Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Jesse Graves

Discovering the Soil All Over Again

An interview with Museum of Appalachia founder John Rice Irwin

When he died in January 2022, historian John Rice Irwin was described as the “guardian of Appalachia’s past.” In a 2008 interview, he talked with poet Jesse Graves about his family and his life’s work.

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“Redpolls Feeding”

Book Excerpt: Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition

Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, the award-winning 2011 debut collection by ETSU poet-in-residence Jesse Graves, is released this month in an expanded 10th anniversary edition. A poetry reading featuring Graves and Matthew Wimberley, with music by Michael Cody, will be held at East Tennessee State University on March 23.

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“Fawn in Sapsucker Woods”

Book Excerpt: Merciful Days

Jesse Graves is the author of four poetry collections, including Basin Ghosts and Specter Mountain, a collaboration with William Wright. His work received the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He teaches at East Tennessee State University, where he is poet-in-residence and professor of English.

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An Illuminated Mind

Oblivion Banjo surveys the long career of poet Charles Wright

Tennessee native and former U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Wright is sometimes described as worldly, even cosmic, in his subject matter, and yet his poems are often grounded in everyday reality and memories of his home state. Oblivion Banjo brings together the poet’s own selection of work from a career spanning nearly half a century.

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The World’s One Breathing

Poet Jesse Graves interviews literary Renaissance man David Madden

Knoxville native and literary polymath David Madden talks about his early influences, the writers he finds essential, and the importance of technique in creative writing.

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“Pretty Music”

July 15, 2014 Jesse Graves is an assistant professor of English at Johnson City’s East Tennessee State University. His first poetry collection, Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, won the 2011 Weatherford Award in Poetry from Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association. He is also co-editor of The Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee and author of a new collection, Basin Ghosts. Graves will read from Basin Ghosts at Union Ave. Books in Knoxville on July 26, 2014, at 2 p.m., and at the Southern Festival of Books, which will be held in Nashville October 10-12, 2014.

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