Showcasing the Arts


Kentucky Writers’ Day 2020

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Due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus and the health of all Kentuckians, Kentucky Writers' Day 2020 will be an online event.

Kentucky Writers' Day - April 24th, 2020 - Frankfort, KY

On April 24 we are hosting Kentucky Writers' Day online. We are featuring readings from some of Kentucky's best poets:

History of Kentucky Writers’ Day

The Kentucky General Assembly established Kentucky Writers’ Day in 1990 to honor our strong literary tradition and to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Robert Penn Warren, a Todd County native and the nation’s first poet laureate, born on April 24, 1905. Robert Penn Warren was appointed as United States Poet Laureate in 1985 and held that position until his death in 1989. Winner of three Pulitzer Prizes, he is the only writer to win a Pulitzer Prize in both poetry and fiction.

History of the Kentucky Poet Laureate

The position of Kentucky Poet Laureate was established in 1926 by an act of the General Assembly. James T. “Cotton” Noe was first selected for the position. Prior to 1990, the Kentucky General Assembly appointed poets laureate to lifetime terms. At times several poets held the position simultaneously. In 1990, new legislation was enacted to provide for the appointment of the Kentucky Poet Laureate by the Governor for a two-year term. The Kentucky Arts Council coordinates the selection process. Nominations are sought from the public. The Kentucky Poet Laureate must be a resident who has a long association with the Commonwealth, and is the published author of a critically acclaimed body of work that is informed by living in Kentucky. A panel reviews the nominations and submits their recommendations to the Governor for appointment. A new poet laureate is usually inducted on April 24 of odd numbered years.

For a clomplete list of Kentucky Poets Laureate, go here:


Page last updated: April 22, 2020
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