Thursday [6.19.14] Poet and Documentarian, Lee Pennington, on KeepLouLit radio hour: History and its ‘truth’

10271587_10203001536373874_6519415120610010017_nThursday at 1pm on, I will be chatting with Lee Pennington about writing, teaching, and world travel.  Some time back, I had the fortunate opportunity to share a stage with Lee at the Stone Soup reading series, hosted by Sheri L. Wright.  Since then, I have kept up with Lee’s status updates as he travels the world documenting historical ruins and telling their story.  Lee explores the concept of history, as we know it, and its truth.

Tomorrow night, there is an opportunity to see one of these films during its premiere.

The second documentary in the Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church/Louisville, KY is EYES THAT LOOK AT THE SKY: THE MYSTERY OF EASTER ISLAND. Lee and Joy Pennington made two trips to Easter Island, one in 1997 and again in 1999-2000 to film this JoLe Productions’ documentary.

Showing Wedensday, June 18th, 7pm

Easter Island is the most remote piece of inhabited land on earth. Located midway between South America and Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean, the tiny island, three miles wide and twelve miles long, is the site of one of the world’s great mysteries.
On this island natives carved and erected stone statues called moai, sometimes moving great distances the several ton giants over rough terrain, never damaging them in the process. In addition, red topknots, weighing as much as two elephants were raised and placed on many of the moais’ heads.
Archaeologists still have not been able to determine exactly how the statues were moved or how the topknots were raised thirty feet or more and placed on the moais. The mystery is deepened when at a certain point all the sculptors apparently laid down their stone hammers and stopped all work, leaving statues in various stages of completion at the quarry.
Who were these people? Where did they come from? Why did they exert such tremendous energy to create such that even today leave us in awe? And why did they suddenly stop all their work?
Lee and Joy, on their two trips to Easter Island, captured some stunning pictures of this amazing culture and its incredible monoliths. The film is a comprehensive overview of Easter Island, her people, and her mystery, with some unique surprises along the way.

The event page HERE

You may be thinking, ” Keep Louisville Literary” is a show with live readings and writer Q&A. Don’t worry, Lee has plenty to read from:

             LEE PENNINGTON is the author of 19 books including I knew a Woman (1977 Love Street Books) and Thigmotropism (1993 Green River Writers/Grex Press)–both nominated for Pulitzer Prize. He has had over 1300 poem published in more than 300 magazines in America and abroad. In 1984 he was designated Poet Laureate of Kentucky by the state legislature. He has had nine plays produced, wrote the script for The Moonshine War (MGM, 1970, starring Alan Alda, Richard Widmark, etc.), and has published thousands of articles in everything from Playgirl to Mountain Life and Work. Since 1990, through his video production company, JoLe Productions (, Lee, along with his late wife, Joy, produced 23 documentaries including In Search of the Mudmen (1990), Wales: History in Bondage (1995), and Secret of the Stones (1998), Eyes that Look at the Sky: The Mystery of Easter Island (2001), The Mound Builders (2001), The Serpent Fort: Solving the Mystery of Fort Mountain, Georgia (2005), Let Me Not Drown on the Waters: Fred Rydholm, Michigan’s “Mr. Copper”(2008), Sometimes You Clean, Sometimes You Litter: The Amazing Warner Sizemore (2012), Room to Fly: Anne Caudill’s Album (2013). Lee is a graduate Berea College in KY and the University of Iowa. He holds two Honorary Doctor degrees: Doctor of Literature from World University, and Doctor of Philosophy in Arts from The Academy of Southern Arts and Letters. He taught for nearly 40 years, the last 32 as Professor of English and creative writing at University of Kentucky Jefferson Community College until he retired in 1999 He has traveled extensively (in all the United States, all the Canadian Provinces except one, and in 78 foreign countries). He lives with artist Jill Baker in Kratz House, a designated historic home, in Middletown, KY. For the past six years, he has served as president of the Ancient Kentucke Historical Association, a group dedicated to the study and research of pre-Columbian contact in the Americas. In June of 2013 the University of Louisville in Kentucky dedicated and opened THE LEE AND JOY PENNINGTON CULTURAL HERITAGE GALLERY which houses Pennington’s body of work.

