Poet to Enter the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame

Erin Elizabeth Smith, senior instructor in English and the Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at UT Libraries, will be inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, October 19.

Erin Elizabeth Smith

Erin Elizabeth Smith

Smith is one of five area writers being honored at the 14th annual Hall of Fame event held to benefit Friends of Literacy. UT Libraries and the UT Department of English are sponsors of the event.

A luncheon will be held at the Lighthouse Knoxville. Tickets are on sale until Friday, October 13. Visit friendsofliteracy.org/our-events or call 865-549-7007.

Smith teaches poetry writing, public writing, and literature and genre classes including Women in American Literature and Introduction to Poetry. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, The Naming of Strays and The Fear of Being Found, which were re-released last year. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in 32 Poems, Mid-American, The Yalobusha Review, New Delta Review, Florida Review, Third Coast, Crab Orchard, West Branch, and Willow Springs

As writer-in-residence, she organizes the Writers in the Library series, which brings local, regional, and nationally known authors to Hodges Library to share their works with the campus community.

Four other East Tennesseans are being honored. UT alumnus Jack Neely will receive the Lifetime Achievement award. Neely has produced 10 books about Knoxville and its history. After graduating from UT with a degree in history, he was an Egyptian museum tour guide at the 1982 World’s Fair. Later Neely established the Knoxville History Project, an educational nonprofit that seeks to research and promote the history of Knoxville. 

Julia Watts will receive the award for fiction. She has more than a dozen novels and is co-editor of Unbroken Circle, an anthology featuring 27 writers from the South, as well as winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award for her book Secret City

Sherri Gardner Howell will be honored for nonfiction. She was a longtime writer for the Knoxville News Sentinel and now contributes to the knoxtntoday.com, an online publication.

Jamie Fromberger will be honored for social media writing. She manages social media for more than a dozen businesses and won the ABC Dancing with the Stars Nationwide Super Blogger contest.

 Other event sponsors include 21st Mortgage, the News Sentinel, WBIR-TV, 93.1 WNOX, and the Cornerstone Foundation of Knoxville.