Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two Book Events Tonight! Regarding Rule 99 at The University School, and Kathy Moses at The University Club

Posted By on Thu, May 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Helen LaFrance
  • Helen LaFrance

Both of today's picks are for book events, but with extremely different topics: At University School there's a poetry reading by four students who've written a book about a 1918 train crash, while Kathy Moses will be at The University Club to discuss her new book, a definitive account of folk artist Helen LeFrance. Both events that are being held in extremely similar-titled venues, so we came up with this mnemonic device to help you keep them straight: Poetry School, Art Club. Totally brilliant. Don't mix them up!

If you need more help distinguishing between them, Steve and I expanded on the events in the following picks:

Regarding Rule 99 Reading
When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 17
Where: The University School of Nashville's Gordon Multi-Purpose Room
Plenty of high school students have to write a paper at the end of the semester, but not many write a book — and publish it. Over the course of a semester, four USN students — Larkin Johnson, Katie May, Abigayle Horrell and Marcus Maddox — worked with poet and Vanderbilt professor Stephanie Pruitt on an ambitious and wide-ranging project: painstakingly researching a train crash at Nashville’s Dutchman’s Curve in July 1918, studying the work of great poets, and composing a book of poems about the rail tragedy, which claimed 121 lives. No less a local luminary than Ann Patchett calls the finished product “a work of compassion and artistry that fills the reader with wonder.” The authors will read from the book and sign copies; proceeds will go toward educational and creative writing projects. STEVE HARUCH

An Evening with an Author: Kathy Moses
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, May 17
Where: The University Club
Sometimes it seems that in order for art to be seen as important, influential or interesting, it has to be made in New York or L.A. But if you really want to dig into something unusual and horizon-broadening, check out some of the artists from the rural South. Case in point: Western Kentucky’s Helen LaFrance. LaFrance was born in 1919, and her paintings show colorful scenes of people dwarfed by their environments, with that obsessive self-taught quality that made the Tennessee State Museum’s recent retrospective of Howard Finster seem more psychedelic than traditional. An upcoming exhibition at the state museum is in the works, but in the meantime, Kathy Moses has just published a definitive account of LaFrance’s work — Helen LaFrance: Folk Art Memories — and she’ll be on hand to discuss the book tonight. Moses literally wrote the book on Southern outsider art — her Outsider Art of the South is now out of print, but is still considered an essential text on the subject. LAURA HUTSON

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