Jesse Graves grew up in Sharps Chapel, Tennessee. His first collection of poetry, Tennessee Landscape with Blighted Pine, was published by Texas Review Press and was awarded the 2011 Weatherford Award in Poetry from Berea College, the Book of the Year in Poetry Award from the Appalachian Writers’ Association, and the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. Basin Ghosts, also published by Texas Review Press, received the 2014 Weatherford Award in Poetry. His third book of poems, Specter Mountain, was co-written with William Wright and published by Mercer University Press and received the 2018 Book of the Year Award in Poetry from the Appalachian Writers’ Association. Mercer also published Merciful Days in 2020. His essay collection, Said-Songs: Essays on Poetry and Place, will be released from Mercer in 2022. Graves received the 2014 Philip H. Freund Prize for Creative Writing from Cornell University, and the 2015 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He is Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at East Tennessee State University.