Connie Jordan Green

The rewards for writing are many, but one of my favorites is receiving feedback from young readers. They are as forthright with their questions as they are generous with their praise. They keep me wanting to write honest stories that examine what it means to be alive.

One of the most empowering comments from young people came from a fourth grader at Woodland Elementary School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the city in which The War at Home is set. The student said, "When I read the book I could actually see what was going on in the book inside my head [and] could feel what Mattie was feeling through the whole book." Such comments keep writers writing.

Sometimes young readers question the necessity for sad parts of the story, such as the death of Virgil's mother in The War at Home or the fact the father has been injured in a coal mining accident in Emmy. But they accept that bad things happen in real life, and that the best stories have to include such events. The reward comes when readers ask what the characters are doing now, the realization that the book's characters are so alive to readers that the phrase "The End" doesn't necessarily mean the people in the story cease to exist.


I'm glad you're visiting my website, and I'd like to tell you a little bit about myself and my writing. I was born the middle of three daughters (I always remind my sisters the middle is the best part of the sandwich) and grew up in a home filled with more love than money. My parents worked hard to see to it that my sisters and I had all our basic needs met and that we had much of what we wanted. They were determined we would have a good education. Growing up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as I did, a good elementary and secondary education was guaranteed. Oak Ridge was built during World War II in order to develop fuel for the atomic bomb, so it was, and remains, a town filled with scientists and engineers. I always enjoyed school, and I felt I got a great deal out of my years of studying.
Memories from those growing-up years, along with memories of the stories I heard my relatives tell on the front porch in summer or around a small fireplace in winter, flood through my mind when I sit down to write.
I write stories for young people, poetry, and novels (THE WAR AT HOME and EMMY, both reissued by Tellico Books, an imprint of Iris Publishing Company, both originally published by Margaret McElderry Books, Macmillan, now Simon Schuster). The novels have received various awards: THE WAR AT HOME was placed on the ALA List of Best Books for Young Adults, both books were selected by the New York Public Library as Books for the Teen Age, THE WAR AT HOME was nominated to the 1991-92 Volunteer State Book Award Master List, and EMMY was selected as a Notable 1992 Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. My poetry has appeared in numerous journals and publications, including APPALACHIAN HERITAGE, THE AVOCET, CONFRONTATION, CROSSROADS, CUMBERLAND POETRY REVIEW, DRAFTHORSE, IOWA WOMAN, JIMSON WEED, THE KERF, MAIN STREET RAG, NOW AND THEN, PETROGLYPH, PINE MOUNTAIN SAND & GRAVEL (VOLUMES 18 - 20), POEM, POTOMAC REVIEW, THE SOW'S EAR POETRY REVIEW, STILL: A JOURNAL; and anthologies SOME SAY TOMATO; VOICES FROM THE VALLEY; ALL AROUND US: POEMS FROM THE VALLEY; A TENNESSEE LANDSCAPE, PEOPLE, AND PLACES; HOMEWORKS; BREATHING THE SAME AIR; TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER; LITERARY LUNCH; LOW EXPLOSIONS; OUTSCAPES; MOTIF: WRITING BY EAR; THE SOUTHERN POETRY ANTHOLOGY, VOLUME III: CONTEMPORARY APPALACHIA; ANTHOLOGY OF APPALACHIAN WRITERS, VOLUMES V - X. Finishing Line Press published my chapbooks, SLOW CHILDREN PLAYING in 2007 and REGRET COMES TO TEA in 2011. A poetry collection, HOUSEHOLD INVENTORY, won the Brick Road Poetry Press 2013 Award and was published in 2015. My most recent publication is a poetry collection, DARWIN'S BREATH, from Iris Press in 2018.
In addition to writing poetry and novels, since 1978 I've written a newspaper column for The Loudon County News Herald. I belong to numerous writing organizations, including the Tennessee Mountain Writers (Treasurer, Board of Directors), Tennessee Writers Alliance (Past Board Member), Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Knoxville Writers' Guild, Academy of American Poets, and the Authors Guild. I received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the East Tennessee Hall of Fame for Writers and an award from the Oak Ridge (Tennessee) Arts Council. I attended Denison University (in Granville, Ohio), received a B.S. from Auburn University (Phi Kappa Phi scholastic honorary) and an M.A. from the University of Tennessee. I've taught creative writing for the University of Tennessee, and I continue to teach at various workshops. I do volunteer teaching for the Oak Ridge Institute of Continued Learning, and I enjoy speaking at elementary, middle, and high schools.
I live on a farm in Loudon County, Tennessee, with my husband, a retired engineer. We have three grown children and seven grandchildren. I like to garden, swim, read, write, bake bread, knit, visit with friends, take long walks, and make short trips by car or longer ones by train. I do my writing in a small attic room where I can look out over the fields to a range of mountains. It's a view that inspires me and keeps me mindful of my heritage.

Selected Works

A collection of poems that move from consideration of fossils embedded in earth's oldest mountains, to memories of a childhood spent in a "secret city" during World War II, through the many gardens the poet has tended, touched always by the many people who have shared that life.
Winner of the 2013 Brick Road Poetry Press contest.
Tender and fierce, compressed and expansive--an arc of lyrical galaxies. Marilyn Kallet
Now available at
Writing for Young People
A novel for young people set in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during the closing year of World War II.
Set in the Kentucky coal camps of 1924, Emmy is the story of a family's struggle for survival.

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