Lee Pennington, Jill Baker, and Appalachian Newground [5.24.16]

Lee Pennington’s latest book of Poetry and stories, Appalachian Newground, Illustrated by Jill Baker, is the first book in 23 years and marks his 20th published.  He is 2 time Pulitzer nominee and Former Poet Laureate of Kentucky. Lee and Jill will both be joining me on the radio hour this Tuesday, 9am, on 97.1 WXOX louisville, artxfm.com (global).

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“Those of us who know and love Lee Pennington’s work have waited 23 years for this book, and it was well worth the wait! Appalachian Newground , his twentieth book, holds the universe between its covers in the poems and short stories. You do not have to be from Appalachia to relate to the contents. He honors the land and people everywhere. There is something for each reader that will illuminate the mind, warm the heart, and touch the soul forever. It is beautifully illustrated by renowned artist, Jill Baker. Lee was Poet Laureate of Kentucky in 1984 and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. This book will undoubtedly earn him another nomination! This is a book you must buy and keep close at hand when you need to read something beautiful and inspirational!” -Roberto Brown, Amazon Review 

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 (joleproductions.com), 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.  Link to Lee’s Documentaries
Jill Baker’s driving force in life is to show the beautifully complex design of the world. The softness or power of color and light she observes is so much more than meets the eye, that it is only through realism, either impressionistic or hard edge, that a painting can approach it.
“I began creating art when I about 2 years old. According to my mother, I spent hours a day and used up reams of paper drawing quietly by myself throughout my childhood.
“I was driven to try to recreate what I saw. I was determined to capture the beautiful things I saw around me. Others saw what I did and encouraged me. My grandmother was a prolific artist and created big, impressionistic paintings of ladies on patios, and landscapes with dark woods and open plains with mountains. Teachers in schools made me take art; my mother saw that I had painting lessons all during my teens. My high school art teacher threatened that if I didn’t have a picture on the front of Post Magazine when I grew up that he would come back at night and rattle the paintbrushes in my studio.
“In high school I was called upon to create posters and program covers. Everyone in my class asked me to draw them. I helped make backdrops and paintings for school assemblies and hundreds of charity auctions. I realized that, along with the talent I had, came responsibilities.
“As I grew older, I felt guilty when I didn’t have the time to paint, raising children in Bowling Green, Kentucky. But I was driven to return to creating art, driven by the thousands of visual images in my head that needed to be put down on paper or painted.
“In the early 1970’s I was asked if I would like to illustrate a book for Jim Wayne Miller, and then for Frank Steele. Following the publication of those books, I was asked by Love Street Books to design a cover for a prize-winning book of poetry for Bruce Rogers, Minoan Starships. In Louisville, Lee Pennington saw my illustrations in Jim Wayne Miller’s book and asked his publisher if he could ask me to design the cover of his book of poetry called Songs of Bloody Harlan. I did that and it turned out beautifully – a large block print of a man standing on an Appalachian ridge, while the evil ghost of Bloody Harlan swirls around him and the pine trees he stands with. I then was asked to illustrate a few other books by Lee Pennington and he and Joy developed a friendship with my husband and me. We visited them and they us over the years, exchanging Christmas cards every year, with me always surprised to find my images printed on the front of Lee’s cards, to illustrate his yearly poem. Eventually, when I was single and Lee’s wife of 49 years died, we got together and now live in Louisville in Kratz House.
As a young mother and faculty wife, I showed my work in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and gradually to a wider audience in Kentucky. The State of Kentucky chose my work to hang in the capital and called me an official ‘Kentucky Artist.’ I was chosen to exhibit my work in Paris at a major exhibition of American Art. My work was at the Speed Museum in Louisville and, after attending the Academia di Belle Arti and having a solo show at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy I enjoyed a one-person show at the Parthenon in Nashville and a major show at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.”
“I eventually moved to the SoHo district of New York City and earned my M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, in Painting, in 1981. I use a variety of techniques in painting, from Old Masters’ to Impressionistic. The oil paintings I have been doing lately are impressionistic landscapes on canvas.
“But I have continued to illustrate books of poetry and prose and illustrated three of my own books, My Turn, Poems of Accord and Satisfaction and Elba Journal. The last book I illustrated, of course, is Lee’s new book of poetry, Appalachian Newground.”

