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Gov. Beshear Hosts Kentucky Writers Day

By Crystal Staley/Danielle Jones

Frankfort, KY - On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, Gov. Andy Beshear hosted Kentucky Writers' Day, an annual celebration on or around April 24, which is the birthday of Kentucky writer Robert Penn Warren, the first Poet Laureate of the United States.

"I am thrilled not just to be in person today to celebrate Kentucky's literary heritage, but to be in the company of such an esteemed group of our commonwealth's most celebrated writers," said Gov. Beshear. "Kentucky is a stronger, richer, more interesting and more connected place because of them."

The annual ceremony featured leadership from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson, Beechwood High School freshman Lupita Diaz and former Kentucky poets laureate.

"Our cabinet is honored to join Gov. Beshear in hosting this annual event that celebrates literary arts in Kentucky for the first time since 2019," Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry said. "This year's ceremony is especially significant and represents the first in-person celebration featuring Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson."

The Writer's Day celebration was established in 1990 to honor the birth of Warren and to induct, in odd-numbered years, the state's poet laureate. Wilkinson, a multiple award-winning novelist and poet based in Lexington, was appointed by Gov. Beshear and serves as 2021-22 Kentucky Poet Laureate. Wilkinson is the first Black woman to be appointed as poet laureate in the history of the commonwealth.

"It certainly continues to be an honor to represent the state's legacy of arts and letters as poet laureate, and I'm grateful that we can once again gather in person to celebrate Kentucky Writers' Day," Wilkinson said. "Events like this help to emphasize to our youth in Kentucky how important literacy and literary events are to our commonwealth."

The annual ceremony also featured readings by former poets laureate George Ella Lyon, Maureen Morehead, Sena Jeter Naslund, Richard Taylor, Frank X Walker and Jeff Worley. Beechwood High School freshman Lupita Diaz, who serves as this year's Kentucky Poetry Out Loud state champion, was also featured as part of today's ceremony.

This story was posted on 2022-04-26 14:27:49
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