State Writers Honored at Carnegie Center

Jan 24, 2014

Lexington's Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning inducted seven authors into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame Thursday.

The center chose among 50 fiction and nonfiction authors nominated by the public, and narrowed down 15 finalists. Director Neil Chethik says the writers are representative of Kentucky's wider literary tradition. 

“We’ve had great Kentucky writers since the early 1800s, and many people don’t know them, don’t know their books, so part of what we’re doing is letting Kentucky and the world know how many great writers have come out of this state," he said.

For writers to be chosen, then needed to be deceased, published, have writing of an "enduring stature," and have "connected in a significant way to the Commonwealth of Kentucky."  

This year's inductees consist of:

-Children's author Rebecca Caudill, (best known for A Pocketful of Cricket and Tree of Freedom)

-University of Kentucky Professor Thomas D. Clark (best known for A History of Kentucky )

-Novelist Janice Holt Giles, whose work focused on Kentucky historical fiction

-James Baker Hall, a UK professor and Kentucky’s 2001 Poet Laureate

-Affralachian poet Etheridge Knight, whose work was strongly influenced by the Civil Rights Movement. 

- Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk and one of the most prolific 20th century Catholic writers. 

-Jesse Stuart, known for his sonnets and focus on rural Appalachia. 

Each author had their works dramatized by a current Kentucky writer, and in the case of Hall, even a musical performance.  The Center also had their works on display to view and purchase.   

WUKY has recorded the induction ceremony and is planning to air it in the near future.  Additional information on the event can be found at Carnegie's website.