 If you would like to keep up with literary events in the city, Please visit and subscribe to 502litnews, curated by the Louisville Literary Arts Board, and tune into the radio hour every Tuesday on 97.1 WXOX, artxfm.com. If you have a reading or book release in the Louisville area and would like to appear on the show, please email keeplouisvilleliterary@yahoo.com.

 

Write on,
Rachel Short, Host

Tina Parker @ ‘Flying out Loud’

 

“Tina grew up in Bristol, Virginia, and now lives in Berea, Kentucky, with her husband and two young daughters. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Another Offering (Finishing Line Press, 2015) and the full-length poetry collection Mother May I (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016). Her individual poems have been published in Appalachian Heritage, Now & Then, Still: The Journal, Rattle, and PMS: poemmemoirstory. In 2013, she received an Artist Enrichment grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.”

Bio pulled From Tina’s website: HERE 

Tina will be on the radio hour on Tuesday, April 26th- 9am @ 97.1 FM [Louisville, KY] or artxfm.com across the globe.

We will be discussing her book, “Mother May I” and her Louisville reading for the Flying out Loud series that happens the second Monday of each month, 6pm, Sunergos Coffee. Tina will be back in town for the May reading, May 9th.

“In her debut collection Mother May I, poet Tina Parker writes about the universal worries and joys of motherhood with exacting insight–and an admirable lack of sentimentality. Her poems charm while seesawing through unflinching accounts of day-to-day family life and the honest ecstasy of a new motherhood, all more deeply felt after reading poems on miscarriage and fertility doctors. In the tradition of Wordsworth, Parker’s poems parent us all through “real language” of every day steeped in “vivid sensation.”

—Kathleen Driskell, poet, author of the best-selling Seed Across Snow and Kentucky Voices selection Next Door to the Dead”

Mackenzie Berry + Young Poets of Louisville

Mackenzie Berry, a senior at duPont Manual High School, is Founder and Executive Director of Young Poets of Louisville, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides a safe space for young people ages 13-19 to develop themselves through free writing workshops, youth poetry slams, and public readings. An alumnus of the Governor’s School for the Arts and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, she organized and won the Louisville Youth Philanthropy Council’s first ever Poetic Philanthropy Youth Slam held at the 21c Museum in May 2015. She was the Poet Laureate of Thrivals 8.0 of the Louisville Idea Festival and has been featured on NPR through a segment on Young Poets of Louisville. Mackenzie is currently working on a chapbook entitled “Child’s Play” and plans to create various bodies of work in time to come

mackenzie berry

I will be interviewing Mackenzie on Tuesday at 9am on the radio hour: Keep Louisville Literary, 97.1 FM , WXOX  or live stream here 


The final slam in March will be held at the Speed Art Museum (2035 S. 3rd St.). The slams also feature a young guest artist in a supportive and artistic environment. Admission is $5.

  • Youth must be in high school or between the ages of
    13-19 in order to slam.
  • Each participant must sign up at least one day prior to the slam here.
  • Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
  • Those participating in the slam should arrive no later than 6:45 p.m.

The top three winners of each slam will be able to participate in the Young Poets Final Slam in March which will determine the six young people who make the team that is seeking to represent Louisville at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival this summer in Washington, D.C. from July 12th-16th.

You can find the Young Poets of Louisville’s website here

Ryan Ridge + American Homes

ryan ridge.pngRyan Ridge is the author of the story collection Hunters & Gamblers, the poetry collection Ox, as well as the chapbooks 22nd Century Man and Hey, it’s America. His next book, American Homes, is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press as part of their new 21st Century Prose series. His work can be found in places like PANK, Salt Hill, Tin House, McSweeney’s Small Chair, FLAUNT Magazine, The Santa Monica Review, Sleepingfish, and others. A former editor for Faultline Journal of Arts & Letters, Bull and others, he currently serves as a managing editor for Juked (http://www.juked.com). Ridge holds a BA in English from the University of Louisville and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine.

