Telling Kentucky's Story

Kentucky Reads

Kentucky Humanities’ new project, Kentucky Reads: All the King’s Men, will use Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to guide a statewide conversation on contemporary populism and political discourse, and their relationship to journalism. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as cooperation with valued partners, Kentucky Humanities will host a series of community discussions and events centered on Warren’s celebrated and timeless work, and what it can teach us today.

Social Media hashtags: #HumCitizen #KyReads

Kentucky Reads centers around community discussions taking place in five cities across the Commonwealth: Bowling Green, Highland Heights, Lexington, Louisville, and Paducah. Each discussion features a unique panel that includes a journalist, a public official, and a scholar, who will participate in a moderated conversation about how Warren’s novel depicts the role of rural journalism and media in politics. They will also discuss how journalism is critical to creating an informed populace and preserving democracy.

Kentucky Humanities will also partner with Kentucky Educational Television (KET), the University Press of Kentucky, and the Gaines Center for the Humanities at the University of Kentucky throughout the project. Award-winning filmmaker Tom Thurman has produced a documentary on Robert Penn Warren which will debut in the fall. A new book by Warren scholar and Northern Kentucky University Professor Dr. Jonathan S. Cullick entitled Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion will be released by the University Press of Kentucky in August. In September, bestselling author Jon Meacham will be the keynote speaker at the Bale Boone Symposium, an annual lecture produced by the Gaines Center for the Humanities. Meacham will talk about Warren’s impact on American literature and culture.

A schedule of Kentucky Reads events can be found below.

April 24th: Paint the Town Red
Kentucky Humanities announced the Kentucky Reads program from the Robert Penn Warren Birthplace Museum in Guthrie, Kentucky.

June 19 at 7:00 pm
Kentucky Reads Online Book Club with Dr. Richard Taylor (facebook.com/kyhumanities)

July 17 at 7:00 pm
Kentucky Reads Online Book Club with Dr. Jessica Hindman (facebook.com/kyhumanities)

August 14 at 7:00 pm:
Kentucky Reads Online Book Club with Dr. Jonathan Cullick (facebook.com/kyhumanities)

September 5th at 7:15 pm:
Kentucky Theater Summer Classics: All the King's Men (1949)
Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Best Actor (Broderick Crawford) and Best Supporting Actress (Mercedes McCambridge).

September 9th at 2:00 pm:
Sneak Preview of "Robert Penn Warren: A Vision” at the Lexington Public Library’s Farish Theater
Preview an excerpt of Robert Penn Warren: A Vision from Tom Thurman and KET. Followed by discussion and Q&A with award-winning filmmaker Tom Thurman.

September 13th at 6:30 pm:
Democracy & the Informed Citizen Community Forum at Northern Kentucky University’s Otto M. Budig Theater
The Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at Northern Kentucky University hosts a keynote address from Dr. Jonathan S. Cullick on his book, Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion (University Press of Kentucky, 2018), and a Community Forum on journalism and politics at the Otto M. Budig Theater.

September 17th at 7:00 pm:
Bale Boone Symposium with Jon Meacham at the Worsham Theater in the UK Student Center
The Gaines Center for the Humanities at the University of Kentucky presents the Bale Boone Symposium, featuring New York Times #1 bestselling author and historian Jon Meacham, speaking on the relevance of Robert Penn Warren’s work, from politics to race to regional culture.

September 18th at 6:30 pm CT:
Democracy & the Informed Citizen Community Forum in Paducah at the Market House Theatre
Paducah’s Market House Theatre hosts a live reading of scenes from the stage adaptation of All the King’s Men and a Community Forum on journalism and politics.

October 15th at 6:30 pm:
Democracy & the Informed Citizen Community Forum in Louisville at Actors Theatre of Louisville
Actors Theatre of Louisville hosts a live "cuttings" read of the stage adaptation of All the King’s Men and a panel-led discussion on journalism and politics.

October 16th at 6:30 pm:
Democracy & the Informed Citizen Community Forum in Lexington at Carrick Theatre at Mitchell Fine Arts Center at Transylvania University
Transylvania University hosts a live "cuttings" reading of the stage adaptation of All the King's Men and a panel-led discussion on journalism and politics.

October 22nd at 6:00 pm CT:
KET Premiere of Robert Penn Warren: A Vision
Official KET premiere of Robert Penn Warren: A Vision at Van Meter Hall on the campus of Western Kentucky University, followed by a Q&A with Rosanna Warren, poet and daughter of Robert Penn Warren, and filmmaker Tom Thurman. RSVP here.

October 23rd at 6:30 pm CT:
Democracy & the Informed Citizen Community Forum at Western Kentucky University’s Jody Richards Hall
The Center for Robert Penn Warren Studies at Western Kentucky University hosts a Democracy & the Informed Citizen Community Forum on journalism and politics at WKU's Jody Richards Hall.

November 17th at 1 p.m.:
Dr. Jonathan Cullick at the Kentucky Book Festival
Dr. Jonathan Cullick discusses Robert Penn Warren’s All the King's Men: A Reader’s Companion at the Kentucky Book Fair at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena, Lexington

Kentucky Reads: All the King’s Men is part of the "Democracy and the Informed Citizen” Initiative, administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The initiative seeks to deepen the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the vital connections between democracy, the humanities, journalism, and an informed citizenry. We thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their generous support of this initiative and the Pulitzer Prizes for their partnership.