Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine: Poems (Paperback)

Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine: Poems By Jesse Graves, Matthew Wimberley (Introduction by) Cover Image

Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine: Poems (Paperback)

By Jesse Graves, Matthew Wimberley (Introduction by)


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Tenth Anniversary Expanded Edition
First released in 2011, Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine was the debut poetry collection from Tennessee poet Jesse Graves and was awarded the 2011 Weatherford Award in Poetry from Berea College, the Book of the Year in Poetry Award from the Appalachian Writers’ Association, and the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing.
The poems in Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine take part in many of the traditions of lyric poetry, including elegies for lost loved ones, odes to the beauty of family and the natural world, expressed through a range of poetic forms and techniques.
The 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition includes twelve new poems and an introduction by Matthew Wimberley.

from “Emissaries”
Some mornings when I’m reading
early, no light yet but the table lamp,
my left hand will run through scales
along the spine of the open book.
My hands keep their own remembrance
buried in fine grooves of flesh.
The fingers turn over ignitions, faucets,
always attuned to their proper force,
knuckles never breaking things
unless my brain overpowers them.
They’ve discovered spectacular terrains,
soft enclosures I can never enter again.
I send them ahead as scouts for survey,
emissaries that flip the lights
in every dark hallway of the future.
JESSE GRAVES grew up in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, where his ancestors settled in the 1780s. He is the author of several books, including Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, Basin Ghosts, Specter Mountain, and has edited several volumes of poetry and scholarship, including The Southern Poetry Anthology and Conversations with Robert Morgan.
Graves received 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. In 2015, he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame.
Product Details ISBN: 9781680032673
ISBN-10: 1680032674
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2022
Pages: 100
Language: English
“To the Anniversary Edition of his celebrated first collection Jesse Graves has added a dozen poems. These newcomers expand, but do not distress, the careful vision, the gaze that is steady while moving within and outside specific times and places. The individual object and the singular personality are for this poet compendia of experiences that refresh themselves as they age. One moment of the past opens to “the brisk future / decades that awaited us still unlived.” The achievement of Tennessee Landscape ever enlarges.”
—Fred Chappell

“‘The meaning in our lives usually stands right beside us, / We might pick it up and carry it into the light.’ In the new expanded edition of Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, poet Jesse Graves carries the land and people of his early life into the light, offering an unforgettable accounting of rural working-class life without a hint of tiresome irony, judgement, parody, or apology. This book’s ghosts aren’t opaque, ethereal, light: they are vivid, complex, messy, colorful, and so fully human that we sense them near. These tender, wise, and generous poems will crack open your heart. On the last page, you may find yourself, like Graves, with ‘the imprint of … ancestors / stamped into the grain of my sifting hands.’”
—Rita Sims Quillen

“Jesse Graves is a Tennessee state treasure, and his Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine is an important and beautiful American literary landmark. Indeed, I know of no poet of my generation more attuned to or instructive of a place than Graves. His companionable, melodic, exquisitely physical and moving poems offer help to those of us who mourn our own places and lives there as they were, while offering a graceful and wise example of how to go on loving those places and lives as they have become. If you would unlearn the seeming contradiction between grief and grateful awareness, travel these pages, saying goodbye on the road out to the old, rusted, Graves family hay rake as you go, ‘goodbye to the five / leaning wheels, their crooked tines turning, reaching up / like broken fingers to wave hello, hello, goodbye.’”
—Jonathan Johnson