Over at Chapter16.org, the literary website of the state of Tennessee, editor Margaret Renkl is sounding the alarm about the proposed federal budget, which would not fund the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In her weekly editor’s note, Margaret writes, “As a program of Humanities Tennessee, which is funded primarily by federal grants from the NEH, Chapter 16 could not survive if this budget is passed.”
The disappearance of Chapter 16 would be a blow to Tennesseans, particularly Tennesseans who read, write, or benefit from the energy, wisdom, humor, and creativity of people who read and write. That is to say, all Tennesseans.
From Margaret’s letter:
Chapter 16 is the only publication in this state that provides daily coverage of literary news around Tennessee. Our reviews and interviews are reprinted, without charge, in newspapers across the state each week, too, as a service to the readers and writers of Tennessee. If you’re a reader who’s found a book (or a poem or an essay) you love through this newsletter or through one of our newspaper partners, if you’re an author whose book we’ve covered, or if you’re an aspiring writer who hopes we’ll still be around when your own book hits shelves, please let your members of Congress know that the National Endowment for the Humanities is important to you.
When I’m not banging my head against 2×4’s in construction school, I’m often banging out thoughts on a keyboard, and Chapter 16 is a constant inspiration. I’m grateful to Humanities Tennessee for publishing, a few years ago, a personal essay that meant a lot to me. In the absence of Chapter 16, a column about my family’s cheerful failure at urban homesteading likely never would have seen the light of day.
So, in gratitude for Chapter 16 and in celebration of the arrival of spring, I offer the link to that essay, “Spring Theory,” originally published at Chapter16.org in May 2014. While you’re on the site, check out what Chapter 16 has to offer and why it’s worth fighting for.
Photo credit: Painting by Nashville artist Ruben Torres