Telling Kentucky's Story

New Kentucky Poetry and Prose


The Kentucky Book Festival opens with a reading from four Kentucky authors with new novels or collections of poetry:

Willie Davis – Nightwolf
In this debut novel, Milo Byers, a seventeen-year-old dropout whose brother is missing and whose mother suffers from dementia, has almost given up on life. A mysterious figure, Nightwolf, a tagger and incompetent vigilante roams the streets of Lexington – and Milo is convinced that Nightwolf is his runaway brother. To save his mother's mind, he must find Nightwolf and bring him home. Willie Davis is the winner of the Willesden Herald Prize (judged by Zadie Smith). His work has appeared in The Guardian, Salon, The Kenyon Review, Story South, and The Berkeley Fiction Review, among other places.

Jeremy Dae Paden – prison recipes
These unflinching poems of documentary witness take us into the lives of the prisoners of political oppression in Argentina and Chile, describing the means by which both bodies and souls are sustained in the face of brutality. Jeremy Dae Paden is a professor of Spanish at Transylvania University and on the faculty of Spalding University's MFA program. A member of the Affrilachian Poets, he lives in Lexington, and is the author of four chapbooks of poetry and translation. Jeremy is also co-editor of Black Bone with Bianca Spriggs.

Robert Gipe – Weedeater: An Illustrated Novel
Weedeater picks up six years after the end of Robert Gipe's first novel, Trampoline, and continues the story of the people of Canard County, Kentucky. The reader finds Canard County living through the last hurrah of the coal industry and the most turbulent and deadly phase of the community's battle with opioid abuse. The events it chronicles are frantic, but its voice is by turns taciturn and angry, filled with humor and stoic grace. Robert Gipe lives in Harlan and grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee. His fiction has appeared in Appalachian Heritage, Still, Motif, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.The former marketing and educational services director of Appalshop, Gipe is currently the director of the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, a producer of Higher Ground, a series of community musical dramas based on oral histories, and faculty coordinator of the Crawdad student arts series. He attended Wake Forest University and earned his master’s degree in American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Maureen Morehead – The Red Gate
Over the course of three years, Maureen Morehead daily walked a trail built in 2008 on land in the heart of Anchorage, Kentucky. The resulting poems note imagery discovered through close observation intertwined with memory, imagination, introspection, and contemplation and emphasize Morehead’s recurring themes of marriage, friendship, illness, place, spirituality, and human behavior. The Red Gate is her fourth collection of poems with Larkspur Press and is accompanied by woodcuts by Joann Price. Morehead is a retired educator and has worked as an adjunct professor of poetry in Spalding University’s MFA in Creative Writing Program.

Light refreshments will be served, and books will be available for purchase from Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Authors will be available to sign books following the readings.

Our thanks to The Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning for their generous sponsorship of this event!

The Carnegie Center is located at 251 W. Second St. in Lexington.

PARKING:on-street parking is available near the Carnegie Center, and there are pay lots on Mill Street. See map.