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National Book Award winner Nikky Finney at UT’s “Writers in the Library,” April 4

NikkyFinney_300x464Nikky Finney will give a poetry reading at the University of Tennessee’s Writers in the Library on Monday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The reading is free and open to the public.

Finney is the author of five books, including Head Off and Split, the winner of the 2011 National Book Award in poetry, which addresses contemporary southern African-American life, the response to Hurricane Katrina, and the legacy of Civil Rights activism in our contemporary culture. One of the best-known and beloved poets in the United States today, Finney has addressed issues of race, social justice, family, disaster, and national politics in deceivingly accessible, complex, and utterly beautiful verse. Her previous books include Rice, The World is Round, On Wings Made of Gauze, and Heartwood. Finney is currently the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at the University of South Carolina.

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Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week: Enter the “Three-Minute Thesis” Competition

April 4-8, 2016 is Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week. The national celebration seeks to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of graduate and professional students to universities and their communities, and to bring awareness to the issues, concerns, and needs of graduate and professional students.

The UT Libraries invites the campus community to an appreciation of grad/professional student research and scholarship. On Friday, April 8, from 2 to 4 p.m., the Libraries will hold a “Three-Minute Thesis” competition in the Mary E. Greer Room, 258 Hodges Library.

See a flyer of events here.

Graduate students, can you describe your thesis topic in three minutes or less? Hone your presentation and communication skills. Explain your research in three minutes, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Our panel of judges will select the most successful presentations. Winners will be announced at 4 p.m.


Free Head Shots
The library is offering free professional head shots for graduate and professional students on Tuesday, April 5, in The Studio, Hodges Library — graduate IDs required. We will accept walk-ins 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Take a Well-deserved Break
As part of our appreciation of grad/professional students, the Libraries will offer free massages in room 211 Hodges Library on Friday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get your well-deserved reward (graduate IDs required). Spaces are limited: RESERVE YOUR SPOT HERE.

Snacks will also be on offer in the Commons throughout the day.

National celebration of Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week was initiated by the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students in 1993.

Events on the UT campus are sponsored by the Graduate Student Senate, Graduate School, Division of Student Life, Center for Health & Wellness, Tennessee Teaching & Learning Center, Career Services, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, International House, University Libraries, and the Department of Athletics.

UT Libraries’ Ashley Maynor Named “Mover and Shaker” in Library World

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, digital humanities librarian Ashley Maynor has been named a “mover and shaker” in the library field by the national publication Library Journal.

In its March 15, 2016 issue, Library Journal profiled 54 up-and-coming information professionals who are shaping the future of libraries. Maynor was recognized as a tech leader for developing new ways for university scholars to share their research in innovative digital forms, as well as helping grieving communities to confront gun violence through transmedia storytelling.

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Poet Marilyn Hacker at UT’s Writers in the Library on March 28

MarilynHacker_webPoet Marilyn Hacker will read from her work at the University of Tennessee on March 28. The event is part of the university’s Writers in the Library readings series. The public is invited to this free reading at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of UT’s John C. Hodges Library.

Hacker is a distinguished poet and translator. Over a forty-year career, she has published numerous poetry collections including Presentation Piece, Going Back to the River, Winter Numbers, Desperanto, Names, and A Stranger’s Mirror. She has been the recipient of the National Book Award, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the Lambda Literary Award, among others. She is a Chancellor Emeritus of the Academy of American Poets.

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Learn about 3D Printing at Pendergrass “Make Break”

sample 3d printed objects

Are you curious about 3D printing? Have you ever wondered how to incorporate 3D design into everyday life and classroom projects?

Starting March 17, UT students, faculty, and staff are invited to Pendergrass Library every third Thursday of the month from 2-3 p.m. for “Make Break” – an interactive tour and demonstration of the library’s makerspace and 3D printing technology.

Make Break participants will:

  • See the library’s two 3D printers
  • View sample projects and discover classroom applications
  • Explore software options for 3D design
  • Learn about the process for printing a 3D object

Participants will also be entered into a raffle for a free 3D print of up to $25 value. Raffle winners will be announced at the end of the semester and receive a consultation on choosing or designing their 3D object.

To register for Make Break, email Richard Sexton at If you are teaching a class that might incorporate a 3D printing, cameras, or other technology, contact us so we can work with you.

For more information about 3D printing at Pendergrass, visit our 3D printing website at or watch this YouTube video

Digital Humanities: Elaine McMillion Sheldon to speak March 24

Sheldon-300x199The Illuminations Digital Humanities Series will host documentary maker and visual journalist Elaine McMillion Sheldon on Thursday, March 24, at 6 p.m. in the Hodges Library auditorium.

Sheldon won a 2013 Peabody Award for her interactive documentary on an Appalachian community in economic freefall. HOLLOW examines the lives of 30 individuals living in McDowell County, West Virginia, an area that is representative of many boom-and-bust areas across the country. HOLLOW also received a 2014 Emmy nomination and 3rd Prize in the World Press Photo Multimedia Awards.

