Ars Poetica: Sunday, April 29, 2-4 PM
Meet the medley of Knoxvillians who will read poems of their choosing at Ars Poetica

Sunday, April 29, 2:00-4:00 pm
East Tennessee History Center auditorium, 601 South Gay Street

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Knox County Public Library invites the public to Ars Poetica: Knoxville Reads Poetry. Poet Laureate R.B. Morris will provide introductory remarks and read from his work. Meet our esteemed readers (check back for updates):

R.B. Morris

photo of R.B. Morris

RB Morris is a poet and songwriter, solo performer and band leader, and playwright and actor from Knoxville, Tennessee. His published books of poetry include Early Fires (Iris Press), Keeping the Bees Employed and The Mockingbird Poems, and his poetry and prose tribute to the late Knoxville artist Ali Akbar, Who Is This Man? Ali Akbar aka Horace Pittman. His music albums include Take That Ride (Oh Boy Records) and Zeke and the Wheel.

Erin Elizabeth Smith

photo of Erin Elizabeth Smith

Erin Elizabeth Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the Managing Editor of Sundress Publications. Her work has appeared in journals including Crab Orchard Review, Ecotone, and Mid-American, and her third full-length collection, Down: The Alice Poems, will be released by Agape Editions in 2019. Smith teaches in the English Department at the University of Tennessee, where she is also the Jack E. Reese Writer in the Library.

Evelyn Gill

photo of Evelyn Gill

Evelyn Gill is serving in her first term on the Knox County Commission, having been elected to represent District 1 in August, 2016. A resident of Knox County for twenty-four years, she has been a community advocate focusing on economic and community development, women’s rights, pension equity, and education. She continues to be an active community leader in voter education, women empowerment, and community sustainability. Commissioner Gill earned her Master's degree in Public Administration at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Thomas Anderson

Photo of Thomas Anderson
Thomas Anderson's degree in English Lit allowed him to enjoy a decade of minimum-wage retail work until nabbing a sweet gig at the circulation desk of the Lawson McGhee Library. His interests include vintage science fiction paperbacks, Internet videos where animals act like people, and workers’ rights.

Ann Thornfield-Long

Photo of Ann Thornfield-Long
Ann Thornfield-Long is a co-author of Tennessee Women of Vision and Courage, (2013, edited by Crawford and Smiley). She was nominated for the Rhysling Award, an annual award given for the best  science fiction, fantasy, or horror poem of the year, and for the Pushcart prizes (2018).

Jenny Beasley

Photo of Jenny Beasley
Jenny Beasley grew up in south central Indiana and has lived in the Deep South for the past 13 years. In 2010 her family set roots in the Knoxville area in Oak Ridge.
Her tenure at Knox County Public Libraries included shelving and circulation at Cedar Bluff branch. In 2012 she began her adventure in the Technical Services department downtown Knoxville at Lawson McGhee Library. Jenny dreams of light rail and speed rail transportation in the good ole U.S. of A. — tracking progress along the way on the GALE Research database custom news feed. She also loves bicycles.

John R. Rosson Jr.

photo of Judge Rosson
John R. Rosson Jr. graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1970, and received his Juris Doctorate at the University of Tennessee Law School in 1975. He is a member of the West End Church of Christ. Back in 1986, Knoxville’s City Council appointed John Rosson Jr. to fill in as municipal judge after the Honorable Allen Elliot passed away. A year later, Rosson ran for election to that post, and he’s been there ever since. It’s a position he enjoys to this day.

Wendy Rogers

Photo of Wendy Rogers
Wendy Rogers has worked at the Knox County Public Library for nineteen years, currently at the Farragut branch. She serves on KCPL Teen Central. She lives in Farragut with her husband and two daughters, a tween and a preschooler. In her spare time, she stretches out as many hours as she can towards writing fiction and sometimes poetry.

John C. Mannone

Photo of John C. Mannone
Retired physicist John C. Mannone has over 700 works in Artemis, Poetry South, Blue Fifth ReviewNew England Journal of MedicinePeacock JournalBaltimore Review and others. Winner of the 2017 Jean Ritchie Fellowship in Appalachian literature, he has three poetry collections, including Flux Lines (Celtic Cat Publishing). He edits poetry for Abyss & ApexSilver Blade, and Liquid. 

Rhea Carmon

Rhea Carmon

RheaSunshine has been writing and performing spoken word poetry and slam for 19 years.  Her poems are powerfully motivating with an emphasis on her own personal struggles and how others can overcome.  She is the director of the annual 5th Woman Stage Presentation (2014 - 2018), a producer for Carmon Sense Productions, and coordinator for the 5th Woman Workshop series.  Rhea has self-published 3 chapbooks, released 3 spokenword CDs, and is currently working on her 4th book and video project that tells the story of her journey with Multiple Sclerosis.

Seema Singh Perez

Seema Singh Perez

Seema Singh Perez is on the Knoxville City Council representing  the 3rd District. She was born in Varanasi, India and became a naturalized American Citizen at age 13. Knoxville has been her home off and on for 40 years. She has  been an advocate in this community for over 20 yrs, working in the field of medical social work  helping with access to healthcare for women, people with  HIV/Aids and the homeless population, taking a break from this intense work to teach ballet, sign language and Yoga to children. She currently runs a jail alternative program for domestic violence offenders.