A! Magazine for the Arts

Jesse Graves

Jesse Graves

Graves wins award for poetry

April 28, 2015

Dr. Jesse Graves, an assistant professor in East Tennessee State University's department of literature and language, has been named the recipient of the Weatherford Award in Poetry for his latest poetry collection, "Basin Ghosts."

The Weatherford Award is presented annually by Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association to authors in the categories of nonfiction, fiction and poetry who best illuminate the challenges, personalities and unique qualities of the Appalachian South. Past recipients include Charles Frazier for his novel "Cold Mountain," Lee Smith for "Fair and Tender Ladies" and Henry Louis Gates for "Colored Folks: A Memoir."

The award was presented at the Appalachian Studies Association's annual conference, held this year at East Tennessee State University. Graves is the first poet to win the award more than once.

In November, Graves participated in the Barbara and David Zalaznick Reading Series at Cornell University, where he was presented with the Philip H. Freund Prize, a prestigious honor with a $5,000 award.

Graves also traveled to Chattanooga to receive the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

He serves as co-editor for two volumes forthcoming from the University of Tennessee Press, titled "The Complete Poetry of James Agee," with Michael Lofaro, and "Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet of the Holston," with Thomas Alan Holmes of ETSU and Ernest Lee.

In addition, he is co-editor with William Wright and Paul Ruffin of three volumes of "The Southern Poetry Anthology," including collections on Tennessee, North Carolina and Contemporary Appalachia.