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UT STEM Event for High School Students, College Freshmen April 2

BOSSgraphicThe University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Libraries will host Big Orange STEM Saturday for high school and first-year college students from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2.

Students interested in careers in science, technology, engineering or mathematics and their parents are invited to attend the event in the John C. Hodges Library, 1015 Volunteer Blvd.

Big Orange STEM Saturday is free, but participants should register online by Friday, March 25.

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Meditation Group Meets at Pendergrass Library


The Agriculture Campus Meditation Group meets at Pendergrass Library Wednesdays from noon – 1 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 – 8 a.m. in Study Room G.  Those new to meditation and advanced practitioners are welcome.

The Meditation Group is a supportive community of UT students, faculty, and staff interested in learning new meditation techniques, practicing as a group, and carving out time during the week to de-stress.

Each month, the Meditation Group will explore a new technique or practice, such as mindfulness, breath awareness, visualization, mantras, and more.  The group will take suggestions for additional topics and meeting times.

Visit the Facebook page to learn more about the group and get involved.

Visit the Meditation and Mindfulness Guide for resources for take-home practice.

Watch this video from ScHARR Research Hacks on some of the many benefits of mindfulness and meditation.

Have a favorite meditation resource?  Email to suggest it, and the library will add it to the guide or purchase it for the collection.

Poet Cameron Conaway at UT’s Writers in the Library on March 7

CameronConawayPoet Cameron Conway will read from his works at the University of Tennessee on March 7. The event is part of the university’s Writers in the Library readings series. The public is invited to this free reading at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of UT’s John C. Hodges Library.

Conaway writes poetry with a social conscience. His two most recent books bear witness to child labor in Bangladesh’s shipbreaking industry and to malaria’s worldwide scourge. Chittagong: Poems & Essays (from Tennessee’s Iris Press), was praised by the Child Labor Coalition, and Malaria, Poems was named to NPR‘s Best Books of 2014 list.

Conaway has a diverse background: he is a former mixed martial arts fighter, an award-winning poet, a teacher, and a world traveler.

His work as a journalist has appeared in publications such as Harvard Business Review, Newsweek, Stanford Social Innovation Review and The Guardian, and has been supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the International Reporting Project, the United Nations Foundation, Rotary International and the Wellcome Trust. In 2015, he was a recipient of the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Fellowship.

Conaway is a popular speaker on the subjects of poetry, creativity, mindfulness, masculinity, social justice, and travel.

He is a graduate of Penn State Altoona (with bachelor’s degrees in English and Criminal Justice) and of the University of Arizona’s MFA Creative Writing Program.

Visit for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2016 spring semester.

Writers in the Library is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund. For more information contact Christopher Hebert, Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the UT Libraries (

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Wilma Dykeman to be Honored with Lecture and Forum, April 7-8

RobtMorgan_CornellRobert Morgan, the acclaimed author of Gap Creek and The Road from Gap Creek, will speak about the impact of Willma Dykeman’s fiction and non-fiction in his own work at the beginning of a two-day tribute to Dykeman on April 7 and 8.

The events are sponsored by the Library Society of the University of Tennessee and the Friends of the Knox County Public Library.
Morgan will deliver the Wilma Dykeman Stokely Memorial Lecture at the Bijou Theatre on Thursday, April 7, at 7 p.m. to honor Dykeman as a novelist, journalist, educator, historian, and environmentalist.  
The following morning, a panel of experts on Appalachian literature and culture will discuss Dykeman’s far-reaching contributions to our region. The forum will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 8, in UT’s John C. Hodges Library. Both events are free and open to the public, but registration is requested for the evening lecture on April 7 at

Dykeman, a native of western North Carolina and longtime resident of Newport, Tennessee, wrote about the Appalachian South in novels, nonfiction works, and as a Knoxville News Sentinel columnist for more than 40 years. The French Broad, her 1955 book on the history, culture, and economics of the mountain region, addressed environmental topics seven years before the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

The French Broad was awarded the first Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award in 1955. In 1957 Neither Black nor White, a study of Southern racism co-authored with her husband, James R. Stokely Jr., received the Sidney Hillman Award for the best book of the year on “world peace, race relations or civil liberties.”

Dykeman received many awards and recognitions during her lifetime, including serving as honorary state historian for 20 years. Dykeman died in 2006, and continues to receive honors posthumously for her environmental legacy and her contributions to literacy.

Robert Morgan is the author of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. His novel Gap Creek was a New York Times bestseller, and his sequel, The Road from Gap Creek, won the 2014 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He is the author of Boone: A Biography — another national bestseller — as well as 15 books of poetry. Morgan is Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University.

In 2015, the UT Libraries added the Wilma Dykeman and James R. Stokely, Jr. Papers to its Special Collections. Visitors to the Hodges Library on April 8 can view material from those papers in the Special Collections exhibit area. A breakfast reception in the Jack E. Reese Galleria begins at 9 a.m., followed by the panel discussion in the Lindsay Young Auditorium at 10 a.m.

More information about the Robert Morgan lecture is available at

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