THACKER MOUNTAIN RADIO HOUR: Jason Mott, Kendra Allen, & Nathan Harris

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Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 6:00pm

Thursday, March 31 – celebrating the Oxford Conference for the Book!

**VENUE HAS CHANGED! Join us at the Old Armory Pavilion

Author: Jason Mott – National Book Award winner for Hell of A Book
Author: Kendra Allen – The Collection Plate: Poems
Author: Nathan Harris – The Sweetness of Water – (Winner of The Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction)

Music: Thomas Dollbaum – Wellswood – Big Legal Mess recording artist

Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhacker Big Band with the Thacker Horns and vocalist Mary Frances Massey

Air times:

Thursday, March 31 – 6:00 pm (CT) WUMS – University of Mississippi

Friday, April 9 – 9 am WYXR 91.7 FM Memphis, TN.

Saturday, April 10 –3 pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio


Jason Mott has published four novels. His first novel, The Returned, was a New York Times bestseller and was turned into a TV series that ran for two seasons.

His most recent novel, Hell of A Book (Dutton), was named the winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, 2021.

In Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and more urgent: Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

As these characters’ stories build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.

Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists, it truly becomes its title.

The novel was chosen as a “Book of the Year” by numerous publications including The Washington PostTIMEThe Philadelphia InquirerUSA TodayNPRThe Atlanta Journal Constitution and many more.

Kendra Allen

Author of the poetry collection, The Collection Plate (Ecco), Allen loops exultantly through the overlapping experiences of girlhood, Blackness, sex, and personhood in America.

The award-winning essayist and poet braids together personal narrative and cultural commentary, wrestling with the beauty and brutality to be found between mothers and daughters, young women and the world, Black bodies and white space, virginity and intrusion, prison and freedom, birth and death.

Most of all, The Collection Plate explores both how we collect and erase the voices, lives, and innocence of underrepresented bodies—and behold their pleasure, pain, and possibility.

Kendra Allen was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She is the recipient of the 2018 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction for her essay collection, When You Learn the Alphabet, awarded by Kiese Laymon.

Nathan Harris is author of the novel, The Sweetness of Water (Little, Brown). The book is the winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction as well as an Oprah Book Pick.

In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.

Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.

The book is A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, an Indie Next pick and one of President Obama’s favorite books of 2021. The Sweetness of Water was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Harris was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree in 2021.

He lives in Seattle, Washington.


Thomas Dollbaum

Songwriter Thomas Dollbaum’s latest release is the LP, Wellswood (Big Legal Mess).

Dollbaum’s spare but piercing lyrics have drawn comparisons to Raymond Carver and Breeze D’J Pancake.

In 2015, Tampa, Florida-native Dollbaum moved to New Orleans to study at the University of New Orleans for his master’s in poetry.

While in New Orleans, he worked as a carpenter and began writing the songs that eventually became Wellswood. The album was recorded over many sessions during the pandemic in New Orleans in an old hotel suite-turned-recording studio by friend and fellow musician Matthew Seferian. Thomas still resides there, running his own carpentry business.


Event address: 
Old Armory Pavilion
Oxford, MS 38655
The Sweetness of Water (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel By Nathan Harris Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780316362481
Published: Little, Brown and Company - June 15th, 2021

An Instant New York Times bestseller / An Oprah’s Book Club Pick

In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, an award-winning “miraculous debut” (Washington Post) about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever

Hell of a Book: A Novel By Jason Mott Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9780593330968
Published: Dutton - June 29th, 2021



Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize Finalist, 2022 Chautauqua Prize Finalist, Willie Morris Award for Southern Writing Shortlist, 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize Shortlist, 2022 Maya Angelou Book Award Shortlist, 2022 Carnegie Medal Longlist

The Collection Plate: Poems By Kendra Allen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063048478
Availability: Usually Arrives in Store in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - July 6th, 2021

A deeply wrought and joyful debut poetry collection from an exciting new voice