Tennessee

A native of Mufreesboro and state poet laureate since 1995, Margaret Britton Vaughn's literary accomplishments are widespread. She has published numerous books of poetry, penned the official bicentennial poem of Tennessee, and she wrote the official poem for the Tennessee state quarter,“Mr. Tennessee Music Man.”

recent & featured listings

typesort ascending name state
Reading Series River City Writers Series Tennessee
Colony Tennessee Young Writer's Workshop Tennessee
Writing Program Middle Tennessee State University Writer's Loft Tennessee
Writing Program Sewanee: School of Letters Tennessee
Writing Program University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Tennessee
Writing Program University of Tennessee, Knoxville Tennessee
Writing Program Vanderbilt University Tennessee
Writing Program University of Memphis Tennessee
Conference Chattanooga Conference on Southern Literature Tennessee
Conference The Meacham Writers' Workshop Tennessee

poems

poem
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not
poem
        in memory of Reetika Vazirani (1962-2003) and Rachel Wetzsteon (1967-2009)
 
Sewanee, Tennessee. 
Summer of '96, I went there for 
booze and poetry and rest. 
I danced a little dance; 
I talked a little shop. 
I forgot a recent ghost.  

"Invitation to a Ghost" 
was my favorite poem in Tennessee
poem
Flashing in the grass; the mouth of a spider clung
     to the dark of it: the legs of the spider
held the tucked wings close,
     held the abdomen still in the midst of calling
with thrusts of phosphorescent light--

When I am tired of being human, I try to remember
     the two stuck together like burrs. I