Pellissippi State invites writers, scholars to James Agee Conference

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Pellissippi State Community College invites aspiring writers, scholars and fans of Appalachian literature to attend the second-annual James Agee Conference for Literature and Arts Oct. 6-7.

The free conference will feature presentations and workshops led by Appalachian authors Taylor Brown, Erik Reece, Darnell Arnoult and Silas House. The event will be held on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. For more information, visit

Brown will lead a fiction master class. He is the author of “Fallen Land,” a 2017 Southern Book Prize finalist, and “The River of Kings.” Reece, the author of “Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness: Radical Strip Mining and the Devastation of Appalachia” and “An American Gospel: On Family, History, and The Kingdom of God,” will lead a master class on nonfiction. Arnoult will lead a master class on poetry. She is the author of “Galaxie Wagon: Poems” and “What Travels With Us: Poems,” and is a Weatherford Award winner and previous Tennessee Writer of the Year.

House, the keynote speaker, is a noted environmental activist, often speaking out about mountaintop removal. He is the author of “Clay’s Quilt,” a New York Times bestseller; “A Parchment of Leaves,” a Chaffin Award for Literature winner; and “The Coal Tattoo,” which won the Appalachian Writers’ Association Book of the Year and Kentucky Novel of the Year awards.

Following his keynote presentation on Friday, House will sign books.

“We are proud to continue this cultural and arts conference that engages with Appalachian identity and its expanding definition,” said Charles Dodd White, associate professor of English and planner of the event. “With the recent interest in this part of the country, we are excited to showcase creative and scholarly talent that reflects the best of the region, continuing to advance Pellissippi State’s dedication to the people and place it serves.”

Event attendees will have the opportunity to network with other writers and creators, meet and mingle with the featured authors and speak to local publishing houses.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, call 865-539-7401 or email