PHOTO:
© 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 Laureate’s 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

 

1926
J.T. “Cotton” Noe
1928
Edward G. Hill*
1942
Louise Phillips
1954
Edwin Carlisle Litsey
1954
Jesse Hilton Stuart
1956
Lowell Allen Williams
1974
Lillie D. Chaffin
    (Associate Poet Laureate)
1976
Senator Tom Mobley
1978
Agnes O’Rear
1984
Soc Clay
1984
Lee Pennington
1984
Paul Salyers
1986
Dale Faughn
1986
Jim Wayne Miller
1986
Henry E. Pilkenton
1990
James H. Patton, Jr.
1995-1996
James Still*
1997-1998
Joy Bale Boone*

1999-2000    Richard Taylor*
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2001-2002    James Baker Hall*
2003-2004    Joe Survant*
View video
2005-2006    Sena Jeter Naslund*
View video
2007-2008    Jane Gentry*
View video
Gurney Norman
2009-2010    Gurney Norman*
View video
Maureen Morehead
2011-2012    Maureen Morehead*
View video
Frank X Walker
2013-2014    Frank X Walker*
View video

 

* Gubernatorial Appointment
   Source: Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Arts Council.