March events at Burke’s Book Store
Monday, March 5th, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. (reading at 6:00). Reading and book signing with Jon Sweeney, author of Phyllis Tickle: A Life (CPI Publishing, $26.95 hardcover).
By the time of her death in 2015, Phyllis Tickle was one of the most beloved and respected figures in American religious life, and her writing offers a unique combination of the down-to-earth, deep spirituality, and scholarship. In this comprehensive new volume, Jon Sweeney, official biographer of Tickle’s literary estate, explores every aspect of her life, a more than 50-year legacy of poetry, plays, literary, spiritual, and historical/theological work, and advocacy. Himself an author and editor in the religion field, Sweeney examines Tickle’s personal and professional roots, from her family, long marriage, and life on The Farm in Lucy, Tennessee, to early academic career and move into book publishing, where her role as founding editor of the Religion Department at Publishers Weekly influenced the growth of spiritual writing and interfaith understanding during the 1990s.
Saturday, March 10th, 8:00 p.m. Reading, book signing, and music at Earnestine & Hazel’s (531 S Main) for the release of Robert Gordon’s new book, Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music’s Hometown (Bloomsbury, $28.00 hardcover). Doors open at 8 pm, reading at 8:30, live band at 9:30, featuring a Memphis super group led by sometimes Mud Boy and the Neutrons member Jim Lancaster, featuring swamp-boogie pianist Hal Newman, with Jimmy Segerson, Joe Gaston, the Hank Hooker. Books and soundtrack LP’s will be available at the event.
The interconnected profiles and stories in Memphis Rent Party convey more than a region. Like mint seeping into bourbon, Gordon gets into the wider world. He beholds the beauty of mistakes with producer Jim Dickinson (Replacements, Rolling Stones), charts the stars with Alex Chilton (Box Tops, Big Star), and mulls the tragedy of Jeff Buckley’s fatal swim. Gordon’s Memphis inspires Cat Power, attracts Townes Van Zandt, and finds James Carr always singing at the dark end of the street. A rent party is when friends come together to hear music, dance, and help a pal through hard times; it’s a celebration in the face of looming tragedy, an optimism when the wolf is at the door. Robert Gordon finds mystery in the mundane, inspiration in the bleakness, and revels in the individualism that connects these diverse encounters.
Thursday, March 29th, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Reading and book signing with poet Ann Fisher-Wirth and photographer Maude Schuyler Clay, author/illustrator of Mississippi (Wings Press, $34.95 hardcover).
This gorgeous large-format hardback features 47 poems and 47 color photographs that explore the history, culture, and ecology of the state of Mississippi. Ann Fisher-Wirth holds a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Claremont Graduate School. Her books of poems include Blue Window, Five Terraces, Carta Marina, and Dream Cabinet, and the chapbooks The Trinket Poems, Walking Wu-Wei’s Scroll, Slide Shows, and First, earth. Maude Schuyler Clay was born in Greenwood, Mississippi. After attending the University of Mississippi and the Memphis Academy of Arts, she assisted the photographer William Eggleston. Her photographs have appeared in publications such as Esquire, Fortune, and Vanity Fair, and are included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The National Museum for Women in the Arts, and the High Museum, Atlanta, among others. Her widely recognized monograph, Delta Land received a Mississippi Arts and Letters Award in 2000.
If you have any questions concerning these events, please contact Cheryl Mesler at 901-278-7484.
Burke’s Book Store
936 South Cooper Street
Memphis, TN 38104