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10/18 - MERCIFUL DAYS by Jesse Graves w/ Darius Stewart

Union Ave Books welcomes Jesse Graves to present his new book of poetry MERCIFUL DAYS. Jesse will be joined in conversation and for a reading by Darius Stewart, Knoxville Native and Visiting Writer in Nonfiction at the University of Iowa. This free virtual event takes place on October 18th @ 2pm (Eastern) on Zoom, send an RSVP to to attend. Please include the the title of the book MERCIFUL DAYS in the subject line. We will send the zoom link the day of the event. 



MERCIFUL DAYS is the fourth collection of poems by East Tennessee poet Jesse Graves, recipient of the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachia from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In a language that is both plainspoken and lyrical, Graves examines the connections that hold people together across generations and against the breaches of time and distance. The landscapes of his native region possess a mythic beauty and Graves writes of the animating force it can become in a poet's imagination. He closely observes animals and plants, the circling of hawks, and the curling of wild ginger leaves, as well as less palpable phenomena such as how wind stirs the surface of still water. MERCIFUL DAYS is a book of elegies and celebrations. Graves's poems are haunted by the lost futures of lives cut short, and by speculative narrations of omens and portents, witches and spirits seen only in reflection. For all the darkness visible in the world, Graves elevates the great joy of feeding birds, walking in the woods, and sharing a life, sometimes only in memory, with the people we love. Those who have passed on are remembered here and their stories become a source of light. The new work in MERCIFUL DAYS will remind readers why Ron Rash has said, "These poems have the music, wisdom, and singular voice of a talent fully realized, and make abundantly clear that Jesse Graves is one of America's finest young poets."


Jesse Graves is the author of the poetry collections TENNESSEE LANDSCAPE WITH BLIGHTED PINE, BASIN GHOSTS, and SPECTER MOUNTAIN. His work received the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers and two Weatherford Awards from Berea College. Graves teaches at East Tennessee State University, where he is poet-in-residence and professor of English.

Darius Stewart holds an MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa and an MFA in poetry from the Michener Center for Writers. He is the author of three chapbook collections, including The Ghost the Night Becomes, winner of the 2013 Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Competition. His poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in  Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, Callaloo,  Gargoyle, Salamander,  Fourth Genre,  Cimarron Review, Verse Daily, and others. He is the current Provost Visiting Writer in Nonfiction at the University of Iowa and lives in Iowa City with his dog, Fry.


Event Date: 
Sunday, October 18, 2020 - 2:00pm
517 Union Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37902
Merciful Days: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780881467567
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mercer University Press - October 1st, 2020

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