Jeff Daniel Marion Festival to feature Poet Laureate

Jeff Daniel Marion

Jeff Daniel Marion

An upcoming academic literary conference, April 11-12 at Carson-Newman University, celebrates the work of Jeff Daniel Marion through academic papers and discussions of his work.

The Jeff Daniel Marion Festival will feature the 13th Poet Laureate of the United States Ted Kooser, the New York Bestseller author and poet Robert Morgan, as well as celebrated Appalachian author and poet George Ella Lyon who will read selections of their own work.

Panels will examine the work of Marion, and he will close the conference with a reading from his ninth and most recently published volume of poetry, Letters to the Dead.

“It gives Carson-Newman a chance to celebrate one of its most famous and important faculty members,” said Dr. Shawn O’Hare, C-N English professor and department chair. “And it allows us to recognize Danny as the poetic voice of Appalachia.”

The former Carson-Newman English professor is one of the premier poets of the region.

In 2007, Marion was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame.

He received the 2011 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the 2006 and 2002 Career Achievement Award from the Knoxville Writers’ Guild.

The two-day festival kicks off Thursday afternoon, April 11. It is open to the public and free of charge. Please see an online schedule of events for times and locations, http://www.cn.edu/jeff-daniel-marion-festival

“You see, Danny is not just a retired colleague. He is also our dear friend,” said O’Hare.

Marion, a native of Rogersville, taught English and creative writing at Carson-Newman for more than 35 years until his retirement in 2002. He was poet-in-residence, director of the Appalachian Center, and editor of Mossy Creek Reader. He has published nine poetry collections, four poetry chapbooks, and a children’s book, Hello, Crow. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals.

Marion lives in Knoxville with his wife, poet and editor Linda Parsons Marion.

-photo courtesy of Doug Berryhill