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Five area writers to be inducted into East TN Writers Hall of Fame

Friends of Literacy will induct five writers into the East TN Writers Hall of Fame on October 22nd, 2015. Friends of Literacy realizes how important authors’ contributions are to our culture and history, and for the 12th year, we wish to honor those who entertain, inspire, and inform us through the written word. This year’s inductees are Lifetime Achievement: Georgiana Vines, journalist with more than 50 years of experience, Fiction: Amy Greene, recipient of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, Non-fiction: Vince Staten author of 13 books- including three published by HarperCollins Books, Poetry: Jesse Graves, award winning Appalachian Poet, and Social Media: Alan Sims known as the Knoxville Urban Guy.

The event will take place on Thursday, October 22nd at 11:30 a.m. at the Lighthouse Knoxville. Tickets are $100 and include a three course lunch and time to meet one-on-one with the authors and get books signed. Tickets are available by calling 865-549-7007 or online at

One in 10 adults in Knox County lacks a GED or high school diploma and one in 12 adults are unable to read or write above a sixth grade level. Friends of Literacy supports the delivery of free high quality literacy and adult education classes in Knox County for adults who are inadequately educated for the challenges of daily life. Working in partnership with area adult education providers, our goal is to help provide free basic adult education classes so that our students become better workers, parents, and citizens. Funds raised at the event support this goal.

Amy Greene is author of the New York Times bestselling novel Bloodroot, named a “Must Read” by Entertainment Weekly and one of the Top 10 Novels of 2010 by Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Amazon. Her second novel, Long Man, was named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and won the 2014 Willie Morris Award. Both novels were New York Times Editors’ Choice picks. In 2010 Greene won the Weatherford Award for Fiction from the Appalachian Studies Association, was a finalist for the Southern Book Award, and was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance. Her articles and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Glamour magazine and BookPage, among other publications.

Jesse Graves grew up in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, about 40 miles north of Knoxville, in a community his ancestors settled in the 1780s. He is an Associate Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at East Tennessee State University, where he won the 2012 New Faculty Award from the College of Arts & Sciences. His first poetry collection, Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, won the 2011 Weatherford Award in Poetry from Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association, as well as a Book of the Year Award from the Appalachian Writers’ Association. He was given the 2013 Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. His second collection of poems, Basin Ghosts, also won the 2014 Weatherford Award in Poetry, making him the first poet to win the award more than one time. His poems have appeared in such journals as Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, Connecticut Review, and in the Poem of the Week feature for Missouri Review. He is editor of several volumes of poetry and scholarship, including three volumes of The Southern Poetry Anthology (Contemporary Appalachia, Tennessee, and North Carolina), Jeff Daniel Marion: Poet on the Holston, and the forthcoming Complete Poems of James Agee (University of Tennessee Press, 2017). Graves was awarded the 2014 Philip H. Freund Prize for Creative Writing from Cornell University, and the 2015 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

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