Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Ellis K. Meacham (1913-1998)

A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Meacham was an attorney and judge who also wrote novels set in India. Meacham graduated from the University of Chattanooga, where he received his A.B. in 1935, and later attended Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned his law degree in 1937. Meacham practiced law in Chattanooga from 1937-1972,…

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Elizabeth Avery Meriwether (1824-1916)

Elizabeth Avery Meriwether (1824-1916), Tennessee suffragist, temperance activist, publisher and author, was born in Bolivar on January 19, 1824. Her father, Nathan Avery was a physician and farmer, while her mother Rebecca Rivers Avery was the daughter of a Virginia planter. Financial problems led the family to move to Memphis around 1835. Nathan’s death in…

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Jim Wayne Miller (1936-1996)

Not every true Tennessee author has to be born and bred in the state. Some were raised elsewhere, but stumbled into Tennessee at the prospect of a job or scholarship, and discovered much more about themselves. That is how Jim Wayne Miller found himself in Tennessee. Miller was born in Leicester, North Carolina, in 1936.…

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Wilmer Mills (1969-2011)

Steady rhythm and rules were driving forces not only behind Wilmer Mills’ daily life, but also his poetry, as he thought of “narrative, metrical, old-fashioned poetry as a kind of non-mechanized farming, using outmoded metrical devices to create an organic gardening on the page.” Mills’ affection for manual labor began in his youth, when his…

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Melissa Duke Mooney (1968-2009)

Melissa Duke Mooney lived in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and two children. She worked as a publicist and led many community volunteer projects in her neighborhood of East Nashville. She was the author of one book for children, The ABCs of Rock, an abcdarian with illustrations by Louisville, Kentucky-based Print Mafia. The book features…

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Merrill Moore (1903 – 1957)

Austin Merrill Moore was born on September 11, 1903, in Columbia, Tennessee, to parents John and Mary. Moore credited his father, who was also a Tennessee poet, as his earliest literary influence. He had strong Southern values and ties. His grandfather was a captain in the Confederate army and his father was the Tennessee director…

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