Monday, November 28, 2011

The Speakeasy Comes Alive for the Holidays

Christian J. Collier and Mark “Porkchop” Holder will be joining forces again on December 17th at the Moccasin Bend Brewing Company (4015 Tennessee Ave.) in St. Elmo. For over a year, the two have been responsible for the Strange Bedfellows shows at the Brewery. This time, however, they are hosting The Speakeasy Revue, a unique open-mic night showcasing an eclectic blend of poetry/spoken word and music.

The Speakeasy debuted in 2009 and has been facilitated and hosted by Collier. Over the past two years, the open-mic has had a unique and diverse array of readers and performers, including multiple Pushcart Prize nominees and even acclaimed comedian Doug Stanhope.

Doors will open for The Speakeasy Revue at 8PM. Those interested in performing will also be able to sign-up at that time. Admission is $5 at the door. For more information, Christian J. Collier can be reached at

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Giving Thanks & Beyond


I hope everybody had an enjoyable Bird Day. I e-mailed the people on the MANIFEST mailing list early on Thursday to wish them all an enjoyable day. I actually received a response from someone that said, “Please unsubscribe me from this list.” Ah, Holiday cheer. It’s all good though. Growing up Black in this region of the USA, my feelings are a little bit harder to bruise.

Anyway, November’s almost finished. December’s going to be a lot of fun for Team MANIFEST and me. At my last ATL performance, I got hipped to a spot in Dahlonega, so there might be a field trip in the near future to see what it’s about. Also, I’m gearing up for the Winder Binder reading on Dec. 4th. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading as of late, and I’ve devoted a good bit of the past few days to checking out the works of some of the authors who will also be reading, and they’re great. It’s going to be big fun, and I’m really looking forward to it.

December 9th, however, is the next MANIFEST. It’s the last one of the year, and there aren’t enough positive things that I can say about it. In addition to having phenomenal talents grace the stage, we're accepting toy donations for underprivileged children. Help us support a great cause. I GUARANTEE that you will be immensely entertained by Mr. Shane Morrow’s TheCreativeUnderground (don’t be surprised if assorted members of Team MANIFEST get down as well). If you’re feeling festive or just love what we do, please bring yourselves out on the 9th and get down with us.

Well gang, keep writing, keep living life, and keep in touch.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Hey Everybody,

I have some new videos for you all. I've been putting the MANICAM to use. Check out what I've managed to snap below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

MANIFEST Wraps Up 2011 with Voices of Hope

The final MANIFEST showcase of 2011 will be a collaboration with Shane Morrow’s The Creative Underground called Voices of Hope on December 9th at the Camp House (1427 Williams St). This installment of the series promises to offer something unique for the Holiday season.

Shane Morrow is a masterful musician and singer who hails from Connecticut. In addition to being a musical virtuoso, he is also the director of The CreativeUnderground, which is a multicultural collective whose focus is on community arts. Most recently, Mr. Morrow and The CreativeUnderground finished a successful run of the Sing Mahalia Sing gospel musical at The Bessie Smith Hall. Earlier this year, Morrow served as the primary force behind both the Jazz in the Hall and Songbook: Aretha Franklin tribute performances, and co-headlined the MANIFEST: Art & Soul showcase in June.

General admission for MANIFEST: Voices of Hope is $10. As a special treat, those who bring gifts to donate to The Urban League Young Professionals Association will receive $1 off the cover. The purpose of the toy drive is to assist local underprivileged children whose families cannot afford presents for the Holidays. New toys and books would be appreciated for younger children. Gift cards, sporting goods, and beauty supplies are recommended gifts for teens. Doors on the December 9th will open at 8. The show will get underway at 9. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reading Information for Dec. 4th

Hey Gang,

I hope everybody’s doing well and gearing up for (hopefully) an abbreviated work week. I’ve posted a few times about the upcoming reading at Winder Binder on Dec. 4th. Here’s some information that Brother Ray Zimmerman provided for the event. Enjoy:

Winder Binder Gallery and Bookstore
40 Frazier Avenue
Sunday, December 4
2 PM to 4 PM

For your friends who like to read, books make the perfect gift. Join local authors for dynamic readings and recitations of their work. Many of the participating writers have published books available for purchase at Winder Binder.

