Join us for a fast-paced poetry reading featuring Frank X Walker, Crystal Wilkinson, upfromsumdirt (Ronald W. Davis), Danni Quintos, Jeremy Paden, Richard Taylor, Elizabeth Beck, Melva Sue Priddy, Pauletta Hansel, and Marianne Worthington.
Thanks to our Main Stage sponsor, the University of Kentucky!
Author + Speaker Lineup
Author + Speaker Lineup
upfromsumdirt is the author of four chapbooks and the full-length collection, Deifying A Total Darkness. He is a 2010 winner of Kentucky’s Al Smith Award for Art (as Ronald Davis), whose visual work has graced the covers of many publications and various book covers.
Marianne Worthington is a poet, editor, and cofounder of Still: The Journal, an online magazine that publishes literary, visual, and musical artists with ties to the Appalachian region. She lives and teaches in Southeastern Kentucky. Her work has appeared in Oxford American, CALYX, Grist, Shenandoah, The Louisville Review, Appalachian Heritage, Southern Poetry Anthology, Vinegar and Char: Southern Food in Verse, and others.
Pauletta Hansel’s nine poetry collections include Heartbreak Tree, a poetic exploration of the intersection of gender and place in Appalachia, published in 2022 by Madville Publishing, and Friend, Coal Town Photograph and Palindrome, winner of the 2017 Weatherford Award for best Appalachian poetry, all from Dos Madres Press.
Danni Quintos is the author of Two Brown Dots (BOA Editions, 2022), winner of the 20th A. Poulin Jr. Prize, and PYTHON (Argus House, 2017), an ekphrastic chapbook featuring photography by her sister, Shelli Quintos. She is a Kentuckian, a mom, an educator, and an Affrilachian Poet. She received her BA from The Evergreen State College, and her MFA in Poetry from Indiana University.
Melva Sue Priddy, an American poet, grew up working on her family’s dairy and tobacco farm in Hardin County, Kentucky. She received a BA from Berea College, an MEd from the University of Kentucky, and an MFA from Spalding University.
Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate, is the award-winning author of Perfect Black, a collection of poems, and three works of fiction—The Birds of Opulence , Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. She is the recipient of a 2022 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry, a 2021 O. Henry Prize, a 2020 USA Artists Fellowship, and a 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence.
Richard Taylor is professor of English and Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University and former Poet Laureate of Kentucky. Taylor has written numerous books, including Sue Mundy: A Novel of the Civil War, Girty, and Earth Bones.
Jeremy Paden is a professor of Spanish at Transylvania University. He is the author of “ruina montium,” a chapbook about the 2010 mining collapse in Copiapó, Chile, and “prison recipes”, a chapbook about a period of state sponsored violence in Argentina during the late 1970s.
Frank X Walker, the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate, is an artist and educator. He has published eleven collections of poetry, including Masked Man, Black: Pandemic & Protest Poems and Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, which received an NAACP Image Award and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Honor Book Award. The recipient of the Thomas D. Clark Award for Literary Excellence, he is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets.