Literary Festival

Honoring the Literature of Appalachia—The 40th Annual Literary Festival featuring author Jesse Graves will be held on November 3-4, 2022.

The Emory & Henry Literary Festival began in 1982 with a program devoted to Sherwood Anderson, who spent the final 15 years of his life in nearby Smyth County, Virginia. Since that inaugural occasion, the festival has honored a living writer with strong ties to the Appalachian region.

Each year the Emory & Henry Literary Festival celebrates an outstanding writer with ties to Appalachia. The designated writer participates in the festival, which includes papers by visiting scholars, and meets with students in various forums.

The 40th annual Literary Festival will be held on November 3-4, 2022.

See event details here

 

Logo for 40th Annual E&H Appalachian Literary Festival

Schedule

Thursday, November 3rd

Jesse Graves’ Life, Work, & Poetry

Location: MCA, Black Box Theatre

Time: 10:30AM– 11:45AM

 

Writing the Homeplace in Appalachian Literature

Location: MCA, Black Box Theatre

Time: 1:30PM – 2:45PM

 

Setting the Homeplace to Music

Location: MCA, Black Box Theatre

Time: 3:30PM – 4:45PM

 

Reading & Book Signing

Location: MCA, Black Box Theatre

Time: 7:30PM

 

Friday, November 4th

Poet as Collaborator: Jesse Graves Scholarly Projects

Location: MCA, Black Box Theatre

Time: 10:30AM– 11:45AM

 

Public Interview

Location: MCA, Black Box Theatre

Time: 1:30PM – 2:45PM

 

Writing the Homeplace: Jesse Graves’ Craft Talk

Location: MCA, Black Box Theatre

Time: 3:30PM – 4:45PM

 

Jesse Graves, poet, Literary Festival Honoree

Jesse Graves grew up in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, where his ancestors settled in the 1780s.

His first collection of poetry, Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, was published by Texas Review Press and received the 2011 Weatherford Award in Poetry from Berea College, Book of the Year in Poetry Award from the Appalachian Writers’ Association, and the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. A tenth anniversary expanded edition of this volume was published early in 2022.  His second volume of poems, Basin Ghosts, also published by Texas Review Press, was awarded the 2014 Weatherford Award in Poetry. His third book of poems, Specter Mountain, was co-written with William Wright and published by Mercer University Press and received the 2018 Book of the Year Award in Poetry from the Appalachian Writers’ Association. Mercer published his fourth volume of poems, Merciful Days in fall of 2020, and his essay collection, Said-Songs: Essays on Poetry and Place, in 2021. Graves received the 2014 Philip H. Freund Prize for Creative Writing from Cornell University, and the 2015 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 2015, he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. Graves has edited several published volumes of poetry and scholarship, including four volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology (Contemporary Appalachia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia: Texas Review Press, Texas A&M UP Consortium), Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Holston (University of Tennessee Press, 2016), Conversations with Robert Morgan (University Press of Mississippi, 2019), and Robert Morgan: Essays on the Life and Work (McFarland, 2022). He is at work on a forthcoming scholarly volume: The Complete Poems of James Agee (University of Tennessee Press, 2023). 

Graves completed his MFA in Poetry Writing from Cornell University, and PhD in English from The University of Tennessee. He is Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at East Tennessee State University.

Among the authors featured at past festivals are Crystal Wilkinson, Fred Chappell, Lee Smith, Maggie Anderson, Ron Rash, Jo Carson, and Emory & Henry alum Mike Chitwood.