In 1926, Kentucky established a state poet laureate position, which is currently held by Frederick Smock, who was appointed to a two-year term in 2017. Smock is the author of many collections of poetry, including The Bounteous World: New Poems (Broadstone Books, 2013).

upcoming events

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Apr 23 2019
Celebrating Kentucky Writers (and poets who wish they were from Ky)

Works by vintage Kentucky favorites like Robert Penn Warren and Wendell Berry will be featured, along with works by others, including Kentucky's newest Poet Laureate, Jeff Worley.  

Calloway County Public Library Program Coordinator Sandy Linn said, “We are committed to promoting literacy through family-oriented activities, and are especially pleased to host a multi-generational event that connects to National Poetry Month. This is the second year in a row we are celebrating this way, and the response has been so positive, we hope to continue the ritual for many years to come.”

Readers can sign up in advance by contacting Constance Alexander, at [email protected].

An award-winning poet and writer, Ms. Alexander is working with Mrs. Linn to coordinate the April 23 program and recruit participants of all ages and backgrounds. A recipient of a Governor’s Award for her work in media, Alexander’s love of poetry goes all the way back to grade 4, when she won her first poetry contest.

“The efforts of the Calloway County Public Library’s on behalf of poetry are a reminder of the importance of literacy in celebrating, preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Kentucky. Public libraries, of course, are a logical place to bring these shared values together.” 

The event in Murray is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Mrs. Sandy Linn at 270-753-2288, or email her at [email protected]. The library is located at 710 Main Street in Murray, KY.

710 Main Street
42071 Murray, Kentucky

recent & featured listings

typesort ascending name state
Writing Program Western Kentucky University Kentucky
Landmark Robert Penn Warren Birthplace Museum Kentucky
Small Press Blair Mountain Press Kentucky
Small Press Sarabande Books Kentucky
Small Press Finishing Line Press Kentucky
Literary Magazine Appalachian Heritage Kentucky
Literary Magazine The Louisville Review Kentucky
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Joseph-Beth Booksellers Kentucky
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Lincoln's Loft Kentucky
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Poor Richard's Bookstore Kentucky



—For Mammoth Cave National Park

Humongous cavern, tell me, wet limestone, sandstone caprock,
      bat-wing, sightless translucent cave shrimp,

this endless plummet into more of the unknown,
                            how one keeps secrets for so long.

All my life, I’ve lived


[ A ]

Long ago, in Kentucky, I, a boy, stood
By a dirt road, in first dark, and heard
The great geese hoot northward.

I could not see them, there being no moon
And the stars sparse.  I heard them.

I did not know what was happening in my heart.

It was the season before the elderberry blooms,

One woman drives across five states just to see her. The woman being driven to has no idea anyone's headed her way. The driving woman crosses three bridges & seven lakes just to get to her door. She stops along the highway, wades into the soggy ground, cuts down coral-eyed cattails, carries them to her car as