Big Ears Festival Features Knoxville Literary-Themed Events

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Big Ears Festival Features Knoxville Literary-Themed Events

Posted: 03/21/2017
Big Ears Knoxville This year, new to the Big Ears Festival, Knoxville's literary culture will be on display. Through a partnership with the City of Knoxville, Knox County Public Library and the Knoxville History Project, both Big Ears attendees and the general public are invited to experience the literature of Knoxville – past and present – in a series of free events. 

Beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 24, Cormac McCarthy’s “Suttree” takes center stage as volunteers read this classic Knoxville-based novel its entirety. Readings will take place over three days at various sites mentioned in the book, culminating at Scruffy City Hall on Sunday afternoon. A full schedule is below.  

On Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., local historian Jack Neely will lead two trolley tours through the city’s literary history, making stops along the way to hear excerpts from the works of James Agee, Nikki Giovanni, Cormac McCarthy, and Frances Hodgson Burnett. Seating is fully booked for both tours; however, interested parties may contact Jesse Mayshark at or at 865-215-3710 to get on the waiting list.

Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Jackson Terminal, Knoxville Poet Laureate R.B. Morris will host an evening of contemporary Appalachian poetry and song, showcasing some of the region’s best contemporary literary voices under the title, "Knoxville -- Bermuda Triangle of the Appalachians." Participating artists include Hector Qirko, Greg Horne, Hunter Deacon, Sparky & Rhonda Rucker, BARK, Maggie Longmire, Jack Rentfro and the Apocalypso Quartet, The Appalachian Hippie Poet, and Marilyn Kallet.

"Knoxville has a rich literary history, and these events are an opportunity to showcase it alongside all of the great music, film and art that makes up Big Ears," Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. 

All three events will be free and open to the public. Big Ears passes are not required to attend.

Suttree Marathon schedule

Friday, March 24:

11 a.m.-1 p.m. - Suttree Landing Park, 701 Langford Ave.
1 p.m.-3 p.m. - Volunteer Landing, at the east end near the mouth of First Creek
3 p.m.-6 p.m. - Suttree's High Gravity Tavern, 411 S. Gay St.
Saturday, March 25:
10 a.m.-11 a.m. - Blount Mansion, 200 W. Hill Ave.
11 a.m.-1 p.m. - East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St.
1 p.m. - 6 p.m. - Scruffy City Hall, 32 Market Square
Sunday, March 26:
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.: East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay St.
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.: Scruffy City Hall, 32 Market Square

Learn more about the Big Ears Festival at