Jesse Graves, Friday, October 25 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, October 26, 9 a.m. - noon.
Appalachian Reading Series Presents Jesse Graves
Lincoln Memorial University’s (LMU) Appalachian Reading Series will feature poet Jesse Graves on Friday, October 25 at 7 p.m. Graves will also present a free poetry writing workshop on Saturday, October 26, from 9 a.m. to noon.
Graves was raised in Sharps Chapel, Tenn., a community just north of Knoxville where his German ancestors settled in the 1780s. He teaches writing and literature classes at East Tennessee State University as an assistant professor of English. Graves completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Tennessee, and a master of fine art in creative writing from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
Graves first poetry collection, Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, was published by Texas Review Press in 2011. Other work appears in current or forthcoming issues of Prairie Schooner, Georgia Review, Missouri Review, Appalachian Heritage and Connecticut Review. His second poetry collection, Basin Ghosts, will be released in early 2014.
In addition to the recent publication, Graves has served as co-editor of Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume III: Contemporary Appalachia and Volume VI: Tennessee, as well as Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers. He was guest editor for a special issue of The Southern Quarterly on the poetry and prose of Robert Morgan, one of Graves’ former professors.
Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine received the prestigious 2012 Weatherford Award in Poetry, as well as the Poetry Book of the Year Award from the Appalachian Writers’ Association. Graves also won the 2013 Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing in all genres, given by Morehead State University.
“He’s one of the region’s and one of the country’s finest younger poets,” said LMU Writer-in-Residence Darnell Arnoult. “It’s a thrill to know that he was born and raised so close to LMU in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee. He serves as a wonderful example to young people from this region who want to write poetry, and in fact, he’s one of the favorite instructors at LMU’s summer Young Writers Workshop.”
Graves will read at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 25, in the Arnold Auditorium of LMU’s Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. Graves will read from Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine and newer works. His collection will be available for purchase and signing. Admission is free and open to the public. The community poetry workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, October 26, in room 105 of the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. For more information or to reserve a spot in the workshop, contact Darnell Arnoult at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-869-7074.
The Appalachian Reading Series and associated writing workshops are supported in part through a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.