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TPAC Presents Spoken Word & Poetry Festival

With a combination of poetry and music, these three performances highlight the power of the spoken word.

Top poets from around the country will perform alongside local poets and songwriters representing diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds at Minton Sparks’ Spoken Word and Poetry Festival, which takes place at Tennessee Performing Arts Center Dec. 2 – 4.

Led by Minton Sparks, the wildly original poet, performance artist, novelist, teacher and essayist, the festival includes performances from Lonnie HolleyDerrick C. Brown and artists from the youth organization Southern Word. With a combination of poetry and music, these three performances highlight the power of the spoken word.

Single tickets for the Spoken Word and Poetry Festival start at $55 at TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040 and in person at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick St., in downtown Nashville. Patrons are encouraged to have tickets delivered to the TPAC Concierge App.

About Minton Sparks

Minton Sparks was born in a Tennessee college town and raised in and around Arkansas. She earned degrees from the University of the South and Vanderbilt University. Her appearances range from the prestigious Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival to the Grand Ole Opry and the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center in New York City. Mary Houlihan with the Chicago Sun-Times says, “Sparks has a unique niche that soulfully marries the southern storytelling tradition with the strains of old-time music for a hybrid that is all her own.”

About Lonnie Holley

Since 1979, Lonnie Holley has devoted his life to the practice of improvisational creativity. His art and music, born out of struggle and hardship, but perhaps more importantly, out of furious curiosity and biological necessity, have manifested themselves in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, performance and sound. Holley’s sculptures are constructed from found materials in the oldest tradition of African American sculpture. He also found success with a spoken word album that was named Top 10 of 2018 by The New Yorker and Newsweek. The Huffington Post calls Holley “the most genuine performance artist in the mother universe.”

About Derrick C. Brown

Derrick C. Brown is a novelist, comedian, poet and storyteller. He is the winner of the 2013 Texas Book of The Year award for Poetry, a former paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne and the owner and president of Write Bloody Publishing, which Forbes and Filter Magazine call “…one of the best independent poetry presses in the country.” Brown has also written eight books of poetry and four children’s books. The New York Times says his work is “…a rekindling of faith in the weird, hilarious, shocking, beautiful power of words.”


About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.