Five Kentucky Poets Laureate: An Anthology book coverThe Kentucky Arts Council is pleased to present Five Kentucky Poets Laureate: An Anthology, a collection of poetry and prose by a distinguished group of Kentucky writers; the commonwealth's poets laureate. Five Kentucky Poets Laureate: An Anthology, includes the writings of Richard Taylor (Kentucky Poet Laureate 1999-2000), James Baker Hall (2001-2002), Joe Survant (2003-2004), Sena Jeter Naslund (2005-2006), and Jane Gentry (2007-2008). The anthology has been edited by Jane Gentry and Frederick Smock with a cover illustration by photographer Geoff Carr.

In his preface, Frederick Smock says, “Ever since Daniel Boone crossed through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky, and wrote the first poem composed west of the Appalachians, on a tree – D. Boone kilt a bar, 1803 – Kentuckians have been living the examined life. The supreme achievement of Kentucky letters might well be read in the work of its poets laureate. The current volume publishes selections from the five living poets laureate, and the works are as varied as you might expect from a state that bridges east and west, north and south . . . Such is the universal and variable nature of life and art.”

Richard Taylor
Kentucky Poet Laureate 1999 - 2000

James Baker Hall
Kentucky Poet Laureate 2001 - 2002

Joe Survant
Kentucky Poet Laureate 2003 - 2004
Sena Jeter Naslund
Kentucky Poet Laureate 2005 - 2006

Jane Gentry
Kentucky Poet Laureate 2007 - 2008

Dr. Sue Churchill
Writing Resource Teacher
Woodford County High School


Select a poet name above, to access the online study guide developed by Dr. Sue Churchill, writing resource teacher for Woodford County High School.

National Endowment for the Arts

The publication of Five Kentucky Poets Laureate: An Anthology is a project of the Kentucky Arts Council (an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet) and is made possible through funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Kentucky Arts Council