A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Poet Frank X Walker receives Transylvania University’s 2020 Judy Gaines Young Book Award

Frank X Walker, a former Kentucky poet laureate and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, is this year’s winner of Transylvania University’s Judy Gaines Young Book Award for his “Last Will, Last Testament.” The award has recognized outstanding works by writers in the Appalachian region since 2015. The public is invited to join the campus community March 17 at 5 p.m. in Carrick Theater as Walker...

Lexington writer Jeff Worley to be inducted as Kentucky’s next Poet Laureate April 24

Award-winning writer Jeff Worley of Lexington has been appointed 2019-2020 Kentucky Poet Laureate. Worley will be inducted as the next state poet laureate as part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Writers’ Day celebration, 10 a.m. April 24 at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, 300 Coffee Tree Road in Frankfort. “I’m grateful for the recognition and I’m very eager to...

Transylvania professor’s ‘Elkhorn’ book wins Thomas D. Clark Medallion, highlights state’s history, culture

Richard Taylor, Transylvania University’s Kenan Visiting Writer and a former Kentucky poet laureate, has received the Thomas D. Clark Medallion for his new book, “Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape.” Named after the founder of the University Press of Kentucky, the medallion is awarded to one book each year for highlighting the state’s history and culture. “Elkhorn” is published...

Arts Council accepting application for Kentucky’s next poet laureate; two year term begins in 2019

The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting nominations for Kentucky Poet Laureate. The next poet laureate will serve for two years starting in 2019, succeeding current Kentucky Poet Laureate Frederick Smock, who has served since 2017. The state poet laureate is appointed biennially by the Governor to promote the literary arts in Kentucky through readings and public presentations at meetings, seminars,...

Former Kentucky Poet Laureate Jane Gentry honored posthumously by Appalachian Writers Association

University Press of Kentucky author and former Kentucky Poet Laureate Jane Gentry (1941–2014) has been named the recipient of Appalachian Writers Association’s 2017 Appalachian Book of the Year for Poetry for her posthumous collection The New and Collected Poems of Jane Gentry, edited by Julia Johnson. The AWA’s mission is to recognize and promote writing about the Appalachian region. They work...

Constance Alexander: Frank X Walker brings Medgar Evers back from the grave with “Unghosting”

Summer days when I was nine, between endless games of hopscotch and hide-and-seek, I tried to finish at least a book a day. My quest was to score the most points in my local library’s vacation reading club, and that summer “Little Women” slowed me down. Probably the biggest book I had ever read, it was also the first one that made me cry. In the chapter entitled, “The Valley of the Shadow”...

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate, a Georgetown College graduate, returns to campus for a public reading

Kentucky’s Poet Laureate, Frederick Smock, Ph.D., Georgetown College Class of 1976, returns to campus on Tuesday, Nov. 7 for a reading. It is open to the public. The reading will be held in the Ward Room, first floor of the college’s Ensor Learning Resource Center located near South Mulberry and East College Streets, beginning at 11 a.m. Fred Smock Smock is a Louisville native and is now a Professor...

Bevin names Louisville author Smock Kentucky Poet Laureate, adds four to supported living council

Gov. Matt Bevin has appointed Louisville poet, author and teacher Frederick Smock as Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2017-18, the Kentucky Arts Council announced. Smock, will be formally inducted during a ceremony on Kentucky Writers’ Day, May 1 at the Old State Capitol, 300 W. Broadway St. in Frankfort. “I’m thrilled,” Smock said shortly after learning of his appointment. “Jim...

State Arts Council now accepting nominations for Kentucky Poet Laureate post

The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting nominations for Kentucky Poet Laureate. The next poet laureate will serve for two years starting in 2017, succeeding current Kentucky Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon, who has served since 2015. The state poet laureate is appointed biennially by the governor to promote the literary arts in Kentucky through readings and public presentations at meetings, seminars,...

Continuing to make poetry accessible part of George Ella Lyon’s mission as Poet Laureate

Lexington poet, author, lyricist and teacher George Ella Lyon is Kentucky’s poet laureate for 2015-16. Lyon, a native of Harlan, will be formally inducted during a ceremony on Kentucky Writers’ Day, April 24, at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.   “From her immense collection of poetry to her work as a teacher, George Ella Lyon’s work is a portrait of Kentucky heritage...

Lesley Cissell: Late, great Jane Gentry Vance was, to me, so much more than just a poet

Jane always looked down those readers at you when making a point. (Photo from Ky. Arts Council)   I knew her before she was famous … before she was dean … before she was English chair … before she was Kentucky Poet Laureate. I knew Jane Gentry Vance when she taught my University of Kentucky Honors Program class in a hot attic room at the top of the old M.I. King Library and...

Frank X Walker is new poet laureate, state’s first African-American, youngest honored

Frank X Walker is the state's first African-American poet laureate, as well as its youngest. (Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths)   Lexington poet, author and teacher Frank X Walker has been appointed Kentucky poet laureate for 2013-14, the Kentucky Arts Council announced today. He is the state’s first African-American poet laureate, and the youngest Kentuckian to be given the honor.   Walker,...