Governor Fletcher Appoints Jane Gentry Vance as Kentucky Poet Laureate
FRANKFORT, Ky. –- On behalf of Governor Ernie Fletcher, the Poet Laureate Selection Committee coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council has selected poet Jane Gentry Vance from Versailles to succeed Dr. Sena Jeter Naslund as the new Poet Laureate for Kentucky. “Jane Gentry Vance is highly regarded within the literary community and her poetry is vintage Kentucky,” said Governor Fletcher. “With more than 40 years of college teaching experience and a dedication to community service, Professor Vance will be a true champion for the literary arts as she serves as Kentucky Poet Laureate.”
Vance began teaching at Georgetown College in 1964 and at the University of Kentucky in 1972; was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor to the Honors Program in 1977; was jointly appointed to the English Department in 1988; promoted to Full Professor in 1997 and was appointed to the English Graduate Faculty in 2005. She continues to teach at the University of Kentucky.
Vance is the author of Portrait of the Artist as a White Pig, a collection of 50 poems, published by Louisiana State University Press in 2006; A Year in Kentucky: A Garland of Poems, a collection of 12 poems published by Press Eight Seventeen in 2005; and A Garden in Kentucky, a collection of 60 poems, published by Louisiana State University Press in 1995. Her poems have also been published in notable anthologies and journals such as the Sewanee Review, Harvard Magazine, Southern Poetry Review, the American Voice and Humanities in the South.
The Kentucky Poet Laureate is appointed for a two-year term to promote the literary arts and lead the state in literary endeavors, including the activities of Kentucky Writers’ Day, celebrated on April 24 of each year, to honor the birth date of Kentucky author Robert Penn Warren, the nation’s first Poet Laureate. Vance will be formally inducted as Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2007-2008 at a special public ceremony in Frankfort in the Capitol Rotunda on April 24, 2007.
Past Kentucky Poets Laureate include James Still, Joy Bale Boone, Richard Taylor, James Baker Hall, Joe Survant, and Sena Jeter Naslund.
NOTE TO EDITORS: High resolution photo of Jane Gentry Vance available at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Press_Images/janegentryvance.jpg
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The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians through the arts. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.