Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Shout Out to Kentucky Authors (Part 1)

I live on a street named after a Kentucky writer. We get teased for being bare-foot, uneducated rednecks, but we're also home to some of the best storytellers.

Award-winning literary authors include Sena Jeter Naslund (Ahab's Wife), Bobbi Ann Mason, (Shiloh and Other Stories), Wendell Berry, (That Distant Land: the Collected Stories), Silas House, (Coal Tattoo), and Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men).

Still think we're all uneducated hicks? Then let me introduce you to our poets, including the aforementioned Berry and Warren. Frank X. Walker is the founder of the Affrilachian Poets and received the Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Fellowship. Other Kentucky poets include Crystal E. Wilkinson, also a founding member of Affrilachian Poets, Joy Bale Boone, Barbara Kingsolver, among others. Two Pulitzer Prize winning playwrights also hail from the Bluegrass State: Marsha Norma ('night, Mother) and Suzan-Lori Parks (TopDog/Underdog)   

Kentucky is home to the Southern Kentucky Book Festival/Kentucky Writers Conference, the Kentucky Book Fair, Kentucky Women's Book Festival, and the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, among others. While Hawley-Cooke is no longer in business, Carmichael's Bookstore and A Reader's Corner Bookstore help keep Louisville's independent bookstores alive.

Next week, more Kentucky writers, including best-selling romance and mystery authors, and independent/digital/small press writers.

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