing show. Now, why this show is imporant - Marilyn Kallet was kind enough to supply this info:

Over a million and a half are homeless in Darfur, 80,000 have been murdered, rape is still going on when women try to gather firewood in the morning. The Janjaweed, gangs on horseback have burned villages, poisoned wells. Over 400 villages have been burned. The villagers are darker skinned than the militia. The government of Sudan has supported the Janjaweed with aerial bombing campaigns. Doctors Without Borders has maintained the only consistent aid presence in the region, setting up feeding stations for infants, children and their mothers. Colin Powell visited in June and called this genocide; shortly after US Congress declared the situation genocide. Right now there are a few thousand African Union troops in the Sudan trying to keep the militia from attacking more villagers. The rebels against the government say that civilians are not being protected. Aid is getting through to the camps; some of the refugees are in areas that are not being reached yet, however.

The proceeds from this event will go to Doctors Without Borders.

Friday, 8pm
Emporium Building, 100 Gay Street
Admission $3
Bring your worst, most hateful love poems! Denigrate your exes on stage! $500 goes to the best rendition of "All My Exes Live in Texas" by George Strait! (I'm making that part up).
Julia Nance continues her whirlwind re-imagining of the local slam scene - sign-up starts at 7:30pm, show starts at 8 with an open mic, followed by the slam. Remember to read the comments section/link at the bottom for a review of last months show.

I'll have an ongoing show list back up next issue - if you want your event included, please email me info (even if it's been in here before - I wanna make sure everything is still current).

This issue we're featuring poetry from poets you can see live at the Darfur benefit - RB Morris, Marilyn Kallet, and myself.


It Can't Happen

Not now
not ever
not at your house
your living room, your couch
not in the late afternoon while my husband's
waiting, my daughter's on hold

Not at my house
not in the hot tub
not with wine, coke or dope
not with Mexican, Colombian or hydroptropic,
not now

Not in my office
on my desk
not in the meadow under stars
not with whiskey or Ecstasy
not in this lifetime
not now

Not unless you fall on your knees
not unless you beg, cry, plead
not unless our lips brush
not unless your caress blots out memory
not unless you're bigger than your myth
not unless you've grown braver
not unless your hair's still curly
not unless you write a poem for me
and slam it hard enough to kill reverie

Not unless you call me
write to me
not now not ever
not unless.


the tallest wall
in the world
is a word


cold kwikstop coffee -
the drive home tastes different than
the drive to your door


summer solstice eve -
on the black and white tv,
audrey hepburn's smile

Send me event listings. Come to these shows. Practice your George Strait.
Read Julia's slam review. Be sad that the comic book Promethea by Alan Moore, which has the strongest female character in recent comics history, is ending next month. Call me a nerd.
Also - congratulations are in order- Marilyn Kallet's new book, Circe, After Hours, has just been released from BkMk Press of UMKC. Yay, Marilyn! I'll have more info on how you can pick up the book next issue, or you can just come to the benefit show and ask Marilyn there.

See you in two weeks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Hey y'all, happy new year. No newsletter this time around, but a big announcement to make that I've been sitting on while we worked out details. So here it is: The next Knox Word Poetry Slam happens this Friday, the 14th, at the Emporium. The big news is that Julia Nance has agreed to take over as Creative Director of the show!!! so it should have a noticeably different feel. Make sure you don't miss this exciting new direction for the Knox Word Poetry Slam -details are below:

Friday, January 14
hosted by Julia Nance
Emporium Building
$3 admission, BYOB
8pm (sign-up starts at 7:30)
Open mic, open slam, and word on the street is there may be a guest appearance by the Robot Who Eats Robots (which certainly isn't making the other robots happy).

Hope to see y'all there.

Remember to send me listings for any upcoming events. We're back on our biweekly schedule.


The Knoxville Poetry Newsletter HalfAss Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Knoxville Poetry Newsletter Holiday Stopgap

The Knoxville Poetry Newsletter Vol 2 No. 18 December 8, 2004

In This Issue:
Not Much At All
but some local press reminders

First, a quick announcement and apology - the Knox Word Literary Whangdoodle and Poetry Slam will not happen in December - we had a date tentatively scheduled for the 10th, and have had to cancel. This will not in any way change our 2005 plans -we'll resume at the Emporium on Friday, January 14th, and the show should be better than ever - we're making a few changes I'm sure you'll like.
Also, please be on the lookout for this upcoming event in February, which we'll promote heavily here - this will be the last newsletter before the beginning of 2005, so I wanted to get a quick mention in - thanks to Marilyn Kallet for the information:

