Thursday, May 13, 2010

After the Flood: Recollections From Chapter 16/Scene Writers

Posted By on Thu, May 13, 2010 at 8:10 AM

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The talented writers at Chapter 16, whose work can frequently be seen in the Nashville Scene's book pages, have written their own personal reflections on the Nashville Flood. A service of Humanities Tennessee, Chapter 16 provides in-depth coverage of books pertinent to Tennessee, including reviews, Q&As and information about upcoming events.

Below is a segment from Chapter 16 editor Margaret Renkl's eloquent introduction to the collection, including links to the various stories:

... we're offering a series of tiny vignettes, each telling one small part of the story of Tennessee's flood. In many ways, these are only the barest edges of the tapestry, for no one truly devastated this week had the time, or the heart, to write an essay. You won't read here—at least not yet—about what it feels like to lose every piece of furniture in your house, or to learn that someone you love didn't make it out in time. The real heart of the story of this flood is still to come.

Until then, look for Maria Browning's account of watching a hummingbird patiently waiting out the storm on her porch, for Wayne Christeson's tale of helping an artist carry her still-wet canvasses to higher-ground, for Paul Griffith's meditation on the meaning of a water-logged guitar, and Anne Reeves's thoughts on crossing the angry Tennessee River on I-65, and Lyda Phillips's glimpse of a drowned woodchuck in Shelby Park. And because, as Auden noted, every human disaster "takes place/ While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along," don't miss Liz Garrigan's piece about playing with her children in the rain, and essays by Faye Jones and Susannah Felts on the eeriness of being untouched by an event so seemingly universal. ...

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