Celebration of Kentucky Writers happening Saturday

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

On Saturday, May 18 from noon to 5 p.m., the Boyle County Public Library will host the 27th annual Jeanne Penn Lane Celebration of Kentucky Writers. Its sister event, The Songwriters Showcase, will be held after this event at Morley’s Backyard at 6 p.m.

Both are free and open to the public. A special Homecoming will be held at Historic Penn’s Store in Gravel Switch on Sunday beginning at noon.

Visitors to the Celebration of Writers will have the opportunity to hear award winning authors read from their work. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet authors, purchase their books, and learn more about the writing process.  Later, they will have the opportunity to listen to live music performed by Kentucky musicians.

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According to Dawn Osborne, Celebration organizer and daughter of founder Jeanne Penn Lane,  “Affording the public the opportunity to meet and hear authors read from their work is vitally important.  Kentucky has always been blessed with wonderfully talented writers and musicians and it continues today. ”

“We tend to think of Kentucky’s traditions in terms of bourbon and horse racing, but our traditions of literature and music are just as strong and vibrant. Jeanne Penn Lane’s goal in founding the Celebration was to provide a no-cost experience where the public could connect with Kentucky writers and musicians,” Osborne said.

This year, the Celebration of Writers is partnering with Kentucky Monthly Magazine to help them celebrate their 25th anniversary of serving Kentucky. Each year, Kentucky Monthly holds a literary contest called The Penned Writers Showcase for writers with a Kentucky connection. This year’s Penned winners will be reading from their work.

Other award winning writers also featured will be local favorite Poet Maurice Manning along with Bill Carman, Chris Helvey and Virginia Smith. Virginia and Bill have strong Danville ties.

Poet Maurice Manning was born and raised in Kentucky, and often writes about the land and culture of his home. He earned a B.A. from Earlham College, an M.A. in English from the University of Kentucky, and an MFA from the University of Alabama. Manning’s first book of poems, “Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions” (2001), was chosen by W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His subsequent books include “Railsplitter” (2019), “The Gone and the Going Away” (2013), “The Common Man” (2010), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, “Bucolics” (2007), and “A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone,” (2004). His most recent book, “Snakedoctor,” was released in November 2023.

Bill Carman has strong ties to Danville. He is a graduate of UK with a masters degree from Utah State University. He worked for 30 years designing parks and recreation areas before retiring and taking the position of Regional Director for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Carman retired after 10 years of wildlife conservation for RMEF and started Kentucky Wild LLC. In that capacity he guides hunters and anglers, conducts outdoor skill clinics, and is an accomplished outdoor writer.