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


1 Comment

  1. Really enjoyed the show, Rachel. Have received many personal comments since. You’ve a wonderful following. Keep up the good work!

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