Telling Kentucky's Story

2017 Schedule of Events

Main Stage Breakout 1 Breakout 2
10:00 AM
Kentucky Humanities presents
Kentucky Chautauqua's
William Wells Brown
portrayed by
Virgil Covington, Jr.
Introduction by Neil Chethik, Director, 
The Carnegie Center
William Wells Brown (1814/15 - 1884) was born in central Kentucky and became the first published African-American novelist and playwright. Learn more about his life in this historically-accurate dramatic presentation.
The Carnegie Center &
the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame present
The Art of Separating Truth from Myth in Biography
James B. Goode's newly-released book, Kentucky's Literary Landscape: The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame 2013-2017, is a celebration of the first five years of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame and features well researched biographies and inclusive bibliographies of major works by all twenty-nine inductees. In this session, Goode will discuss the intricacies of capturing truth amongst the myths surrounding these figures.
On Poetry: A Discussion with Rebecca Gayle Howell and Frederick Smock
Award-winning poet Rebecca Gayle Howell and Kentucky Poet Laureate Frederick Smock will discuss the virtues and rewards of not only reading poetry, but of teaching oneself how to read and appreciate the form as well.
11:00 AM
Poet, screenwriter, and
New York Times bestselling author
Rita Mae Brown
Crazy Like a Fox
In this thrilling new foxhunting mystery, an investigation into a missing and valuable object flushes out murder, ghosts, and old family rivalries. Now "Sister" Jane Arnold and a pack of four-legged friends must catch the scent of a killer and unearth a long-buried truth.
Young Adult Fiction Panel
with David Arnold, Gwenda Bond, Ally Condie, Sheba Karim, Brendan Reichs, and
Adam Silvera

moderated by Ashley McGraw,
Lexington Public Library

Six bestselling and critically-acclaimed young adult authors share their stories of inspiration, awkwardness, and success, and why YA fiction isn't just for young adults.
Graphic novel author, artist, and editor
Dean Trippe
Something Terrible
Trippe's highly-anticipated memoir chronicles the effects of unthinkable childhood pain and gets to the message at the core of all good superhero stories: "You are who you choose to be."
12:00 PM
Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer
Chris Whipple
The Gatekeepers
with Tori Murden McClure, President, Spalding University
Whipple's accounts of the White House Chiefs of Staff has been called "eminently readable" (Newsday) and "brilliantly reported" (Christopher Buckley), and is a New York Times bestseller.
For more information on this speaker, visit
The Evolution of the
Western Genre
with Robert Olmstead and Ian Stansel

Stansel, the author of The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo, and Olmstead, the award-winning author of Savage Country and Far Bright Star, discuss how the Western genre has changed from Lonesome Dove and True Grit to now.
Decatur Book Festival founder
and debut novelist
Daren Wang
The Hidden Light of Northern Fires
Wang's debut novel, called "wise and timely" by Ron Rash, is rooted in the history of the only secessionist town north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and tells a story of redemption amidst a war that tore families and the country apart.
1:00 PM bell hooks In Conversation
with Crystal Wilkinson
presented by Berea College
Join renowned cultural critic bell hooks and award-winning author Crystal Wilkinson for a candid conversation on each's career in writing and their experiences as Black women and writers living in Kentucky.
Wayne Flynt
Mockingbird Songs
introduction by Loyal Jones
Auburn University professor emeritus Dr. Wayne Flynt and his wife carried on a 25-year correspondence with American literary legend Harper Lee and her sisters. He'll discuss his memoir, a story of that friendship through the letters they sent.
The Veteran Experience in Literature
with Col. Fred Johnson (U.S.A., Ret.) and Odie Lindsey

moderated by author
Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Many veterans choose writing as a way to share their experiences of military life, combat, and domestic life post-service. Johnson chose to write a memoir; Lindsey chose fiction. These authors will discuss what writing means to them as veterans and why they chose their respective forms.
Moderator Kristin O'Donnell Tubb is the author of A Dog Like Daisy, a children's book about a veteran with PTSD, his family, and their service dog.
2:00 PM New York Times bestselling author
Karen Robards
The Ultimatum
Robards' newest has been called "Jason Bourne-esque" (Kirkus) and "an enthralling high-stakes caper novel." (Booklist) She'll talk about the Guardian series and its captivating protagonist,
Bianca St. Ives.
Beyond the Pulp Paperback:
The Rise of Literary Crime
with Jesse Donaldson
and David Joy

Donaldson, the author of The More They Disappear and On Homesickness, and Edgar Award finalist David Joy discuss the changing face of crime novels, and why criminals make such compelling literary characters.
Screenwriter, journalist, and author
Christopher Farnsworth
discusses his new international thriller
Fans of Michael Crichton, Brad Thor, and James Rollins will not want to miss Farnsworth's smart, funny, and action-packed series about "fixer" John Smith.
3:00 PM New York Times bestselling author
Jamie Ford
Love and Other Consolation Prizes
If you missed our Literary Luncheon with Jamie, this is your chance to hear about the new novel from the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Kentucky Gold: Bourbon 101
with Carla Harris Carlton, Fred Minnick, and Susan Reigler

moderated by Bailey Loosemore,

Why is bourbon so good -- and so popular? Find out all you need to know about new distilleries, the resurgence of bourbon across America, and more from this panel of respected food and spirits experts!

Moderator Bailey Loosemore is a Food & Culture reporter for the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
Writing Against the Wind:
Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
in the Common/wealth
with Kim Edwards and
Fenton Johnson

moderated by author Jason Howard
Virginia Woolf thought androgyny to be the key to literary genius. How have issues of gender, sexuality, and sex shaped Kentucky writers and literature? How has the literary landscape evolved and where are we going from here? Star journalist and creative nonfiction author Jason Howard leads a conversation with two Kentucky authors who regularly inhabit genders other than their own.

Moderator Jason Howard is the author of two nonfiction books, and serves as editor of Appalachian Heritage, a literary quarterly based at Berea College where he also teaches.