Join us on 97.1 fm [Louisville] Tuesday Morning, 9am, to hear excerpts from the book. As we discuss Ryan’s writing and the inspiration that comes from the Union of states in which we reside, we might come to the conclusion of our greatness or our impending doom.

wXoXReMixGray8Not in Louisville, KY? no worries! stream live at artxfm.com

“Ryan Ridge inflects his anatomy of suburban interiors with a madcap, panoptic conceptualist idiom, and his readers will be left feeling they never gave nearly enough thought to the stuff that real, lived life comprises: walls, floors, doors, windows, garages, sheds, attics and basements. Ostensibly a tongue-in-cheek meditation satirizing the homogenization of contemporary domestic space, American Homes develops a truly heterogeneous literary architecture founded on the basis of formal dynamism and linguistic play.”––Evan Lavender-Smith
AMERICAN HOMES
“Ridge’s book explores the contradictions inherent in ideals of affluence and ownership, and does so admirably, without edging into sourness or satirical revenge killing. The humor is affable, and odd. Somewhere between Demetri Martin and Steven Wright, Jacques Tati and Wes Anderson, Ramon Gomez de la Serna and Georges Perec.”–Kyle Coma-Thompson, Electric Lit

To see more reviews and make a purchase, browse his catalogue, or simply give the website some hits, please visit: HIS WEBSITE HERE 

After you listen to the Radio hour, you may be so inspired that you would like to study craft with Ryan. YOU CAN= Saturday, March 12th

THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS:
A CRAFT CLASS WITH
RYAN RIDGE
SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2016
9:30 AM to Noon
PYRO GALLERY
900 E. MARKET STREET, LOUISVILLE, KY
$30 per persons
In this workshop, with prose stylist Ryan Ridge, participants will explore works by Ron Carlson, Elizabeth Tallent, and Ernest Hemingway with an eye toward their inventive use of objects to tell a story. Using this prose as inspiration, writers will create their own “set piece” story–one in which the smallest of salient details can have big, big meaning. The workshop may also appeal to poets looking to write short prose.
Pre-registration required
Log-on to Louisville Literary Arts’ website Scroll down to find the Pay Pal button!

UP next on keep Louisville Literary: Mackenzie Berry, organizer of the “Young Poets of Louisville” organization [March 15th]

Plus ++ Christopher McCurry [March 29th]

If you would like to appear on the radio hour, Contact Rachel Short at keeplouisvilleliterary@yahoo.com

show FLYER

 

Write on,

Rachel Short

 

 

 

Ready or Not, Here comes the LOVE WXOX

Join ART FM to Flip the Switch &
Begin Broadcasting on the FM Dial!wXoXReMixGray8

A new kind of radio station is hitting Louisville’s FM dial. ART FM has been feeling the love since receiving the WXOX call letters in 2015 and now the time has come to flip the switch on our FM transmitter!

On February 14th 2016 at 3:33pm ART FM will begin 24/7 broadcasting on the terrestrial dial at 97.1 FM. We invite you to our new studio in the SoBro neighborhood at 515 West Breckinridge Street to share this momentous occasion with us. The launch event will kick off at 2:00 p.m. with music and feature performances from some of ART FM’s talented pool of DJ’s.

WXOX 97.1 FM Signal Launch
Sunday, February 14th 2016
2:00 p.m.
We Flip the Switch @ 3:33 p.m.
515 W. Breckinridge St.

Keep Louisville Literary Radio hour is now Tuesdays at 9am

February 16th : Merle Bachman

February 23: ROOTS & WINGS

 

THE WANDERLUST WINTER GUIDE:
INKY AT THE The Bard’s Town
With NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK author Samrat Upadhyay, Kathleen Driskell, Carrie Jerrell, and Special Guest, Jeremy Paden

Also, be sure to sign up for the Writing Workshop, “Is My Poem Finished?”, led by Lynnell Edwards. It will be held on Saturday, February 13th, from 9:30 to 12:00 at Spalding University.

Samrat Upadhyay is the author of Arresting God in Kathmandu, a Whiting Award winner; The Royal Ghosts, which won the Asian American Literary Award; The Guru of Love, a New York Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year; and Buddha’s Orphans, a novel. His work has been translated into several languages. He has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on BBC Radio and National Public Radio. A recipient of an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in 2015, Upadhyay is the Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities at Indiana University. His most recent novel, The City Son, was shortlisted for the PEN Open Book Award.

