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A Reader's Corner
2044 Frankfort Avenue
Louisville, KY
(502) 897-5578

Bardstown Books
129 North 3rd Street
Bardstown, KY
(502) 348-4004

Carmichael's Bookstore
1295 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY
(502) 456-6950

CoffeeTree Books
240 Morehead Plaza
Morehead, KY
(606) 784-8364

Joseph-Beth Booksellers
161 Lexington Green Circle
Suite B1
Lexington, KY
(859) 273-2911

Karen's Book Barn and Java Stop
127 East Main Street
LaGrange, KY
(502) 222-0918

Lincoln's Loft
25 Lincoln Square
Hodgenville, KY
(270) 358-0124

Poor Richard's Books
233 Broadway
Frankfort, KY
(502) 223-8018

Robie Books
307 Chestnut Street
Berea, KY
(859) 228-0499


Available from Kentucky Council of Teachers of English /Language Arts

Kentucky Add to Notebook

And it came to me all in a feeling how everything fitted together, the place and ourselves and the animals and the tools, and how the sky held us. I saw how sweetly we were enabled by the land and the animals and our few simple tools.
Wendell Berry, from A Place on Earth
Poet Laureate

Maureen Morehead
Maureen Moreheadís literary background has deep roots in Kentucky, as her poems draw heavily on her long residency in the state. She is currently a faculty member of Spalding Universityís brief-residency MFA Program in Writing.Morehead has published three books of poetry: In a Yellow Room, A Sense of Time Left and The Melancholy Teacher.
More information on this state's laureateship


Robert Penn Warren

Robert Penn Warren
Born in Guthrie, Kentucky in 1905, Robert Penn Warren was the youngest member of the group of Southern poets called the Fugitives. He was named the first U.S. Poet Laureate in 1986.

Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry
The author of more than 30 books of poetry, essays, and novels, Wendell Berry has been the recipient of, among other awards, grants from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, and lives in Port Royal, Kentucky.

Other Kentucky Poets
Allen Tate
Mark Jarman
James Baker Hall
Maurice W. Manning
Davis McCombs
Jim Wayne Miller
Joy Bale Boone
James Still
Literary Organizations & Centers

The Affrilachian Poets
A grassroots group of poets of color living in the Appalachian region. The term was coined by Frank X. Walker and poets and fiction writers identified with the movement include Nikki Finney, Kelly Ellis, and Paul Taylor.

Arts Across Kentucky
A statewide membership organization for individual artists, performers, craftspeople, community and arts groups. Their mission is to provide resources and tools for people who are working to improve their communities through the arts.

The Carnegie Center
Supports writers and the community by offering writing (poetry, memoir, songwriting, nonfiction, young adult fiction writing, and miscellaneous), computer, and foreign language workshops. The Center also holds book discussion groups. Workshops are listed along with their dates and times.

Kentucky Council of Teachers of English /Language Arts
The Kentucky Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts is a non-profit, service organization for Kentucky English and Language Arts teachers of all levels (Kindergarten-Graduate School). In addition to supporting funded projects, the KCTE/LA connects English and Language Arts teachers to the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Writing Projects, and the Kentucky Reading Association (KRA). A number of KCTE/LA board members either direct or coordinate outreach programs for state Writing Projects, and both the KDE and KRA send liaisons to quarterly KCTE/LA board meetings.

The Kentucky State Poetry Society
"The Kentucky State Poetry Society was founded in 1966 by a group of Kentuckians with a love for poetry.... Membership in the Society is not limited to Kentuckians.... Our common bond is an appreciation for poetry. If you share this trait you are invited to join us."

Green River Writers
Green River Writers is a not-for-profit organization founded in Kentucky in 1984 to support writers through education, promotion and fellowship. Green River Writers encourages poets and writers by offering workshops, retreats, monthly critique sessions, an annual writing contest and a tri-annual newsletter.

Readings Series, Conferences & Literary Festivals

Kentucky Literary Newsletter
Announcements of Kentucky literary events and other news; also available via email.

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival began with the vision of actor, director and producer C. Douglas Ramey in the late 1950's. His desire to bring the works of William Shakespeare to the neighborhoods surrounding historic Old Louisville has grown tremendously, now serving the Commonwealth at large. The 2003 Summer Season runs from June 19 to July 23.


Special thanks to Joe Survant for assistance in compiling this information.

Poetic History

Robert Penn Warren Birthplace: Guthrie, KY
Though Warren spent much of his adult life outside of the South, his language and imagination were deeply rooted in the South.

Two recurring words in the descriptions of Kentucky by the first Europeans to enter it were "fertile" and "paradise." Lewis Craig, a Virginia minister, frustrated in an attempt to describe heaven in a sermon, reportedly exclaimed "It is a mere Kentucky of a place," and one of the possible origins of the word "Kentucky" is a Wyandot word meaning "land of tomorrow." At any rate, the physical beauty and fertility of Kentucky have engendered a strong poetic tradition beginning in earnest in the twentieth century with fiction writer and poet Jesse Stuart. The dean of Kentucky letters is Robert Penn Warren, the first poet laureate of the U.S., and the only writer to win a Pulitzer Prize in both poetry and fiction. Poet, essayist, fiction writer and environmentalist Wendell Berry is a contemporary man of letters in the mode of Warren.

More recently, Kentucky has produced three Yale Younger Poets in the last nine years: Tony Crunk, Davis McCombs, and Maurice Manning. Poets laureate include: Jesse Stuart, James Still, Jim Wayne Miller, Joy Bale Boone, Richard Taylor and James Baker Hall.

Poems about Kentucky

Kentucky River Junction
by Wendell Berry
Clumsy at first, fitting together...

Tell Me a Story
by Robert Penn Warren
Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood...
Literary Journals & Small Presses

Appalachian Heritage
Since 1973, Appalachian Heritage has been a leading literary magazine of the Southern Appalachian Region, featuring poetry, short stories, literary biography, criticism, and art.

Blair Mountain Press
Publishes new poetry books by contemporary writers.

The Louisville Review
The goal of the magazine continues to be to import the best writing to local readers, to juxtapose the work of established writers with new writers, and to export the best local writers to a national readership.

Sarabande Books
Sarabande Books, a nonprofit literary press located in Louisville, Kentucky, publishes quality poetry, essays, and short fiction. Founded in 1994 as an alternative to mainstream publishing, Sarabande Books strives to provide talented authors with a final product and visibility, in short, a real "home" for their work.

Finishing Line Press
Finishing Line Press is an award-winning small press publisher located in the heart of the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky. The press has been publishing poetry since 1998.

Writing Programs & Colonies

Spalding University Creative Writing Program
Offers a two-year, brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program with concentrations in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and writing for children. This new program offers the best of workshop learning, authors' readings, and lectures on craft at the 10-day residency, followed by a semester of individualized mentoring through correspondence as well as supportive interchanges among students.

Western Kentucky University The MA in English is a 30-33 hour degree with five options: literature, creative writing, rhetoric and composition, teaching English as a second language, and teaching. The degree prepares students to pursue a Ph.D. or to teach in a community or junior college. For those students who have an undergraduate teaching certificate, the MA in English is certified for Rank II and Rank I in the secondary schools. There is a thesis option in all but the creative writing option, in which a thesis is required. Near the end of course work, students take an oral examination with a committee of three faculty members.

Writing Programs in Kentucky
A great resource for students and teachers searching for creative writing programs, conferences, workshops, or literature events in Kentucky.

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