And as much as I love those poets, I feel so much pride when I learn about a local Black poet like Ishmael Reed, especially when I find a piece like his poem, Chattanooga. Ishmael has written 30+ books of poetry, plays, essays, fiction, and nonfiction.📚
If you’re anything like me – then you know nothing says fall mood like picking up a book of poetry from a local bookstore like Winder Binder + heading to a park for some time in this gorgeous October weather. And once you’re done with his poetry, I recommend giving his plays a try.
Ishmael’s latest play is called The Haunting of Lin Manuel Miranda and is arebuttal against Lin Manuel Miranda AND his hit musical Hamilton – and the theatre major in me absolutely cannot wait to read it. 🎭
And if you’re looking for some other works by Black poetsfrom Tennessee, and the South as a whole check out TN poet Nikki Giovanni – one of Oprah’s 25 Living Legends and the first recipient of TheRosa Parks Women of Courage Award.
Theresa Davis, Frank X Walker, and me. | Photo by Dani I.
I also highly recommend Frank X Walker. I met Frank in 2017 during the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Lexington, Kentucky, where he led an incredible writer’s workshop along with Atlanta poetTheresa Davis. I got to spend some time with him afterward + told him that I’d love to win an Oscar for screenwriting one day. We took this picture together + he held out a lollipop and said, “This lollipop represents that Oscar.”
It was a wonderful time, and while reading poetry on your own is always lovely, if you have the chance to get out + hear someone read poetry live, do it.
ProTip: Erika Roberts, AKA Velvet Poetry, is a local black poet + icon.
Announced ○ On Wednesday, the NCAA selected Chattanooga as the host city for six championships for soccer, softball and tennis from 2023 through 2026. Among them is the DII Soccer Championship, which has never been hosted by Chattanooga and will be held at the new CHI Memorial Stadium, where the USL League One professional team, Chattanooga Red Wolves SC, plays. Go here to see all six championships the city will be hosting. ⚽ (The Pulse)
Coronavirus ○ The Hamilton County Health Department is seeing an increase in COVID-19 testing this week.In the past week, the health department conducted 9,525 COVID-19 tests, which is an average of 1,361 new tests per day. As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, the health department reports a total of 10,907 cases with 831 active, 9,973 recovered, and 103 dead. (Chattanooga Times Free Press) ○ Tennessee has been included in a list of 15 states facing an active or imminent outbreak of COVID-19 according to COVID ActNow, a volunteer-driven 501c3 non-profit. The study shows TN has a rate of 27.5 active cases per 100,00 residents. Over the next year, this number translates to about 690,000 cases + an estimated 3,400,000 infections — 50.3% of the population. (NewsChannel 9)
Civic ○ As of Thurs., Oct. 15, the Riverwalk’s boardwalk repairs have been completed and all segments of the Tennessee Riverpark are now open again for public enjoyment. ○ The Bi-Annual National Drug Take Back will be held on Sat., Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event provides residents the opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted medications. To participate, just make your way to a Drug Take Back location, where law enforcement or a volunteer will take the medications for proper disposal. 💊
Health ○ CHI Memorial Rees Skillern Cancer Institute has a new resource to help cancer patients in the Chattanooga area + their families navigate the cancer journey from start to finish. Cancer Connect provides the guidance, support, and information needed to fight cancer and win. To reach Cancer Connect, call (423) 495-2222. Staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions and direct callers to the appropriate resources.
Asked ○ From light displays to inflatable ghouls, larger-than-life spiderwebs + porches with poltergeists – you no longer need to travel to a haunted house to see the best spooky scenes in Chattanooga. What homes, neighborhoods, or businesses have the best Halloween decorations? It can be your own or one you’ve spotted around town. Let us know. It’d be a real treat if you include details about the decor – or better yet, a picture.🕷
TheBuy ○ Chattanooga Tourism Co. launched a new, online storefront for local gear. You can buy tees, water bottles, masks, and more to rep your favorite city. Check it out. 🛍️
FactOrFiction ○ Going solar means you’re “off the grid” and don’t have to pay energy bills. Fact or fiction? Answer here.Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
We got word of another fun fall event after publishing our fall bucket list on Thursday. Rising Fawn Gardens will open the gates to the public on Sat., Oct. 24 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m so folks can explore the trails and visit the gardens. There will also be a schedule of fun activities, including a mushroom tasting + hayrides. 🍄
This fall farm day is free and visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and spend the day exploring the grounds. 🥾 Learn more here.
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TheBuy ○ Night Market | Fri., Oct. 16 | 6-9 p.m. | Chattanooga Brewing Co., 1804 Chestnut St. | Free Entry | Night Market will feature vintage + handmade goods, food, and more from over 20 local vendors. 🛍️
Show ○ The Carpetbagger’s Comedy Hour | Fri., Oct. 16 | 9-10 p.m. | Bode Chattanooga, 730 Chestnut St. | $8 | This is a bi-weekly comedy show featuring local talent alongside NYC-comedians who have been seen on Netflix, late-night shows, as well as at Gotham, The Comedy Store, Standup NY, and more. Tickets come with a beer. 🎤
Holiday ○ Boo in the Zoo | Fri., Oct. 16 + Sat., Oct. 17 | 4-8 p.m. | Chattanooga Zoo, 301 N Holtzclaw Ave. | $10-$15 | The Chattanooga Zoo’s Boo in the Zoo event will feature timed ticket entries for safety, a costume contest, scavenger hunt, candy stations, and more. 🦊 ○ Nightmare Before Christmas with the Pumpkin King and Queen | Fri., Oct. 16 | 6-9 p.m. CDT | The Oldham, 115 1st Ave. Northeast, Winchester, TN 37398 | $15-$25 | This event provides a not so spooky private showing at the historical Oldham Theatre in downtown Winchester, TN.
Saturday ○ Here Come the Mummies | Sat., Oct. 17 | 7 p.m. | AT&T Field, 201 Power Alley | $25+ | This funk band well-known for its completely anonymous band members will perform a live, socially-distanced show at AT&T Field. 🎵 ○ After-Hours Dance Party | Sat., Oct. 17 | 11:30 p.m. – 3:30 a.m. | Mayan Kitchen, 507 Broad St. | Free | This late night dance party hosts a variety of Latin music and drinks for an all night dance party. 💃 ○ Creative Discovery Museum’s Birthday Bash | Sat., Oct. 17 | 10 a.m.-9 p.m. | Various Locations | $25 | Celebrate the museum’s 25th birthday with pumpkin carving, a downtown scavenger hunt (21+), a lip sync showdown for families or adults, and more. 🥳
Sunday ○ Halloween Spider Weaving | Sun., Oct. 18 | 1-3 p.m. | Virtual | $20 | This virtual course will have students in the Halloween spirit as they learn to the basics of branch weaving to create a spider. Host Lisa Denney will walk you through creating spooky mantle or centerpieces in this virtual class. 🕷️ ○ In The Studio with Cindy Procious | Sun., Oct. 18 | 2-4 p.m. | Virtual | $35 | Artist Cindy Procious hosts this virtual art talk and demo.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.