Gurney Norman to Be Inducted as Kentucky Poet Laureate on Kentucky Writers' Day
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gurney Norman, who has been appointed by Gov. Beshear as Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2009-2010, will be formally inducted on Kentucky Writers' Day at 11:00 a.m. E.D.T., Friday, April 24, 2009, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
Over the past thirty years, Norman has been a major force in the literary and cultural renaissance throughout the state and region. Norman is best known for his work "Divine Right's Trip" and "Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories." Presently the Director of the University of Kentucky Creative Writing Program, Norman will soon complete his thirtieth year teaching at the university.
The Kentucky Poet Laureate is appointed by the governor to promote the literary arts in Kentucky. The word "poet" in the position's title is interpreted in its broadest sense to include persons whose accomplishments are in any literary form.
The Kentucky Arts Council has also launched a Kentucky Poet Laureate Web site at http://www.artscouncil.ky.gov/Poet/Poet.htm, which includes a biographical sketch of Gurney Norman, a selected short story, his engagement calendar and a brief history of the Kentucky Poet Laureate position, including past Kentucky poets laureate.
Kentucky Writers' Day presented by the Kentucky Arts Council in the Capitol Rotunda will also offer readings by Kentucky past poets laureate Jane Gentry Vance, Sena Jeter Naslund, Joe Survant and Richard Taylor. Kentucky state Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest first-place winner Barbara Gooding of Western Hills High School in Frankfort and second-place winner Torie DiMartile, Beechwood High School in Fort Mitchell will recite selected poems. Recipients of the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowships in writing will also be recognized for their achievements. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held on the mezzanine level of the Capitol to welcome Gurney Norman as Kentucky's new Poet Laureate and to honor all Kentucky writers. This event is free and open to the public.
Other Kentucky Writers' Day activities include "Turning the Page: A Celebration of Kentucky Writers' Day and the Governor's School for the Arts" from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. on April 24th at the Kentucky Center in Louisville and the perennial Kentucky Writers' Day Celebration at Penn's Store in Gravel Switch, Ky., which will be celebrated on April 19 and April 24, 25 and 26.
The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.