Penn's Store is having day for Kentucky writers

April 18, 2004

GRAVEL SWITCH - Historic Penn's Store will host its Seventh Annual Kentucky Writers Day noon-6 p.m. April 25.

Writers, authors, poets, songwriters will come together in celebration of the written word, honoring Kentucky writers and the state's designated Kentucky Writers Day. Niki Lynn of Tompkinsville will interpret for the deaf and hearing impaired.

James Spragens of Lebanon, a member of the Marion County High School English class that drafted the Kentucky Writers Day bill, and former State Representative David Hourigan of Gravel Switch, who introduced the bill to the state legislature, will share the beginnings of establishing the state's Kentucky Writers Day on Robert Penn Warren's birthday.

Emcee for the day's program will be Terry Ward, chair of the humanities division at St. Catharine College is Springfield. Ward also is an award-winning writer, historian and freelance journalist.


Emmy Award-winning journalist and author David Dick and writer and author Lalie Dick will be special guests of the Seventh Annual Kentucky Writers Day event. They will issue in the afternoon's program of accomplished writers who will be sharing from their original works, as well as other honored Kentucky writers. Writers include:

Frank X Walker - Danville native, poet, author, vice president of The Kentucky Center and executive director of the Governor's School for the Arts. Presently on tour debuting his latest book, "Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York."

Lisa Williams - assistant professor of English, Centre College, published poet, and a winner of the Rome Fellowship in Literature. Williams has won numerous awards in writing.

Ron Whitehead - award-winning and internationally renowned poet and writer, scholar, professor, editor, publisher, organizer, founder and director of The Global Literary Renaissance.

Sarah Elizabeth - recording and performing artist praised by Jean Ritchie and David Amram. She will be performing with Whitehead on a 2004 Tour of Europe, U.S.A. and China.

H.R. Stoneback - poet, scholar, author, professor of English and director of graduate studies at State University of New York at New Paltz. Stoneback has lectured and written extensively about Kentucky writers. A recent essay deals with E.M. Roberts, Robert Penn Warren, James Still and Jesse Stuart as well as the Elizabeth Madox Roberts Society and Kentucky Writers Day at Penn's Store in the Kentucky Humanities magazine.

Katherine Orton - playwright who holds a degree in journalism from the University of Kentucky and writes a regular column, "On The Light Side," for the Danville Advocate-Messenger.

Yolantha Harrison-Pace - Missionary to Haiti, performance arts specialist, dance poet and a Kentucky Arts Council Roster Artist. Pace's book, "Wing-Plucked Butterfly: One Cherapokee-Negro's war on hate crimes against women and children," will be out in late summer, published by Neshee Publishing. Pace uses the arts as a tool for teaching literacy and promoting unity through the pursuit of cultural excellence.

Three special writers groups and their members will be joining the day's celebration.

The Poets Supper - A Washington County-based writers group with members statewide. The innovative group had its origin at Historic Valley Hill Store in 1994 and is celebrating its 10th anniversary this April. Members James Pope of Perryville, Susan Simpson of Springfield, Cassie Joyce of Louisville and Poets Supper creator Rosemary Gillum Bailey are among members reading.

Grassroots Writers Group - A writers group composed of members from Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln, Pulaski, Madison and Fayette counties who give encouragement and support to published and unpublished writers. In 2003, the group received a Kentucky Arts Council grant to publish "The Light from Within, Reflection from the Grassroots Writers Group."

Elizabeth Madox Roberts Society - Several members will read at the Kentucky Writers Day event.

Songwriters and performers Glenn Metzger of Louisville, Dawn Lane Osborn of Gravel Switch and Elizabethtown, and Irish-American balladeer Dennis Winter of New York will be sharing their writing and performing talents throughout the day.

An open mic session will be available to those who want to share their writing talents. Interested open mic-ers should register with Terry Ward noon-12:30 p.m. the day of the event.

Many of the writers will have books and/or CDs available for purchase. Spring flowers and plants as well as herbs by Steve's Plants will be for sale, and food will be available by the Gravel Switch Homemakers throughout the day.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair for the afternoon of celebration honoring Kentucky's writers - past, present and future. For more information, contact Jeanne Penn Lane at (859) 332-7706 or 332-7715; or e-mail More information is available at

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