Today's the final day of our #PorchTNPeople celebration! We're delighted to wrap it up with Gary McDowell, an incredibly talented poet, essayist, and Belmont professor of English who frequently teaches for The Porch, too. We're so thankful for his support, generosity, and enthusiasm for teaching. 

Don't forget: We're throwing a happy-hour party tomorrow, 5 to 7 pm, in honor of our community and the #BigPayback, with free food and drinks, giveaways, writerly conviviality (alllllways), and raffle prizes from Sweet 16th BakeryEast Side StoryParnassus BooksAsh BlueHer BookshopGift Horse NashvilleWoodland Wine Merchant, and more! Plus, all party-goers will receive a gift bag of goodies from Aesopan Australia-based skincare brand that will be opening a Nashville location in Edgehill Village this summer. If we get the most unique donations during these hours, we'll win $2500 from the Community Foundation -- so we hope you'll give what you can ($10 minimum donation) during these hours. But if you need to give at some other point during the day, that's A-OK, too. We deeply appreciate your support! 

Now, meet Gary:

In six words, describe your writing, or you as a writer: “The poet doesn’t invent; he listens.” —Cocteau

My favorite thing about the Porch is… the community it simultaneously creates and maintains.

Faulkner or Hemingway? Faulkner every day.

Best thing that's ever happened to you on a porch: Hmmm, how to answer this without getting in trouble. How about this: Sitting on the porch of my Aunt Mary’s cabin in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, with my dad and grandfather waiting for the sun to set so we can boat to Mielke Bay to catch some walleyes.

Where can we read your writing online? Here’s a poem The Nashville Review published last year:https://as.vanderbilt.edu/nashvillereview/archives/12859

Your favorite quote about writing/books: Just one?! I’ll go with this then: “Truth must conform to music.” —Richard Hugo

Tell us why you think The Porch should get lots of love during the Big Payback: The people I’ve met—for one, Susannah is a saint, a superstar, an amazing friend of both writers and writing—are incredibly kind, supportive, loving, and talented; the community cultivated at The Porch doesn’t exist just during the courses offered there but extends into the future, and for that alone we should all be grateful. Support The Porch because without a community, writing can be so lonely; with community, writing can be transformative.