Margaret Britton Vaughn

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Poet Laureate of Tennessee, 1995–

Margaret Britton “Maggi” Vaughn, poet and songwriter, was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on July 16, 1938. She has served as the poet laureate of Tennessee since 1995. 

Britton Vaughn has published more than a half-dozen poetry collections, including America Showing Her Colors in Black and White (Bell Buckle Press, 2002); Foretasting Heaven: Talking to Twain at Quarry Farm (Bell Buckle Press, 2001); Acres That Grow Stones (Bell Buckle/Iris Press, 1996); and 50 Years of Saturday Nights (Magluce Publishing Company, 1975), which was reissued as Grand Ole Saturday Nights by Bell Buckle Press in 1992. She is also the author of the short prose collection Bell Buckle Biscuits: Stories (Bell Buckle Press, 1999) and the children’s book The Birthday Dolly (Bell Buckle Press, 2000), written with Carole Brown Knuth.

Britton Vaughn, alongside Suellen Alfred, edited Southern Voices in Every Direction (Bell Buckle/Iris Press, 1996) in collaboration with the Bedford County Art Commission. She has written plays that have been performed in Nashville and elsewhere, as well as a musical based on the life of Minnie Pearl with the country music artist Andy Landis. Britton Vaughn has also written song lyrics for country music stars, including Loretta Lynn.

As poet laureate, Britton Vaughn wrote the poem “Who Are We,” for Tennessee’s bicentennial. She has written inaugural poems for several governors during her tenure, as well as a poem for the United States Air Force’s fiftieth anniversary, among other important occasions. She has also represented Tennessee at a national conference for state poets laureate. 

The recipient of a 2003 Outstanding Tennessean Award and a Mark Twain Fellowship from Elmira College’s Center for Mark Twain Studies, Britton Vaughn was named a Literary Arts Medalist by the Germantown Arts Alliance in Germantown, Tennessee, in 2007. 

Britton Vaughn lives in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.