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).

13256481_979220215506710_4999353219013187882_n

“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

Advertisements

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!

Double Vision at PYRO gallery & The Kentucky Writing Workshop

This past Friday was the opening reception for Double Vision at PYRO Gallery. A group show featuring 17 Artist/Writer pairs and their collaborative work.  Almost every medium is represented from sculpture and ceramic to oil and digital collage.  Some of the writings are placed on the wall close to the visual representation, some are incorporated within the piece, in a block of text, while others are incorporated line by line or poem by poem by being draped across, tied, or affixed with a decoupage.  Over the next few weeks, PYRO will be hosting readings of the pieces 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

Keep Louisville Literary will be hosting some of these Writer/Artist pairs on the radio hour on ArtFM for an in-depth discussion about their collaborative process.

This Thursday January 15, 1pm on artxfm.com
Kay Grubola/Lynell Edwards
CJ Pressma
Jeff Skinner/Jessica Farquhr/Adam Day

Kay Polson Grubola is an artist and independent curator in Louisville, Kentucky. Creating assemblages using natural found objects, Grubola’s work is a celebration of nature. The work is also an allegory for the natural process of human life, both its ascendance and its decline. She has shown her work nationally and internationally.

Grubola was the Executive Director of Nazareth Arts, a regional arts center on the campus of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Kentucky, as well as the Artistic Director of the Louisville Visual Art Association.  For 10 years she taught drawing and printmaking at Bellarmine University and Indiana University Southeast.

An active curator Grubola has organized many exhibitions in a wide range of topics.  Her exhibits have ranged in subject matter from original concept drawings from the design studios of GM, Chrysler and Ford muscle car era to a nationally recognized extravaganza of handmade dinnerware and exquisite table design, which wowed audiences for more than 20 years.


Lynnell Major Edwards is the author of three collections of poetry, most recentlyCovet (October, 2011), and also The Farmer’s Daughter (2003) and The Highwayman’s Wife (2007), all from Red Hen Press.  Her short fiction and book reviews have appeared most recently in Connecticut Review, American Book Review, Pleiades, New Madrid, and others. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky where, since 2010 she has been president of  Louisville Literary Arts, a non-profit literary arts organization that sponsors the monthly InKY reading series and The Writer’s Block Festival. She is also Associate Professor of English at Spalding University.  She also teaches creative writing at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and is available for readings and workshops in a variety of settings.


C.J. Pressma is a graduate of Antioch College and holds an  M.F.A. in Photography from Indiana University.  He studied as a special graduate student with Minor White at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and with Henry Holmes Smith at Indiana University.

In 1970 he founded the Center for Photographic Studies – an alternative school of creative photography.  The Center provided a learning experience for those seeking to explore photography as creative expression.  During its eight-year existence the center attracted students from over 35 states and foreign countries to its full-time resident program and provided part-time instruction and darkroom access for hundreds of students in the Louisville metropolitan area.  Its two galleries provided monthly photographic exhibits featuring the works of local, regional, and internationally acclaimed photographic artists including Ansel Adams and Minor White.

In 1978 he was awarded a National Endowment Fellowship in Photography.

In 1979 Pressma embarked on a career as a multimedia producer and marketing communications specialist. In 1984, his seven part series Witness to the Holocaust, was released in the U.S. and Canada where it remains in distribution today.  One of the first productions to use survivor interviews as the exclusive content to tell the story of the Holocaust, Witness to the Holocaust has received numerous national awards.

In 1997 he was awarded the American Advertising Federation’s prestigious Silver Medal Award for “outstanding contributions to advertising and furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence, and responsibility in areas of social concern.”

In December,2001 Pressma was awarded a Fellowship by  the Kentucky  Arts council.

Pressma is represented by Pyro Gallery in Louisville.


Poet, playwright, and essayist Jeffrey Skinner’s most recent book (memoir, advice, humor), The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets, was published to wide attention and acclaim, including a full page positive review in the July 19, 2012 Sunday New York Times Book Review.  His most recent collection of poems,Glaciology, was chosen in 2012 as winner in the Crab Orchard Open Poetry Competition, and will be published by Southern Illinois University press in Fall, 2013.   Skinner has published five previous collections: Late Stars (Wesleyan University Press), A Guide to Forgetting (a winner in the 1987 National Poetry series, chosen by Tess Gallagher, published by Graywolf Press), The Company of Heaven (Pitt Poetry Series), Gender Studies, (Miami University Press), and Salt Water Amnesia (Ausable Press).  He has edited two anthologies, Last Call: Poems of Alcoholism, Addiction, and Deliverance; and Passing the Word: Poets and Their Mentors.  His numerous chapbooks include Salt Mother, Animal Dad, which was chosen by C.K. Williams for the New York City Center for Book Arts Poetry Competition in 2005.  Over the years Skinner’s poems have appeared in most of the country’s  premier literary magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, FENCE, Bomb, DoubleTake, and The Georgia, Iowa, and Paris Reviews.

Also a playwright, Skinner’s play Down Range had a successful limited run at Theatre 3 in New York City in the Spring of 2009, and will again be produced in Chicago in 2012-13.  His play Dream On had its premier production in February of 2007, by the Cardboard Box Collaborative Theatre in Philadelphia.  Other of Skinner’s plays have been finalists in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Conference competition, and winners in various play contests.

Skinner’s writing has gathered grants, fellowships, and awards from such sources as the National Endowment for the Arts (1986, & 2006), the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Howard Foundation, and the state arts agencies of Connecticut, Delaware, and Kentucky.  He has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, McDowell, Vermont Studios, and the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown.  His work has been featured numerous times on National Public Radio.  In 2002 Skinner served as Poet-in-Residence at the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut.

He is President of the Board of Directors, and Editorial Consultant, for Sarabande Books, a literary publishing house he cofounded with his wife, poet Sarah Gorham.  He teaches creative writing and English at The University of Louisville.


Jessica Farquhar holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Purdue where she was the assistant director of Creative Writing. She is a Louisville native, and current resident. Her poems have appeared in Catch Up, Word Hotel, ABZ, Transom, New Madrid, Poetry East, and Lumberyard; reviews and interviews in Sycamore Review.

Adam Day was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky.  He received his MFA in creative writing at New York University, where he was poetry editor for the program’s national literary journal, Washington Square. His work has been published or is forthcoming in The American Poetry ReviewColumbia: A Journal of Literature and the ArtsCrab Orchard Review,Seattle Review, and others.
Thursday January 22nd, 1pm on artxfm.com
Sean Patrick Hill/John McCarthy
Makalani Bandele /Wendy Smith
Martha Greenwald/Susie Harrison
Bio’s posted in next week’s blog 

Another opportunity to workshop in Louisville is on the Horizon with The Kentucky Writing Workshop. “..A special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at the Holiday Inn Louisville East.”

In addition to the instructional courses, 5 different literary agents will be in attendance taking pitches for books & novels.

All information about agents, workshops, and registration available HERE

Chuck Sambuchino will be on Keep Louisville Literary on January 29th to discuss the event.

Chuck Sambuchino (chucksambuchino.com,@chucksambuchino) of Writer’s Digest Books is the editor of Guide to Literary Agents as well as the Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. His authored books include Formatting & Submitting Your ManuscriptCreate Your Writer Platform, which was praised by Forbes.com; andHow to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, which was optioned for film by Sony. He oversees one of the biggest blogs in publishing (the Guide to Literary Agents Blog) as well as one of the biggest Twitter accounts in publishing (@WritersDigest). He is a freelance editor who has seen dozens of his clients get agents and/or book deals, and he has presented at almost 90 writing conferences and events over the past eight years.