Finn Bille, author or Fire Poems and contributor to Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets. Finn has been writing, reading, teaching, publishing, and promoting poetry since his teenage years in Copenhagen, Denmark. The International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark, published his chapbook, Waking Dreams (1986). His collection of poems, Rites of the Earth, appeared in 1994 with notes on each poem and an article on revision. Bille has published about eighty poems individually in various magazines and anthologies. Fire Poems appeared in 2011.

Ray Zimmerman Executive Editor and contributor to Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets. Ray is a former president of the Chattanooga Writers Guild and won Second Place in the 2007 poetry contest of the Tennessee Writers Alliance. His chapbook, Searching for Cranes, received favorable commentary in Bloomsbury Review. He has organized poetry readings at Pasha Coffee House and other Chattanooga venues. Ray was the subject of a feature article in the September 2008 issue of Blush Magazine. He read from Southern Light at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee in October of 2011.

Christian Collier, author of Ghosts and Echoes. Christian J. Collier was born in Slidell, LA and attended the University of Tampa. He is the author of two chapbooks, most recently Ghosts & Echoes. His works have appeared in Oysters & Chocolate, DEBACLE, The New Writer and other literary publications. He is also the founder, promoter, and host of The Speakeasy poetry open-mic and the MANIFEST arts showcase in Chattanooga, TN. In 2011, Mr. Collier was featured on the IndieFeed Performance Poetry Channel. The site prides itself on featuring the best spoken word artists working in the field.

Bruce Majors, author of The Fields of Owl Roost and contributor to Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets. Bruce grew up in East Tennessee, graduated from Tennessee Technological University, and retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority. He has published poems in Arts and Letters, Pinesong, The Distillery, River Poets Journal, Number One, and other literary journals. His book, The Fields of Owl Roost, is an autobiographical collection of loosely related poems that has been said to capture the eccentricity of our imperfect world. It was named first finalist in the 2005 Indie Excellence Book Awards.

Marsha Matthews, author of Northbound Single Lane and Sunglow and a Touch of Nottingham Lace.

Helga Kidder, contributor to Southern Light, Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets received a BA in English from the University of Tennessee and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. She is a co-founder of the Chattanooga Writers Guild and leads their poetry group. Her poetry and translations have been published in many journals and anthologies. Her chapbook Gravel was published by Poetry Miscellany Chapbooks, UTC, Chattanooga, in 1994. Her chapbook Why I Reach for the Stars was a finalist in the Firewheel Chapbook competition.

Penny Dyer is the recipient of the 2007 Oberon Poetry Prize and the 2006 Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry. Her work also appears in Original Sin: The Seven Deadlies Come Home to Roost, Southern Reader, Poems Niederngasse, SouthLit, Arsenic Lobster, Dogwood, Oberon, New Millennium Writings and Narrative. Penny writes in several genres and is at work on a poetry collection, Awaiting the Fall of Babylon, and a novel, How Sweet the Sound. Her poem “Summer Storm, 1963” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She read her poems from Southern Light at the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee, in July of 2011.

Rebecca Cook writes poetry and prose and has published in many literary journals, including New England Review, Northwest Review, New Orleans Review, Wicked Alice, Midwest Quarterly, Story South, and Quarter After Eight. A two-time Pushcart nominee, she was awarded a writer’s residency at Dairy Hollow Writers’ Colony in 2005, and she was a Margaret Bridgman Scholar in fiction at the 2009 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her chapbook of poems, The Terrible Baby, is available from Dancing Girl Press. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. 

For further information, contact Ray Zimmerman:

Friday, November 18, 2011

YP Awards Wrap-Up

What a day I had yesterday! The YPAC Awards were held at a great luncheon. I didn’t win Artist of the Year, but Michael Brandt, who did, was very deserving. I’m proud of him and his accomplishments. Honestly, I felt the overwhelming majority of the nominees in each category were very qualified and deserving of the award.

I know it’s clich├ęd, but I was so honored to have been nominated with a number of driven and like-minded spirits. As I was sitting there taking it at all in, I felt both inspired and affirmed. It was amazing to have had the chance to be surrounded by people whose individual and group efforts have helped to shape Chattanooga into what it currently is and what it is rapidly becoming.