East Tennessee Artists Unite for the Displaced of Darfur
We Said "Never Again!" On Wednesday, February 2nd, from 7-10 pm at the Emporium on Gay Street,writers, songwriters, and artists will unite for an open mike and silentauction to benefit Doctors Without Borders in Darfur. We are hoping toinvolve every single writer and artist in our community, to stand upagainst genocide. Doctors Without Borders has set up feeding stationsfor infants and children in the refugee camps. Over 1,500,000 peopleare homeless; 80,000 have been murdered by the Janjaweed. Rape isstill rampant. Join us to read, sing or speak out at the open mike. Participatingartists include: RB Morris, Marilyn Kallet, John Tirro, DanielRoop, Kali Miester, Judy Loest, Julia Nance and scores of others.Local Sudanese who have been resettled in Knoxville will participateand advise. If you have artwork or signed books to donate to the silent auctionplease contact either Marilyn Kallet:, or Judy Loest, Diane Hanson of Hanson Gallery will be advisingus on the silent auction. We will request a $20 donation or whatever you can afford. Donationsto Doctors Without Borders are tax deductible. For more information, call Marilyn Kallet: 405-0668. Thank you!

That's pretty much it for this year - thanks to all of you who continue to support local art and artists. And as a quick aside - I wanted to remind all of you how many wonderful books and CDs and literary magazines are produced in Knoxville- so when you're doing your holiday shopping, think about supporting local arts. Buy someone a membership to the Knoxville Writer's Guild. Or a year subscription to New Millenium Writings. Or a copy of Knoxville Bound or Migrants and Stowaways. Or a copy of Rhea Sunshine's CD (available at Disc Exchange) or season's tickets to the Actor's Co-op. Also look into books from Iris or Celtic Cat Publishing, run by Bob Cummings and Jim Johnston, respectively - Bob published Jack Neely's latest book, and Jim has published a recent book by Marilyn Kallet, as well as a beautiful collection from Jeff Daniel Marion.

Thanks for all the support and feedback in 2004 - have great holidays, and I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you in 2005. Go Vols. Or something less orange than that.

Holiday Hugs and Kisses

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Knoxville Poetry Newsletter Vol. 2 No. 16
November 9, 2004

In This Issue:
Knox Word Needs You (Yes, You)
Poetry Calendar
Contests and Opportunities
Unfinished Business

So here's the deal. I've got lots of big ideas, and only two hands. I'm sure many of you are the same way. Let me tell you why this is a problem, and a little about Knox Word. I started Knox Word about two years ago, because I wanted Knoxville to have an arts organization dedicated to poetry and spoken word - I wanted Knoxvillians to see the best spoken word poets in the country - I wanted Knoxville writers to be inspired to hone their craft even more, and to give local writers an opportunity to perform their work in great venues to great audiences. I wanted to try to link as many Knoxville writing communities as possible. So far, it's actually going pretty good. Knox Word now publishes this newsletter which goes out to about 400 people; posts the KPN at the Knox Word website (um . . . 'kay, blogspot. Still . . . );
Knox Word hosts the twice-yearly spoken word showcases at the Black Box, and also hosts the monthly Literary Whangdoodle and Poetry Slam at the Emporium. We've brought in great poets from across the country including Ayodele, Eitan Kadosh, Derrick Brown, Jon Goode, John Kilpatrick, and have featured lots of local poets including Seed's spoken word theatre piece Jazzy Bastard's Cafe', and are promoting Julia Nance's much-anticipated one-poet show debut this spring. Not too shabby - here's the deal, though. It could be a lot more, 'cause with all that said, Knox Word is still essentially just me. And I live in freakin Morristown. (And by the way - a very huge thank you to the folks that have helped out at events so far). Knox Word has been successful enough that it has accomplished many of its initial goals - the problem now is where to go next. I've got lots of stuff I want Knox Word to do, including:
1) Produce a CD/book of local spoken word for free distribution to Knox County Schools
2) Develop a young writer's workshop series
3) Form some kind of foundation/grant/scholarship for young writers
4) Continue to bring in great national poets and promote local writers
5) Potentially host a spoken word conference - the critical literature on spoken word is
alarmingly sparse, and we can be at the forefront of trying to comment on this art as it
happens right in front of us, and help it reach even more people
And many many more things. I think all of this is realistic, and I think it will be amazing to be part of it. But this can no longer be a one-person operation if any or all of these things are to happen. So I'm putting out an open call here to any interested folks to become involved in the future of Knox Word. I have no idea what that means :+). I could see Knox Word becoming a full fledged non-profit with a board; I could see Knox Word remaining as it is with no non-profit status but with a core group who makes it go; etc. etc. etc. For any of you who are interested in this, whatever level of involvement you want is wonderful - if you just wanna help hang flyers once in a while, cool. If you want to be on whatever type of core group/board/committee we come up with, that's even better. Experience with spoken word is absolutely not necessary, as long as you're willing to soak in the scene and history a little bit. So if any of this sounds of interest to you, and I really really really hope it does, please email me backchannel at I'll put together a shortened mailing list to those folks, and we'll set up a time within the next month to meet with each other. If this sounds intriguing, yet you've never seen a Knox Word show and have no idea what I'm talking about, come to the Whangdoodle this Friday at the Emporium.
In the meantime, check out this quick reminder/update on the poetry calendar, and have a lovely week. We'll be back with the regularly scheduled KPN next week, including some featured poetry.