I’m thrilled to have Mr. Pennington on the show and I hope you’ll listen to our meandering conversation. (poets tend to meander about.)


write on,

Rachel Short

An interview with Tasha Cotter. Reading tomorrow at Down One Bourbon Bar with Derek Pollard and Eric Sutherland.


I got a chance to email interview Tasha Cotter about her writing process and her recent book of poems Some Churches.

Tasha Cotter is the author of the chapbooks That Bird Your Heart (Finishing Line Press) and Spectacular Girl (Chantepleure Press). Her first full-length collection of poetry, Some Churches, was released in 2013 with Gold Wake Press. Her work has appeared in journals such as Contrary Magazine, Country Dog Review, and Booth. You can contact Tasha at tasha dot pedigo at gmail dot com.


Q- On KLL, I’ve been chatting with a lot of poets about thematically structured chapbooks.   Do you feel this is a tool to generate material or is it the only way to fully explore a specific topic within the format of poetry?
I’ve authored one chapbook and I am working on edits for another: I do think chapbooks have a lot of potential in terms of exploring one theme. Generally, chapbooks are between 18 and 30 pages so it’s just enough room to explore an idea or a style. I’ve been at work on a chapbook that was inspired by the work of Mexican poet Dolores Dorantes. I’m working in a very bare, experimental style that’s a far cry from my usual narrative-driven lyrical work. And I think that 25 pages is about all I muster, so the chapbook was something I was immediately drawn to.
Q-How closely do you relate religion and the physicality of the church as a building?
Poetry has always been akin to prayer for me and in locating an emotional center for this book it became clear to me that a theme seems to be the volatility of the heart — and heartbreak. I began delving into this when putting the book together and deciding on the title. It became clear that a key poem in the book was Some Churches — it orbits around the idea of an expectation of happiness and what happens when that expectation isn’t met. I wanted to treat life experiences with reverence. Life is a precious thing. These poems operate as churches.
Q-Do these structures give your poems reverence?
I hope so. I hope people read these poems and find some amount of solace or at least feel some familiarity with the book.
Q-Are  your poems structured like the architecture of a church?
I don’t think so! I do kind of like this idea. 
Q-How is form related to your writing style?
I tend to write free-verse narrative poetry and I’ve always loved the prose poem. I don’t tend to write a lot of formal poetry, though I sometimes like to incorporate the sonnet form or the villanelle when exploring an idea. I tend to pay most attention to syllabics and the music in a line. Most of my poems are one page, maximum. I’ve never had much luck sustaining the energy for a longer poem, though I really admire poets who can do this, like Tracy K. Smith and Brian Turner.
Q-Aesthetic aside, poets are ever aware of the specific and the universal. How do you approach weaving your personal experience with broader allusions
Good question! I think there’s such a thing as emotional truth: a way of understanding the emotional depth of a particular experience that may have little relation to an actual past, but still manages to carry weight. I rely on this in my work and I do incorporate moments, places, and images of my own life in my work, but I always try to build something universal around it. In some ways I feel like an architect trying to envision something and see it through to its creation. Poems are their own structures — they need to stand by themselves.
Q-Literature is a (if not the) powerful, transportative medium, formative and informative to us all. So, what books/author’s have had your attention lately?
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of fiction. I’m currently at work on a novel and some of my favorite writers these days include Hilary Mantel and Jeanette Winterson. I’m leading a discussion on Saturday for the Kentucky Women Writers Conference on the work of poet Tracy K. Smith, so I’ve been reading a lot of her work, too. I read a little bit of everything: :literary work, chick lit, and poetry. I’ve always been interested in a little bit of everything. 
Q-Most bio’s include the writers list of educational pedigree, yours does not, what lead to this decision? Tell us a little bit more about the Lexington scene and writers that inspire you locally.
I graduated from UK in 2006 and knew even then that writing was important to me. My mentor was Nikky Finney and she was an inspiration to me. Lexington is such a rich, fertile place to be a writer. We have the Carnegie Center and there are local MFA programs that add to the cultural richness of the area. Over the last three years I’ve served on the board for the Kentucky Women Writers Conference and I’ve been able to meet writers I’ve admired for a long time such as Kim Addonizio, Molly Peacock, and Bonnie Jo Campbell. I earned an MFA in Creative Writing from EKU in 2010. Kentucky is home to so many writers who inspire me: Gwenda Bond, Ada Limon, and Jim Tomlinson continue to impress me.
Q-How do you go about choosing poems to read for a live audience?
In choosing poems to read I go with my gut. Generally, I try to choose two or three from my book Some Churches and read a couple of new poems. I always like to read something new — I think of it like taking the poem out for a test-drive. I want to hear the sounds of the poem. I want to see if the line-breaks are working well and of course, if people like the poem, I want to know that, too
You can hear Tasha read live tomorrow evening at Down One Bourbon Bar with Derek Pollard and Eric Scott Sutherland
Here is the Facebook event page.
Write on, 
Rachel Short 


