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

All about Imaginarium with guest Andrew Cooper on the radio hour + Subterranean Phrases [9.10.14] and InKY this week [9.12.14]

The Imaginarium Convention is a 3-day event that combines the information and education of a literary conference with the fun of a sci-fi/fantasy convention. Featuring eleven writing tracks, workshops, gaming, a film festival, art show, and more, The Imaginarium promises an action-packed and fun-filled weekend for anyone with literary, film, or gaming aspirations.

Featuring world class guests such as Tim Waggoner, James R. Tuck, and Imaginators Maurice Broaddus and Jeffrey Reddick, the event is open to all genres, exploring all kinds of creative writing, from books to comics/graphic novels, screenplays, blogging, and much more!

This year’s Toastmistress is the incomparable Lee Martindale.

September 19-21, 2014
http://www.entertheimaginarium.com/

I will be chatting with one of the panelist, scholar and author, Andrew Cooper on the radio hour this week. [9.11.14] 1pm on artxfm.com

L. Andrew Cooper scribbles horror fiction: the novels Burning the Middle Ground and Descending Lines as well as the upcoming anthology of experimental short stories Leaping at Thorns (Sept. 19, 2014). He is also Director of Film and Digital Media Studies and Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Louisville. His most recent study of film, Dario Argento, examines the maestro’s movies from the 70s to the present. Cooper’s other works on horror span from eighteenth-century Gothic through Universal’s monsters up to Cabin in the Woods and A Serbian Film. His B.A. is from Harvard, his Ph.D. from Princeton. Locals might recognize him as WDRB-TV’s “movie guy.” Find his work atwww.amazon.com/author/landrewcooper.

 

Subterranean Phrases, [9.10.14] Decca, 812 e. market, 730p featuring Adriena Dame, Lara Donnelly, and Nick HIll (Phourist) 

Adriena Dame is a military brat whose nomadic home life and extensive travels drive many of the themes she explores in her writing. She is a graduate of Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program, publishes 94 Creations, a literary journal, and teaches college writing and literature courses.

adrienaDame

 

Adriena is also the featured writer for Subterranean Phrases this month (September 10)  and will be backed by the musical stylings of Nick Hill (Phourist and the Photons) http://insiderlouisville.com/lifestyle_culture/welcome-wild-world-phourist-photons/.

Lara Donnelly will open the evening with a short reading.

 Lara Elena Donnelly is a fantasy writer who hails from southwestern Ohio. She is a graduate of the Alpha SF/F/H Young Writers Workshop and will attend the Clarion Writers Workshop in summer 2012.Her writing is largely historical fantasy, urban fantasy, and fantasy of manners with lots of other things cropping up here and there.

 

InKY [9.12.14]  THE Bardstown, 7pm

InKY is FRIDAY 
This Friday, September 12th, featured readers Seth Johnson & Tyrone Williams and “special guest,” Michael Estes read for InKY. Open mic sign-ups at 6:45, and open mic reading at exactly 7 PM. Featured readers begin at 7:30. 

Seth Johnson is a high school dropout who now has a BA in English from Western Kentucky University and an MFA in creative writing from Murray State University. He has worked as a transmission mechanic, a heating and air conditioning installer, and a technical writer for a large corporation. His stories have appeared in various publications including Inwood Indiana and REAL. 

Tyrone Williams was born in Detroit, Michigan and earned his BA, MA, and PhD at Wayne State University. He is the author of a number of chapbooks: Convalescence(1987); Futures, Elections (2004); Musique Noir (2006); and Pink Tie (2011), among others. His full-length collections of poetry include c.c. (2002), On Spec (2008), The Hero Project (2009),Adventures of Pi (2011), and Howell (2011). Williams is the editor of African American Literature: Revised Edition. (2008). He teaches at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Michael Estes writes and teaches in Louisville, Kentucky. His poems have appeared in Boulevard, Court Green, Catch Up, Margie, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere.

 

Saturday, [9.13.14] McQuixote Books and Coffee Grand Opening !~

Grand OPenin 

Coffee, books, music, poetry, art, food, and more!

Join us to celebrate our grand opening. We’ll be serving up all sorts of delicious beverages. Don’t miss this exciting day!

We’ll have scones, muffins, and more from Flour de Lis Bakery, chocolates from Amore di Mona, and two varieties of Ugo bars.

Performers for the day include:
Christina Howard
Daniel Hardin
Eli Keel
John Sheckler 
Yalonda JD Green
Jake and Jake
and more!