The following events are from Catherine Landis, to celebrate the publication of her second book on St. Martin's Press. Her first book, Some Days There's Pie, also published by St. Martin's, was a big success. The events are:

November 9, reading, Maryville College Appalachian Writers Lecture series
February 3, Writer's Guild meeting, 7 PM, reading

NOVEMBER 12 - THE KNOX WORD LITERARY WHANGDOODLE AND POETRY SLAM!!!7:30 pm sign-up, show starts at 8pm $3 BYOB
The Emporium Building, 100 Gay St. (corner of Gay and Jackson)
The Knox Word Literary Whangdoodle and Poetry Slam, back for its third month, continues to challenge the limitations of what a spoken word poetry reading can be. The evening begins with an open mic, and ends with an open poetry slam - if you wanna sign up to read, get there early. Spots fill up pretty quickly.


WRITING WORKSHOPat Barnes and Noble, Third Thursday of each month, 7pm
Poetry workshop. Free and open to all. Writing technique and critical review.Third Thursday of each month (unless changed). Meet at Barnes&Noble 7PM. contact: ; info:

Laurel Theatre, corner of 16th and Laurel
First Thursday of each month 7pm, $1 suggested donationThe Knoxville Writers' Guild meets the first Thursday of each month at Laurel Theatre, 7:00 p.m. (Laurel Theatre is at 16th and Laurel in the Ft. Sanders region of Knoxville.) Each Guild meeting offers a different program for, of or about writing. Information about upcoming meetings, contests, news and awards are always available at

OPEN MIC POETRYat 11th St. Cafe, every Wednesday at 9pm, admission freeContact for more info

Laurel Gallery 4th Floor Candy Factory, first Friday of the month, 6PM



Call for artists/writers/poets to develop collaborative multi-genre performance creations. Poetry/Dance/Music/Static Art/. Open to interested persons and ideas. Contact:, or

Create a book, a card, or poem to delight your friends and relatives, orsimply write away your Christmas blues. Columnist Don Williams will teach"Writing Down the Holidays," a course in how to turn memories and ideas into heart-felt Christmas and/or Hanukah presents more meaningful than any expensive gadget or game. The six-week course, open to all writers and aspiring writers will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 9 at Christ Chapel in the Fort Sanders Community near UT. Cost of the entire course is $135. For more information, phone 428-0389, email or enroll by showing up at the first class. Participants will engage in writing exercises, critique one other's works, study examples of effective word-craft, and consider strategies for packaging, binding or framing your words to make them suitable for gifts by the time the course is over.

This exciting workshop is designed especially for writers who want to learn the ins and outs of revising and editing, who want to find out what goes on behind the scenes in the publications trade, and who wish to learn how to revise and edit work instead of paying someone to do it. Revising and editing are integral and normal parts of the writing process, yet both are often overlooked and misunderstood - or perceived as being very difficult. This course will discuss various methods for making revising and editing easier and more enjoyable for all types of creative and technical writing. A $3 materials fee is payable to the instructor at the first class for handouts. Instructor: Ted Olson, Ph.D., Olson is the author of Blue Ridge Folklife (the University Press of Mississippi, 1998) and editor of Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual (Mercer University Press, 2004). Course #251285 Fee: $89Sat., Nov. 20, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.UT Conference Center, downtown KnoxvilleFor more information about the workshop, people can call the UT Professional and Personal Development Office at (865) 974-0150. The website address is:

Check out these events. Send me listings for your upcoming events. Send me ideas for poems or essays. Email me at to get involved with Knox Word. Find a way to vote 112 times each next time around, with rubber masks and fake ID's if necessary. Pre-order your Tofurkey. Hug your mom.