Kathleen Driskell is an award-winning poet and teacher. Her newest poetry collection is Next Door to the Dead, a Kentucky Voices Selection, published by The University Press of Kentucky (June 2015). Her full-length poetry collectionSeed Across Snow (Red Hen, 2009) was listed as a national bestseller by the Poetry Foundation. Red Hen Press will publish her collection Blue Etiquette in Fall 2016.

Her poems have appeared in many nationally known literary journals including the Southern Review, North American Review, Shenandoah, and Rattle and are featured online on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and in American Life in Poetry. Her work has been anthologized in What Comes Down to Us: 20 Contemporary Kentucky Poets and The Kentucky Anthology.

Kathleen is professor of Creative Writing at Spalding University, where she also helps to direct the low-residency MFA in Writing Program. An Al Smith Fellow of the Kentucky Arts Council, Kathleen lives with her family in an old country church built before the Civil War.

Carrie Jerrell is the author of After the Revival, winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize and published by Waywiser Press. Carrie received her M.A. from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and her Ph.D. in English from Texas Tech University. She is an Associate Professor at Murray State University in Murray, KY, where she also coordinates the undergraduate creative writing program and teaches in the low-residency MFA program. She has been an artist-in-residence with the National Park Service and a recipient of grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Kentucky Arts Council.

TaniaJames on the radio hour [1pm] today, artxfm.com

Tania James was raised in Louisville, Kentucky and lives with her husband and son in Washington DC.

Her debut novel Atlas of Unknownswas published by Knopf in 2009, and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, an Indie Next Notable, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a Best Book of 2009 for The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR. Her story collectionAerogrammes, also published by Knopf, was a Best Book of 2012 for Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, andThe San Francisco Chronicle. Her stories have appeared in Boston Review, Granta, Kenyon Review, One Story, and A Public Space. Two stories from Aerogrammes were finalists for Best American Short Stories 2008 and 2013.

Tania is the recipient of fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. From 2011-2012, she was a Fulbright fellow to India living in New Delhi.Tania-James-1014-037-BW-1024x682

Tania will be in person at Carmichael’s Bookstore tonight [7pm] for a reading and book signing.

Check out her website HERE 

 

The Tusk That Did the Damage

A tour de force set in South India that plumbs the moral complexities of the ivory trade through the eyes of a poacher, a documentary filmmaker, and, in a feat of audacious imagination, an infamous elephant known as the Gravedigger.

Orphaned by poachers as a calf and sold into a life of labor and exhibition, the Gravedigger breaks free of his chains and begins terrorizing the countryside, earning his name from the humans he kills and then buries. Manu, the studious younger son of a rice farmer, loses his cousin to the Gravedigger’s violence and is drawn, with his wayward brother Jayan, into the sordid, alluring world of poaching. Emma is a young American working on a documentary with her college best friend, who witnesses the porous boundary between conservation and corruption and finds herself in her own moral gray area: a risky affair with the veterinarian who is the film’s subject. As the novel hurtles toward its tragic climax, these three storylines fuse into a wrenching meditation on love and betrayal, duty and loyalty, and the vexed relationship between man and nature.

With lyricism and suspense, Tania James animates the rural landscapes where Western idealism clashes with local reality; where a farmer’s livelihood can be destroyed by a rampaging elephant; where men are driven to poaching. In James’ arrestingly beautiful prose, The Tusk That Did the Damage blends the mythical and the political to tell a wholly original, utterly contemporary story about the majestic animal, both god and menace, that has mesmerized us for centuries.

More Double Vision interviews [1.22.15] Plus Holler, Lexington on Wednesday

PYRO Gallery pairs artists and poets in Double Vision Exhibit


‘Pyro Gallery will exhibit the collaborative works of 16 of their member artists paired with 16 local poets in Double Vision, opening at the gallery, 909 E. Market, Friday January 9, 6 – 9 PM and running through February 15.

In addition to the exhibition, there will be an exhibit catalogue. A series of literary readings/ conversations between poets and artists will be held Thursday evenings January 22, 29 and February 5 at 7 PM at the gallery. And local high school and university teachers have been invited to bring their classes to visit the gallery in a hands-on experience where several of the works invite participation and ongoing dialogue about the art/poetry collaborations.

