Jesse Graves is widely viewed as one of the most distinguished of the younger generation of poets with deep roots in the Appalachian Region. He grew up in rural East Tennessee and teaches at East Tennessee State University. His recognitions include an award from the prestigious Fellowship of Southern Writers. This is a book of essays, not poems. They range from the personal to the scholarly and the spaces that connect the two. Here we find his insights on James Agee, Ron Rash, Robert Morgan, Charles Wright, and other regional writers, both widely known and relatively obscure. Taken together, we achieve a deeper understanding of the relationship between reading and writing, and we begin to understand why Ron Rash affirmed that “Jesse Graves is one of America’s finest young poets” – not to mention essayists.
Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 2021. 217 pages. Trade paperback.