Thursday [6.12.14] Tony Acree on the Keep Louisville Literary radio hour on ArtFM + the weeks events

Thursday at 1pm EST on, I’ll be chatting with Tony Acree about thrilling fiction, character development, and barely getting out alive. He’ll read excerpts from his recent thriller, The Watchers, and from his previous best selling novel, The Hand of God. 

Amazon bestselling author, Tony Acree,likes putting characters in situations they think they will never survive, and find out if they’re right. He lives near Goshen, Kentucky with his wife, twin daughters, two female dogs, a female cat, and says the way the goldfish looks at him, he’s sure she’s female, too.
His work has appeared in Kentucky Monthly Magazine as well as The Cumberland, the state wide newspaper of the Sierra Club. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Green River Writers.

His debut novel, The Hand of God, was Hydra Publications number one best seller for 2013 as well as an Amazon best seller. His current thriller, The Watchers, was released in May of 2014.

His website is and can be found on Twitter @Tonyacree. 
Format:Kindle Edition
Don’t let the title fool you, this is not your average book about God. If I had to give it a genre, I’d call it paranormal crime noir, ala Elvis Cole novels with a twist.

I was happily surprised from the first page, and laughed my way through the rest. This first effort from author Tony Acree is a hit.

The description on Amazon doesn’t even hint at the fun I had reading this novel. At one point, I actually stopped reading, so I could send a “shout out” Tweet to the author. I’m looking forward to his next installment.

Also this week:
Wednesday [6.11.14] Subterranean Phrases with Mark Webb and Ut Gret 
Decca, cellar lounge, 812 E market St, 8pm
Mark Webb is the editor of A Narrow Fellow and poet of two recently penned full length books, The Weight of Paper,  available on and Whateverits up for pre-order through Finishing Line press. 
Subterranean Phrases’ featured writers are backed by improvisational musicians. Limited open mic slots.  
Thursday [6.12.14]
Douglas Lucas and Yoko Molotov ‘s new book

They are 10$ and there is a limited 20 print run.

Fluxus themed acts by
Cher Koeune
Thaniel Ion Lee
Mu and Harpy ( Yoko Molotov )

Free show besides that

Friday [6.13.14] 
Join us in the speakeasy for an evening of poetry & bourbon. Tasha CotterDerek Pollard, and Eric Scott Sutherland will be reading from their collections Some Churches, Inconsequentia, and pendulum.
write on,

Fred Minnick, Whiskey Writer and Connoisseur, on Keep Louisville Literary 6.5.2014

Fred Minnick, local writer and whiskey enthusiast, will be on Keep Louisville Literary Thursday, June 5th at 1:00 P.M. on ARTxFM to speak about his book Whiskey Women:  The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon,  Scotch, and Irish Whiskey.  Tales of the Cocktail, a venerated industry publication, recently nominated Whiskey Women for its Book of the Year Award.

Like a well-crafted vintage, Whiskey Women goes down smooth and requires no chaser.  It reveals how since ancient times women have had an instrumental role in the discovery, creation, and distribution (legal and otherwise) of everybody’s favorite poison.  We’ll speak about how Fred conducted his research, his favorite whiskeys and watering holes, and what kinds of projects he has in store for the future.