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11/18 - SOME NOTES YOU HOLD by Rita Quillen & CODE by Charlotte Pence

Union Ave Books welcomes Rita Sims Quillen and Charlotte Pence to present their new poetry collections SOME NOTES YOU HOLD and CODE. This free virtual event takes place on Wednesday Nov. 18th @ 7pm (Eastern) on Zoom, send an RSVP to to attend. Please include the the title of the books SOME NOTES YOU HOLD & CODE in the subject line. We will send the zoom link the day of the event. 

Purchase SOME NOTES YOU HOLD here:

Purchase CODE here:



Some Notes You Hold is about surviving what life throws at us as we age. The so-called "golden years" are so named because of the high admission price--the tremendous losses, disappointments, illnesses, and failures we all experience if we live long enough. The first part of the book, called "Letting Go," focuses on surviving deep grief. The middle section is a musical interlude, exploring the tremendous power of music to heal us mentally, physically, and spiritually and to reorder our thinking and our emotions. The last section, "Holding On," explores the roads leading to survival: prayer and meditation, communion with the natural world, and writing. The price paid for those "golden years" leads to the prize: insight, joy, and a kind of peace we were incapable of when we were young.


At its center, CODE features a narrative sequence with three characters: a new father, a mother dying young from an inherited disease, and that mother's own DNA. In light of exciting new developments such as CRISPR that would allow us to alter genetics and eradicate certain diseases, this book approaches ethical questions from an angle that science cannot. Ultimately, CODE is a book about grief--specifically, how to accept it. These poems attest to how we preserve what is lost, not only through story and poetry, but also through nonverbal means like cave art and DNA.


Rita Quillen novel Wayland, a sequel to Hiding Ezra, was published by Iris Press in fall, 2019. Her full-length poetry collection, The Mad Farmer’s Wife, was published in 2016 by Texas Review Press, a Texas A & M affiliation and was a finalist for the Weatherford Award in Appalachian Literature from Berea College. Her novel Hiding Ezra, released by Little Creek Books, was a finalist for the 2005 DANA Awards. One of six semi-finalists for the 2012-14 Poet Laureate of Virginia, she has received three Pushcart nominations, and a Best of the Net nomination in 2012.

Charlotte Pence’s poetry merges the personal with the scientific. Her first book, Many Small Fires (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), received a Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award. Director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing, she is also the author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks and the editor of The Poetics of American Song Lyrics (University Press of Mississippi, 2012). Pence is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Redden Fund, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Alvin H. Nielson Memorial Fund, the Discovered Voices Award, New Millennium Writing Award, and many others. New poems have recently been published in Epoch, Harvard Review, and The Southern Review.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 7:00pm
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902
Some Notes You Hold: New and Selected Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948692441
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Madville Publishing - October 22nd, 2020

Code Cover Image
ISBN: 9781625578273
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Black Lawrence Press - July 1st, 2020

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