Monday, April 02, 2007

Named Poet Laureate of Kentucky

My friend and former professor Jane Gentry Vance has been named Poet Laureate of Kentucky in one of the best decisions in a long time. She is author most recently of the poetry collection Portrait of the Artist as a White Pig from LSU Press. As it so happens, the title poem of the collection some ten years ago was the first project of a now on-hiatus private letterpress called Adela Press based out of Versailles, Kentucky. It was run by a younger and with-more-hair Alan Cornett, who also commissioned the linotype of the pigs that are now on the cover of the book. Traci and I were then living in a downstairs apartment recommended to us by the very same Jane Vance. Hey, I wonder if those broadsides are worth something...

Congratulations to Jane Vance! It really could not have been given to a nicer and more talented person.


Anonymous said...

Just went and looked up the list of past KY poets laureate. Any idea why they've overlooked Wendell Berry for so long? Or why Robert Penn Warren was never Kentucky's poet laureate?


Alan said...

You can read the current criteria here:

I don't know why Robert Penn Warren was never selected. I have wondered the same about Wendell Berry, but it was explained to me once that the recipient had to be agreeable to it, and I don't know that Mr. Berry is.

The process was changed in the 90's, and a new laureate is named every two years. James Still served as the first laureate under the current system.