© Rachel Eliza Griffiths
Frank X Walker
Kentucky Poet Laureate
2013 - 2014
The position of Kentucky Poet Laureate was originally
established in 1926 by an act of the Kentucky General Assembly. James T.
Cotton Noe was selected for the position. Prior to 1990, poets
laureate were appointed to lifetime terms by the General Assembly. At times
several people held the position simultaneously.
In 1990, new
legislation was enacted (KRS 153.600) to provide for the gubernatorial
appointment of a state poet laureate for a two-year term. The Kentucky Poet
Laureates duties include promoting the literary arts and leading the
state in literary activities, including Kentucky Writers Day (KRS
153.620), which is celebrated annually on April 24 to commemorate the
birthday of Kentuckian Robert Penn Warren, the first poet
laureate of the United States.
The Kentucky Poet Laureate is selected following a public
call for nominations coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council. Nominees for
this position must reside in Kentucky, have a long association with the
Commonwealth, and have a critically acclaimed published body of work that is
informed by living in Kentucky. The word "poet" in the position's title is
interpreted in its broadest sense to include writers whose accomplishments are
in any literary form. An independent panel reviews the nominations and submits
its recommendation to the Governor for appointment.
The new poet
laureate is usually inducted on April 24 of odd-numbered years in conjunction
with Kentucky Writers Day celebrations.
Past Poets Laureate
1928 Edward G.
Jesse Hilton Stuart
Lowell Allen Williams
Lillie D. Chaffin
(Associate Poet Laureate)
Senator Tom Mobley
1984 Soc Clay
1984 Lee Pennington
1984 Paul Salyers
1986 Dale Faughn
1986 Jim Wayne
James H. Patton, Jr.
1995-1996 James Still*
1997-1998 Joy Bale Boone*
* Gubernatorial Appointment
Source: Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Arts Council.