Big Ears Partners with Third Man Books for Poetry Event

Big Ears is thrilled to partner with Third Man Books, the Nashville-based publishing wing of Jack White’s renowned Third Man Records, on an incredibly unique poetry event at the festival. Readings by Caroline Randall Williams (Lucy Negro Redux), Ciona Rouse (VANTABLACK), and Kendra DeColo (My Dinner With Ron Jeremy), plus surprise special guest musicians.


Two Nashville printers refused to print Kendra DeColo’s book MY DINNER WITH RON JEREMY. What’s between the covers? It’s not porn. So what is it? Ranging in subjects from motherhood to Tribe Called Quest to Waffle House to Ron Jeremy, it’s poetry filled with courage. Ciona Rouse’s chapbook VANTABLACK is named after the blackest substance known to humanity. The chapbook (which sold out in three weeks) is Rouse’s quiet music within the language of her poems, waiting to scream; it is the music of place, race, sexuality, home, growing up, being grown; everything in the life of a word, including some knowledge you might not expect regarding Mickey Mouse. LUCY NEGRO, REDUX is the book of poems by Caroline Randall William that has been transformed to the stage as a ballet. Native Magazine called the ballet’s debut in Nashville, “ONE OF THE MOST GROUNDBREAKING EVENTS IN THE COUNTRY” Its performance at Big Ears 2019 is sure to be one of the most-talked about events at the festival. This reading is a chance to hear her perform those poems about Shakespeare & the Dark Lady—part savvy lit crit, part blues chart, part hip revenge-femme-lyric, and part imagined interracial romance saga disguised as poems, all that inspired a ballet—in their own spotlight and space.

Kendra DeColo is the author of 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. Her poems and essays appear in American Poetry Review, Tin House Magazine, Waxwing, Los Angeles Review, Gulf Coast, Bitch Magazine, VIDA, and elsewhere. She has received awards and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Tennessee Arts Commission and Split This Rock. She is co-host of the podcast RE/VERB (a Third Man Books Production) and she lives in Nashville, Tenn.

Ciona Rouse is a poet, living in Nashville, Tenn., where she curates many poetry experiences and reading series in the city and teaches poetry workshops. Her poetry was recently acknowledged as “Best Dressed” by Sundress Publications and is featured or forthcoming on WPLN Nashville Public Radio, Nashville Public Television, Matter, and Talking River. Rouse recently won the Literary Death Match at the Southern Festival of Books. Her poetry chapbook, VANTABLACK, was released in August 2017 by Third Man Books.

Caroline Randall Williams is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, and educator in Nashville, Tenn. She is co-author of the Phyllis Wheatley Award-winning young adult novel The Diary of B.B. Bright, and the NAACP Image Award-winning cookbook and memoir Soul Food Love. The Cave Canem fellow has been published in multiple journals, essay collections, and news outlets, including The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, Southern Living, Gravy, and The New York Times. Lucy Negro, Redux: The Bard, a Book, and a Ballet (Third Man Books, 2019) is her debut poetry collection.
Located in Nashville, Tenn., Third Man Books is dedicated to publishing the best in poetry, fiction, SF/F, and non-fiction with the same diversity and aestheticism that has been the hallmark of its partner company, Third Man Records. TMR & TMB: Where your turntable’s not dead, and your page still turns.

Knoxville, TN · USA



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