 I realize that through the recognition of all of you out there, the opportunity to experience this was availed to me. What more can I say aside from thank you, thank you, thank you!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Who Likes Free Shirts?

I’ll be participating in a reading at Winder Binder (40 Frazier Ave.) on December 4th with Ray Zimmerman, Bruce Majors, Finn Bille, etc. As I’ve mentioned before, my chapbook is now being carried by the store.

I want to do something special. Starting today, if you make the trek to Winder Binder and purchase a copy of Ghosts & Echoes, take a picture of yourself WITH the book in your possession (be creative) either in or outside of the store (if you can loop some of the staff into the picture, you’ll get major style points), I’ll hook you up with a FREE MANIFEST t-shirt. If I’m out of your particular size, I’ll work something else out, like arranging discounted admission to a future MANIFEST event, for instance. Pictures can be e-mailed to Let’s get snappin’!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MANIFEST: Year One Wrap-Up

Ladies and gentlemen, we managed to have ourselves a TREMENDOUS time on Friday. The turnout was great, the atmosphere was phenomenal, and the performances were stellar. I had the distinct honor of not only hosting, but doling out birthday cake to everybody who came… and it was GOOD, too.

Britni Bridgeforth had to drop out of the show, but as fate would have it, I managed to fill her slot with none other than my good friend Mark “Porkchop” Holder. We came dangerously close to having the same line-up that we did at the very first MANIFEST without even trying.

I decided to do something a bit different and have a themed set. All of the poems I delivered had to do with love. I dealt with lost loved, missing love, love through hardship, etc. I also did a good number of new poems, and they were all well-received, so I feel like I did a sufficient job.

The next MANIFEST will be December 9th. Mr. Shane Morrow, leader of The Creative Underground, will be our featured artist, but he’ll be bringing a good number of immensely talented individuals to assist him in entertaining you fine folks. You’ll be in for a definite treat. This, Your Friendly Neighborhood Christian can guarantee.

Switching gears, the online voting for the YP Awards ends tomorrow. To those of you who took the time to jump onto Facebook and vote for me, I sincerely appreciate it. Winning the award would be a wonderful honor, but none of the artistic pursuits I’ve involved myself with are done to win anything. Even if I don’t win, I have had such an amazing and affirming year that there’s no way that I could be disappointed with anything that’s transpired.

Well folks, that’s all I’ve got for the time being. Enjoy the week, do good things, and make sure to check out something that super-producer Jon Brion has laid his hands on. You’ll thank me once you do.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Please Cast Your Vote!!!

Hey Everyone,

I have been named a finalist for the Young Professional Association of Chattanooga’s Artist of the Year Award. The awards will be announced on November 18th. I know that I’ve asked for your votes before, but if you would like to cast an online vote for me (online votes will consist of 30% of each nominee’s score), you can do so here:

As always, I’m thankful for your continued support. I hope to see you good people out this Friday night for MANIFEST: Year One as well!


Christian J. Collier

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Breaking November In

Greetings, I had the distinct honor of performing in Decatur, GA last night at Kavarna. I really dig that place and look forward to heading back at some point in the future. Honestly, my performance was on the sloppy side, and it was all on me. I just couldn’t get into a consistent groove with the pieces. Regardless, I did my thing and received a lot of love and support.

So, THIS FRIDAY is MANIFEST: Year One. Doors open at 8. Friends, I can guarantee you that Team MANIFEST is going to be wrecking shop at The Camp House (1427 Williams St.). I’ve had the opportunity to see everyone develop a tremendous amount, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll all be on top of things. We’re going to deliver you lovely folks A SHOW.

Tomorrow, I will find out if I’m a finalist for the YPAC Artist of the Year Award. Regardless of how it shakes out, I just want to stress how thankful I am to those of you who took time out of your lives to vote for me. It would be great to be able to come away with the award, but having the support of all of you out there means far more.

Lastly, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed a few tweaks to the blog. You can now buy Ghosts & Echoes, my chapbook, directly in the products section. I plan on adding some other interesting pages in the near future, so make sure to stay tuned. I’m going to be immersing myself in tech-nerd territory… and, probably, enjoying it.

Well folks, enjoy the upcoming week. Bring yourselves to MANIFEST on Friday and have some cake with the gang. We’re good peeps. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Blessings