At the same time as this event the Tim Faulkner Gallery will be participating in Open Studio Weekend 2014. You will have an opportunity to see how the gallery and shop work together. For more information on this simultaneous event, please follow this link: http://www.louisvillevisualart.org/2014-open-studio-weekend-2/

This week [5.21.14] Our Story.Frederick Smock.Matthew Presley

Tonight at the ALI center 

Ali Center Collaborates on Free Community Event

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (May 8, 2014) … On Wednesday, May 21, from 6:30-9:30pm, the Louisville Story Program will be celebrating the publication of “Our Shawnee” with a free event at the Muhammad Ali Center featuring author readings, book signings (books will be available for $15.00), and remarks from local community leaders.

The Louisville Story Program helps historically underrepresented Louisville residents write and publish books about their lives and neighborhoods, and pays them for their work. “Our Shawnee” is LSP’s first project. Over the course of almost a year, the eight authors of “Our Shawnee,” all students at The Academy @ Shawnee (formerly Shawnee High School), wrote this landmark book, which consists of autobiographical essays, oral histories, and photography that compellingly convey the richness of life in often-overlooked Louisville neighborhoods, predominantly Shawnee and Portland.

– See more at: http://alicenter.org/press-release/163#sthash.JVS6bhgD.LwTwpTyl.dpuf

 

Tomorrow [5.22.14] at Carmichael’s 7pm 

Frederick Smock and Richard Boada will read poems at the Carmichael’s Bookstore on FRANKFORT AVE. Richard Boada is an alumnus ofBellarmine University, and a former student of Prof. Smock. Mr. Boada’s first full-length collection of poetry, “The Error of Nostalgia” has just been published by Texas Tech University Press. Mr. Smock will read from his most recent writings.
 
Thursday on Keep Louisville Literary radio hour on artxFM.com 
 
Matthew Presley will be chatting with John Beechem on KLL on Thursday at 1pm EST about his recent book of poems Abundantly Clear. Matthew has been hard at work on new poems as well, and will share previews for his upcoming 2nd book.  Presley is an avid attendee of many open mics in Louisville, a great supporter to so many writers and artists with his photographic documentation, a kind, generous soul, and diligent poet. Tune in to hear live readings and Q&A about self publishing and importance of poetic community. 
 
GetLIT,
Rachel 

 

Field recording Non-Fiction and new episodes on Mixcloud.

I had a lovely time with Jacinda Townsend yesterday on Keep Louisville Literary, and if you missed it, I will upload it on mix cloud later this weekend. For now, there are two new episodes posted on the mix cloud: last weeks Gonzo issue, and the long awaited issue with Mary Popham.  

http://www.mixcloud.com/KeepLouisvilleLiterary/

 

In addition to the studio chats we’ve been having with writers, I also had the opportunity to record two author forum’s this past Tuesday and will post them after some light sound editing. 

 

The first was Pamela J. Olsen www.pamolsen.org at Crescent Hill Library in a conference room with metal folding chairs and an adjacent elevator shaft that used the room as a resonance chamber. Despite the very distracting ambience of the room, I was enthralled. Pamela Olsen spent around 18months in Palestine, working, living, and pretending to not be American.  She talked about the realities of the Israeli occupation and the hardships of the Palestinian people.  It’s difficult to know the truth about the middle east while sifting through the corporate owned media of the good ol’ USofA, so Pamela went to see for herself.  Her stories of weddings, funerals, holding cells, checkpoints, illegal hiking, and parties are all compiled in “Fast Times in Palestine” It’s definitely on my reading list. 

 

After my current affairs history lesson, I headed over to Decca where Fred Minnick was signing books. Fred Minnick has a newborn, wears and ascot, is captivated by women bootleggers, and brings his own bourbon. He’s appalled that the story of Women’s involvement in the history of whiskey had not already been written. But not too much, because he’s selling books and loves researching the topic. He’s a whiskey writer through and through and his credentials are mentioned in the recording. I enjoyed fine cheeses, pickled vegetables, beet tartar, and grilled octopus while listening to Fred discuss a timeline of whiskey that has never been told before. (I drank beer, but don’t tell Fred.) Mr. Minnick’s next appearance with “Whiskey Women” will be April 17th at the JTown Library from 230-630. Susan Reigler will be there too with her essential travel guide ” Kentucky Bourbon Country.” Image

KLL Radio 8/17 with Local Author Nadeem Zeman

tomorrow 8/17 at 1pm I’m happy to welcome local author Nadeem Zeman to read some of his short fiction and talk about working at Carmichael’s books and attending UofL for graduate work in writing. Nadeem has a story forthcoming in a national journal and lots of stories to tell about local and visiting literary luminaries, so tune in tomorrow on http://www.artxfm.com !

Keep Louisville Literary Radio show UPDATES!

Dear Readers,This Thursday my guest will be poet / professor Matt Hart, who’ll be discussing with us education models for creative writing, his latest book Debacle, Debacle (H_ngm_n, 2013) and his new work-in-progress Radiant Action forthcoming from Typecast Publishing here in Louisville, KY!

