Local scribes find support in the Knoxville Writers Guild

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In League with Their Own

Local scribes find support in the Knoxville Writers Guild

A Family Affair

Father and son take care crafting the publications of local Iris Press

Summer Reading Guide 2005

Writers are solitary creatures. Holed up behind the closed door of a home office or crouched over a notebook at a coffee shop, fingers clutched into claws around pens, writers need the one-on-one, uninterrupted contact between their brains and the blank page in order to successfully coax out the words that must be corralled into some kind of cohesive sense. Although some wordsmiths can compose while accompanied by the comforting hum of the TV or background music, most writers need to otherwise be left alone, free from the distractions that go hand in hand with the presence of other people.


Longtime guild member John Reaves has served in almost every capacity the Knoxville Writers Guild offers: treasurer, president, newsletter editor, and for the past seven years, summer workshops’ coordinator. The English instructor at Pellissippi State’s Division Street campus recalls the guild’s beginning as auspicious at best. Several writers Gillespie approached at a Friends of the Library book sale gave him negative responses, says Reaves; one of the guild’s founding members, David Hunter, even said, “organizations like that never last.” With such a tenuous start, the group needed to put a good face with its new name, a venerable, well-respected personality. That personage was Jack Reese, the former chancellor of UT and poet who died in May at age 76. Williams and McDonald talked him into the leadership position.



by Molly Kincaid

She shakes her finger in my face and

Bob contrasts this intricate book of poetry to Bowers’ succinct A Book of Minutes, unintentionally displaying his intimate knowledge of the author. He says that Bowers was unable to write after witnessing her younger brother die of AIDS. After a hiatus, though, she wrote Minutes, a collection of choppy yet endearing spurts of emotion. “It was her bridge back to writing,” says Bob.

Candle-dim flickering shadows, orange

While most Iris books contemplate a Southern state of mind, Bob stresses, “We do have authors from Massachusetts, Nevada, and other cities, so we’re not all local.” The bottom line seems to be: if it’s good, stirring work, Iris will publish it.

Summer Reading Guide 2005

S.L. Baer

Marilyn Kallet

Catherine Landis

Jeanne McDonald

John McManus

John Nolt

Art Smith

James Whorton Jr.

© 2005 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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