ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Maggi Vaughn: Poet Laureate of Tennessee

Updated on October 6, 2017
Maya Shedd Temple profile image

After I fell in love with Walter de la Mare's "Silver" in Mrs. Edna Pickett's sophomore English class, circa 1962, poetry became my passion.

Margaret Britton Vaughn

Source

The Tennessee Poet Laureateship

Tennessee established the position of poet laureate in 1971 in the 87th General Assembly, House Joint Res. 115; 90th General Assembly, House Joint Res. 250; 99th General Assembly, House Joint Res. 133.

The first poet laureate was Richard M. "Pek" Gunn, who served from 1971 until 1994. In 1995, Maggi Vaughn was appointed Tennessee’s second poet laureate. Vaughn will retain this position for life; in 1999, the position was converted to a lifetime appointment.

Maggi Vaughn

Margaret Britton Vaughn was born in 1938 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Her family relocated to Gulfport, Mississippi, in the early 40s.

In 1965, after having grown up in Gulfport, Vaughn relocated back to her native state of Tennessee. Before devoting herself to writing full time, she served the field of journalism at several Nashville newspapers. She also taught school at the Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee.

Vaughn has published nine books, including books of poetry, short stories, and children’s books. Her poetry has been printed in many magazines, journals, and newspapers. Her first critically acclaimed book of poetry, Fifty Years of Saturday Nights, was published in 1975 by Magluce Pub. Co.

Additional works include Grand Old Saturday Night, The Light in the Kitchen Window, and a play, I Wonder If Eleanor Roosevelt Ever Made a Quilt.

Vaughn's plays have been staged by the Nashville Barn Theatre, The Webb School, St. George Episcopal Church, the John Galt West End Theatre, and others.

The National Quilters Convention enjoyed her production, I Wonder If Eleanor Roosevelt Ever Made a Quilt.

Official Bicentennial Poem: "Who We Are"

Vaughn’s poem “Who We Are” retains the honor of being declared the official poem of Tennessee's Bicentennial, 1796-1996, by Public Chapter 337 of the 100th General Assembly. The following are the opening lines to the bicentennial poem:

The fertile soil of Tennessee
Grew more than corn, tobacco, and cotton,
It grew a crop of people who are
Trailblazers, child raisers, flag wavers, soul savers.

Tennessee’s Rich History

Along with the official bicentennial poem of Tennessee, Vaughn wrote “Mr. Tennessee Music Man,” the official poem for the Tennessee state quarter, released by U.S. Mint in 2002.

Vaughn also wrote the governor's inaugural poem, and a poem celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Air Force. She has appeared in programs on PBS, USA, TNN, TNT, and the BBC, and on many local radio and TV programs.

Vaughn praises as her inspiration Tennessee’s rich history, scenic beauty, and its down-to-earth people that have always captured her imagination, as she sometimes grows nostalgic in The Light in the Kitchen Window about by-gone eras: “Perhaps the greatest decisions / that have been made anywhere / came from men in overalls / around the courthouse square”; these lines open the poem, “The Old Courthouse Square” which goes on to describe a scene not likely to be observed in even the smallest town today.

Tennessee’s poet laureate is a genuine down-home girl, who still lives in a tiny town, a dot on the map about sixty miles southeast of Nashville, called Bell Buckle, Tennessee, where she operates Bell Buckle Press. She publishes other poets’ works as well as her own. She is renowned for welcoming visitors and swapping stories in her straw hat reminiscent of Minnie Pearl.

Maggi Vaughn's The Light in the Kitchen Window was published by Iris Press in Bell Buckle, TN, in 1994.

Reading and Interview

© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)