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 University of Tennessee, Chattanooga Tennessee
Writing Program University of Tennessee, Knoxville Tennessee
Writing Program Vanderbilt University Tennessee
Writing Program University of Memphis Tennessee
Writing Program Middle Tennessee State University Writer's Loft Tennessee
Writing Program Sewanee: School of Letters Tennessee
Conference Chattanooga Conference on Southern Literature Tennessee
Conference The Meacham Writers' Workshop Tennessee

poems

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
Curious to see caverns,
we detoured in Tennessee
to ramble through Fat Man's Misery,
past a ballroom and gun powder machine
till we reached The World's Second Largest Underground Lake—
on which my husband had promised a ride
in a glass-bottom boat.

There, a kid hunched over a hot-rod magazine.
Dan, I think his
2
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