UT Martin Academic Speakers Program, Paul Meek Literary Speaker Series to host noted poet

Marion at river house door

MARTIN, Tenn. – Jeff Daniel Marion will be the guest speaker at UT Martin’s Paul Meek Library at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 13. Marion will be the next speaker in the Honors Program Academic Speakers series and he will serve as this year’s special guest in the Paul Meek Literary Legacy Speaker Series. The event is co-sponsored by Friends of the Paul Meek Library.

Marion will talk about the “journey a poem makes.”

A native of Rogersville, Marion taught English and creative writing at Carson-Newman University for more than 35 years until his retirement in 2002. There he was poet-in-residence, director of the Appalachian Center, and editor of Mossy Creek Reader.

He has published nine poetry collections, four poetry chapbooks, and a children’s book, “Hello, Crow.” His poems have appeared in a variety of journals including The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Tar River Poetry, Epoch, Atlanta Review, Carolina Quarterly, Poet Lore, Vanderbilt Poetry Review, Greensboro Review, Southern Poetry Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Appalachian Heritage and Appalachian Journal and in anthologies such as HomeWorks: A Book of Tennessee Writers and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume III: Contemporary Appalachia.

In the 1970s and 80s, he worked as a poet-in-the-schools in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee and for decades has lectured and conducted workshops on teaching and writing throughout the southern Appalachian region.

In 1975, Marion founded The Small Farm, a significant regional poetry journal, which he edited until 1980. In 1978, he received the first literary fellowship awarded by the Tennessee Arts Commission. For almost 10 years, he served as the poet-in-residence for the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Humanities.

In 1993, he participated in the Distinguished Writers Reading Series sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and was the featured writer at Emory & Henry College’s 13th Literary Festival in 1995.

He presented the 1996 Palmer Memorial Lecture at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., and in 1998, served as Copenhaver Scholar in Residence at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

Marion’s seventh book, “Ebbing & Flowing Springs: New and Selected Poems and Prose,”1976-2001, won the 2003 Independent Publisher Award in Poetry, was a finalist for the 2003 Benjamin Franklin Aw Appalachian Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association.

In addition to his writing, he is a skilled photographer and printer. He operated Mill Springs Press on the Holston River for many years near New Market, where he produced chapbooks and broadsides from handset type on a Vandercook proof press.

In spring 2013, his work and career were celebrated at a literary festival in his honor at Carson-Newman University (Jefferson City) and in a tribute at Walters State Community College (Morristown). Marion lives in Knoxville with his wife, poet and editor Linda Parsons Marion.

“We are delighted that Danny Marion, an author, teacher and poet of great distinction, will be visiting UT Martin,” said Dr. Charles A. Julian, director of the Paul Meek Library on the UT Martin campus.

While in Martin, Marion will meet with students at all levels and offer his expertise and guidance to young writers.

The event is free and open to the public.

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