Kentucky

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).

recent & featured listings

type namesort ascending state
Writing Program Western Kentucky University Kentucky
Literary Magazine The Louisville Review Kentucky
Literary Organization The Kentucky State Poetry Society Kentucky
Literary Organization The Carnegie Center Kentucky
Literary Organization The Affrilachian Poets Kentucky
Small Press Sarabande Books Kentucky
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Robie Books Kentucky
Landmark Robert Penn Warren Birthplace Museum Kentucky
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Poor Richard's Bookstore Kentucky
Poetry-Friendly Bookstore Lincoln's Loft Kentucky

poems

poem

[ 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,
Therefore
poem

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

poem

—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

2