The finished works range from an installation where visitors are invited to add their own words to form new poems in a hybrid between a Shinto shrine and Native American prayer sticks, to photography, printmaking, and a large scale fabric enclosure of image and text.

“The collaboration between artists and poets is testament to the myriad ways in which people can come together through art,” said the exhibition’s curator, Jeff Skinner, PYRO member and recent winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship. “The resulting works are varied and exhilarating: witty, intense, provocative, and profound,” he added.

“Because art making is often a solitary endeavor,” said PYRO’s administrative director, Susie Harrison, “ Double Vision offered artists the opportunity to travel outside studio routines and familiar creative processes to engage in a word and image, free-form partner dance across creative art forms.”

“We hope Double Vision serves as a counter-point to our product driven culture by placing great emphasis on process and collaboration,” said Harrison. “Some pairs met and shared meals together, others took road trips. Each pair discovered and lived their own definition of collaboration.”’

Thursday January 22nd, 1pm on artxfm.com I will be chatting with these collaborative pairs.
Sean Patrick Hill/John McCarthy
Makalani Bandele /Wendy Smith
Martha Greenwald/Susie Harrison
John McCarthy is an artist, ceramic sculptor, and art educator. His sculptural pieces are hand-built and highly manipulated to create organic shapes with an emphasis on texture and subtle, naturally glazed surfaces.  McCarthy has used stoneware firings to produce one-of-a-kind compositions that are striking and durable, whether used indoors or as exterior garden sculpture.

Makalani Bandele is a Louisville, KY native. A member of the Affrilachian Poets and a Cave Canem fellow, his work is forthcoming or can be found in print or online in literary magazines and journals such as Sou’wester, Barely South Review, The New Sound, Louisville Review, The Platte Valley Review, and Prime Number Magazine. He is a 2012 and 2013 Pushcart prize nominee, Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize and Literary LEO 1st Prize in Poetry winner. Hellfightin’, published by Willow Books in 2011, is his first full-length book of poems.


Wendi Smith, an artist and teacher has worked in both fields for over 30 years.   Her experience as a teacher of design, drawing, and painting at Bellarmine College and Indiana University Southeast has informed her own work.Primarily a painter, Smith combines painting with 3 dimensional objects to create columns, boxes and prayer wheels.  The dominant themes in her work are nature and ritual.She is a member of PYRO Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky, and her work has been exhibited in venues throughout the region, including the Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN, the Carnegie Center,Covington, KY, The New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, and the Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY

Martha Greenwald’s collection of poems, Other Prohibited Items, was the winner of the 2010 Mississippi Review Poetry Series.   Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Slate, Poetry, Best New Poets, The Sycamore Review, Shenandoah, and is forthcoming in New World Writing.  She has held a Wallace Stegner Fellowshipat Stanford and been awarded scholarships from both the Breadloaf and Sewanee Writers Conferences.  Greenwald has also held an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. Works in progress include Shivah Bullies, a memoir, and Well, Bless His Heart, a collection of short fiction. She has taught in the Englissh Department at the University of Louisville since 1999.

 Over the next few weeks, PYRO will be hosting readings  as follows:

Thursday 1/22, PYRO Gallery, 7pm 

Kristen Miller, Fred Smock. William Smith, Ellyn Lichvar, David Harrity

Thursday 1/29, PYRO Gallery, 7pm 

Sarah Gorham, Lynnell Edwards, Makalani Bandele, Annette Allen, Michael Estes

Thursday 2/5, PYRO Gallery, 7pm 

Sean Patrick Hill, Martha Greenwald, Adam Day, John James, Kathryn Welsh

Also this week, in Lexington, The Holler Poets Series
2015 begins with our 80th show! Featuring the debut of open mic fave and member of The Twenty, Jaria Nicole Gordon and the return of WKU professor, Tom C Hunley, celebrating his latest, Scotch Tape World. Providing music is Denver’s experimental outsider folk artist, Stephen Molyneux. Bring some extra dollars for the holler bucket so we can gas up our performers’ vehicles. Open mic kicks it off at 8p and closes the show. See y’all there!