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Tennessee State Poet Laureate

Margaret "Maggi" Britton Vaughn

Tennessee State Poet Laureate: Margaret "Maggi" Britton Vaughn

Adopted in 1999.

Margaret "Maggi"Britton Vaughn was designated as Tennessee's Poet Laureate for the term of her natural life by House Joint Resolution 101 of the 101st General Assembly in 1999.

Maggi Vaughn, a native of Murfreesboro, had her first critically acclaimed book, Fifty Years of Saturday Nights, published in 1975. Some of Vaughn's other works include Grand Ole Saturday Night, The Light in the Kitchen Window, and the play, I Wonder If Eleanor Roosevelt Ever Made a Quilt.

The poem entitled "Who Are We" by Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee, is designated and adopted as the official poem of Tennessee's Bicentennial.

Tennessee State Poet Laureate:
Margaret "Maggi" Britton Vaughn

Better known as Maggi, Margaret Britton Vaughn is the longest-reigning poet laureate of the State of Tennessee. Appointed by the state legislature and "in office" since 1993, she has published nine books of poems and short stories, including:

  • Acres That Grow Stones
  • Bell Buckle Biscuits
  • Grand Ole Saturday Night
  • Life's Down to Old Woman's Shoes, and
  • Kin

She has appeared on radio and television, including:

  • TNT's Roots of Country
  • CBS/TNN's Century of Country Music, and
  • Programs on PBS, USA, and the BBC.

Her plays have been produced at Nashville Barn Theater, John Galt Theater, St. George Episcopal Church, Unity Church, Middle Tennessee State University, Webb School, and the National Quilters Convention. They include:

  • Wishful Thinking
  • While the Dew Is Still on the Roses
  • Treatment of Guilt
  • I Never Heard Me Laugh
  • I Wonder if Eleanor Roosevelt Ever Made A Quilt, and
  • Howdee!, co-written with Andy Landis

A professional songwriter, Vaughn has written songs recorded by:

  • Loretta Lynn
  • Conway Twitty
  • Ernest Tubb
  • Stonewall Jackson and
  • Norma Jean.

Maggi lives in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, where she works in a storefront office and boasts a scale model of the Statue of Liberty in her front yard.

Tennessee House Bill No HRJ0133

Filed for intro on 03/08/95
Senate Bill________
By Phillips

A RESOLUTION to designate Margaret "Maggi"Britton Vaughn as
Poet Laureate of Tennessee.

WHEREAS, Margaret Britton Vaughn of Bell Buckle is an inspirational poet and one of the most distinguished interpreters of the rural south; and

WHEREAS, Maggi Vaughn (the name by which she is known) presently serves as poetin-residence for the Tennessee Arts Education program; and

WHEREAS, in fulfilling the duties of this important position, Maggi travels the entire state giving poetry readings for appreciative audiences of all ages, and speaking to various civic organizations, college groups and literary panels; and

WHEREAS, she has been interviewed on the television program "Tennessee Crossroads" as the leading writer of poetry that appeals to all Tennesseans, and she has been prominently featured on other radio and television programs and in newspaper articles in every part of this great state; and

WHEREAS, a native of Murfreesboro, Maggi Vaughn had her first critically acclaimed book Fifty Years of Saturday Nights published in 1975; and

WHEREAS, her outstanding work includes Grand Ole Saturday Night, a revision of her first book, The LIght in the Kitchen Window, an exceptional collection of poems, and Kin, her latest work; and

WHEREAS, her delightful plays have been produced by the Nashville Barn Theater, John Gault West End Theater, Middle Tennessee State University, The Webb School, St. George Episcopal Church and Unity Church in Nashville; and

WHEREAS, her brilliant play, I Wonder If Eleanor Roosevelt Ever Made a Quilt, was produced for the National Quilters Convention; and

WHEREAS, her superbly crafted songs have been recorded by some of the most successful country music performers, including Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty and Ernest Tubb; and

WHEREAS, Maggi Vaughn believes strongly in the power of the written word, and she has devoted her life to bringing the rich and wonderful experience of poetry to everyone she can possibly reach; and

WHEREAS, her inspiring poems reverberate with the magical incantatory power of family and roots; as she says, "Poetry is for everyone and we need to keep the touch that is understood by all walks of life"; and

WHEREAS, Maggi Vaughn has spoken magnificently to literary festivals across Tennessee, including the Southern Festival of Books and Authors in Nashville and the Literary Festival in Chattanooga; and

WHEREAS, her enthralled audiences include people of all ages and diverse backgrounds, and they speak as one, saying, "Maggi, you are our voice"; and

WHEREAS, her unparalleled and sterling career in belle' letters earned her distinction from this General Assembly as "Tennessee Bard" in 1993; and

WHEREAS, it is now time for this eminent poet to rightfully lay claim to an even more august title; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NINETY-NINTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE, THE SENATE CONCURRING, That in recognition and appreciation of her numerous contributions to Southern poetry, and her other laudable literary endeavors, Margaret "Maggi"Britton Vaughn of Bell Buckle is hereby designated Poet Laureaute of Tennessee, a title by which she shall henceforth be known.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That an appropriate copy of this resolution be prepared for presentation with this final clause omitted from such copy.

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