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Virtual Reading Events in Knoxville to Support Community

WRITTEN BY Chelsea Hall

During the pandemic, many things have shifted and changed. Socialization seems as though it is a thing of the past. Luckily, there are many members of the Knoxville community that are trying to keep human interaction alive and well. 

One of the new socialization events that has emerged in the pandemic is virtual readings. 

Virtual readings are fun and connecting events for book readers and non-book readers alike. These events not only allow connection for the attendees, but also for the author. 

These events are important for the author because it is a way to connect with old fans and to discover new fans. 

Sometimes these events are also the only human interactions outside their home that the authors are getting. These authors are just like us; everyone needs a break from Netflix and whipped coffee to discover a good book. 

Sundress Reading Series

A popular reading event that went virtual is the Sundress Reading Series hosted by Sundress Academy for the Arts. This reading series was awarded best reading series of the South in 2014 by “LitBridge Winner.” 

SAFTA has had amazing writers from all over the country come and perform their works. Their reading events do not only include readings from books, but also poetry, for all the poets in your life. 

SAFTA is also a part of Sundress Publications, and it is a great event to discover new talents and reading material as well as to support Knoxville.

Sundress Reading Series is open to the public and free. The only thing that is required from viewers is a Zoom password to enter the event, which is on their website under the Zoom link.

The reading schedule with upcoming dates and writers can be found on their webpage. 

Union Ave Books

Another popular Knoxville local event is virtual book events by Union Ave Books. 

Union Ave books is a local, woman-owned and independent book shop. Union Ave, like most bookstores, has moved its reading events online. It is giving the same quality reading events, just in the comfort of your home. 

Union Ave has its reading schedule on its website under the tab titled events. All the reading events are free and opened to the public. There is only a limited amount of space so the event coordinators ask for guests to register with the link provided on the event page

Chiasmus Reading Series

Not all virtual readings events are hosted outside the realm of the University of Tennessee, though. The Chiasmus Reading Series is hosted by University of Tennessee Creative Writing. 

This reading series is a little different than the others — the writers and performers are all related to the University of Tennessee. 

All works will have been done by either an undergraduate, graduate or faculty of UT. This is a great reading series to not only support local writers but to also support Volunteers. 

This reading series, unlike the others, is limited to the month of April as of right now. To find out more about this amazing reading series, check out their Facebook. 

While the world has changed and it seems like less and less connections are being made, the Knoxville reading community is there to help. They are providing opportunities for some safe human interaction and the ability to find your new favorite author. 

This is the chance to find a good book to get lost in while supporting the Knoxville community.