Literary tradition celebrated on Kentucky Writer’s Day

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) — April 26 was Kentucky Writers Day, an extremely important day for writers young and old across the state. Just two days ago, the late Kentucky poet, Robert Penn Warren, was remembered on his birthday for his long history of writing in the Commonwealth.

“Kentucky is a stronger, richer, more interesting and more connected place because of them,” Governor Andy Beshear says, referring to Kentucky’s most famous writers.

Robert Penn Warren served as America’s first Poet Laureate, officially becoming the nation’s first “Library of Congress Poetry Consultant”. Kentucky Writers’ Day was established in 1990 to honor Warren’s birth and to induct, on odd-numbered years, the state’s Poet Laureate.

The annual ceremony featured Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet leaders, Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson, Beechwood High School freshman Lupita Diaz and former Kentucky Poets Laureate.

Wilkinson, a multi-award-winning novelist and poet based in Lexington, was nominated by Governor Beshear and is the 2021-22 Kentucky Poet Laureate.

“It certainly continues to be an honor to represent the state’s arts and literature legacy as Poet Laureate, and I’m grateful that we can once again come together in person to celebrate Kentucky Writers Day. “, said Wilkinson. “Events like this help to emphasize to our young people in Kentucky the importance of literacy and literary events to our Commonwealth.”

The annual ceremony also included readings from former Poet Laureates George Ella Lyon, Maureen Morehead, Sena Jeter Naslund, Richard Taylor, Frank X Walker and Jeff Worley. Also featured as part of Tuesday’s ceremony was Beechwood High School freshman Lupita Diaz, who is this year’s Kentucky State Poetry Out Loud Champion.