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

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Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Wild Hare Bookstore Tennessee
Writing Program Vanderbilt University Tennessee
Writing Program University of Tennessee, Knoxville Tennessee
Writing Program University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Tennessee
Colony Tennessee Young Writer's Workshop Tennessee
Writing Program Sewanee: School of Letters Tennessee
Writing Program Middle Tennessee State University Writer's Loft Tennessee
Literary Magazine Zone 3 Tennessee
Literary Magazine The Sewanee Review Tennessee
Writing Program University of Memphis Tennessee

poems

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
poem
Not tenderness in the eye but the brute need
to see accurately: over the ridge on a trail 
deep in Tennessee, the great poet looked out and saw
the vista that confederate soldiers saw 
as they rode over the edge rather than surrender. 

I saw only the edge of the cliff side itself and then
estimated the distance
poem
All Nashville is a chill. And everywhere
Like desert sand, when the winds blow,
There is each moment sifted through the air,
A powdered blast of January snow.
O! thoughtless Dandelion, to be misled
By a few warm days to leave thy natural bed,
Was folly growth and blooming over soon.
And yet, thou blasted yellow-