You can check out Matt reading “Amplifier to Defender” from Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless (Typecast, 2011) HERE

And over HERE are five poems from Radiant Action over at Hobart.

NEXT Thursday, 7-25, my guest (who was originally slated for this week) will be Adam Day, University of Kentucky educator, poet, and Louisville Literary Arts (LLA) board-member. Adam holds an MFA in creative writing from NYU, where he studied with former U.S. poet laureate Philip Levine, and coordinates the Baltic Writing Residency which now includes residencies in Scotland, and at Bernheim Forest in KY. Adam Day is the recipient of a 2010 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and is also the recipient of a 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award. He has a ton of experience and insight about the poetry world, is working on several projects, and will be chatting about all that and hopefully reading poems for us!

Jessica Farquhar on Poetry, Purdue, and Her Personal Writing Process

Poet Jessica Farquhar will read Friday at 7pm with fellow poets Ada Limón and S. Whitney Holmes for Speak Social Presents Catch Up Release Party at Java Bardstown (1707 Bardstown Rd.).

[Comic artists from this issue will not be in attendance, sorry for the mix-up]

Keep Louisville Literary: While in the Creative Writing MFA program at Purdue you served as the Assistant Director of Creative Writing. Since some readers may not know Purdue for its English dept. (although the Sycamore Review and Online Writing Lab are well known among students and writers), could you relay both a bit about the program and specifically your experiences as both a student and as Assistant Director?

Jessica Farquhar: Actually, Purdue is known internationally for its English Department. Teaching essay writing to engineering students and hanging out in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences library were bonuses to the MFA program (Marianne Boruch playing cassette tapes of bird songs in workshop is the obvious reason anyone would want to attend Purdue–or the opportunity to visit the cadaver lab where she composed these poems). My third year, I hung out with Mary Leader weekly, talking tarot cards and handless maidens. Like a midwife she guided that manuscript baby out of me. I also got to introduce (current U.S. Poet Laureate!) Natasha Trethewey when she read at Purdue. And interview Jean Valentine. The whole of the MFA experience was serendipitous and surreal. It was like a waking dream being there, among tens of thousands of sandhill cranes and amazing writers, my peers and the faculty. As assistant director, I was a representative of the program to the community, which means I got to experience it inside and out. It also means I could go on and on and on about what a great program Purdue’s MFA is. More of what I’ve said on the topic can be found here. Third-year fictioneer Natalie van Hoose describes the experience beautifully here.

KLL: What are you pursuing now that you are home, post MFA?

JF: Pursuing: my children, book publication, the next manuscript.

KLL: Your thesis collection completed at Purdue, Through a Tunnel You Are Leaving, was a finalist this year in Sarabande Books’s Linda Bruckheimer poetry contest. Since we may assume you will be reading from this collection Friday, could you tell us a little about your direction, intention, techniques or thematic for this collection?

JF: I used many different processes to write and revise the manuscript, and the third section (of four), which is the least likely to lend itself to an oral reading, includes the most process-oriented poem, “Institute Are To,” another example of a unique experience afforded me by Purdue. It’s a long mosaic poem made of pieces of language I borrowed from a book on Lithography and that also is inspired by the process of lithography, its duplicable and handmade qualities. Mary Leader challenged me to come up with a process that could produce ten different poems from the same source–an example of what she calls the proliferative mode. She also encouraged me to spend a lot of time and energy (and space!) ordering the poems in my manuscript. Through a Tunnel You Are Leaving starts in the darkest part of the tunnel, with the handless maiden in the middle of the woods in the dark, and the journey takes off from there.

KLL: Do you prefer to regiment your writing, sitting down and “clocking-in”, or do you prefer spontaneity? Could you briefly describe your process and the places where you write?

JF: I do like to have my dedicated space at home, but rarely a dedicated time. I have my iMac and a big work surface, also yoga mats and space to practice postures and meditation. A big benefit of the MFA for me was getting to really know my writing habits and tweaking my space. I write best in the morning, if I’m going to sit down and spend some time at the computer. But I really never know when inspiration is going to hit, and the discipline for me is putting pen to paper when it does.

KLL: In conclusion, a generic favorite: whose books are currently fueling your creative fire? If this question doesn’t apply, suggest to us some compelling work you are familiar with.

JF: Mary Ruefle’s essays collected in Madness, Rack, and Honey have been fueling my creative fire for a few months now. Anything by Rachel Zucker is a go-to for me, and I’m dying to get my hands on Mary Jo Bang’s translation of Dante’s Inferno. I’ve been haunted in the best way by Nick Flynn’s memoir The Ticking is the Bomb, which I listened to over many drives between Lafayette and Louisville. I have to go now. Mitch Daniels (current Purdue President!) is on Stephen Colbert.

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.