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Jessica Faye Mohler

Marketing & Communications Director

The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning



Inductees into the 2014 Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame Announced


The Carnegie Center is proud to announce the seven 2014 inductees into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. They include the Hall of Fame's first children's writer (Rebecca Caudill/ Adair County), first spiritual writer (Thomas Merton/Nelson County), first historian (Thomas D. Clark/Fayette County), and first writer connected to a political movement (Etheridge Knight/McCracken County).


"This year's group of inductees shows the enormous range of Kentucky's outstanding writers," said Neil Chethik, Executive Director of the Carnegie Center, which created the Hall of Fame in 2013. "Last year, we honored mostly poets and fiction writers. This year, we can see how many different kinds of Kentucky writers have excelled through the years."


He added: "Kentucky has a 200-year legacy of writing excellence. Some say our land inspires people to write. Others say it's our history of conflict -- north vs. south, rural vs. urban, Hatfield vs. McCoy; every story needs conflict. Whatever the reason, the Hall of Fame is here to honor the great ones of the past and inspire the stars of the future."


The full 2014 Class includes:


Rebecca Caudill (Harlan County)

Thomas D. Clark (Fayette County)

Janice Holt Giles (Adair County)
James Baker Hall (Harrison and Scott Counties)
Etheridge Knight (McCracken County)
Thomas Merton (Nelson County)

Jesse Stuart (Greenup County)


Selection to the Hall of Fame involved a 3-step process: 1) nominations from the general public; 2) recommendations from a committee chaired by Lori Meadows, director of the Kentucky Arts Council, and including former state poets laureate; and 3) final selection by the Carnegie Center's Hall of Fame Creation Committee.


For a writer to have been eligible this year, he/she must be 1) deceased; 2) published; 3) someone whose writing is of enduring stature; and 4) someone connected in a significant way to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.


The seven winners were announced to an enthusiastic crowd and officially inducted into the Hall on Thursday, January 23, at the Induction Ceremony at the Carnegie Center. After their induction, seven contemporary Kentucky writers read excerpts from the inductees' writing.


The presenters included children's book author Marcia Thornton Jones; Georgetown College professor James Klotter; Accents Publishing owner Katerina Stoykova-Klemer; director of the James Baker Hall Archive, Sarah Wylie VanMeter; Affrilachian poet Jude McPherson; University of Kentucky Associate Professor Erik Reece;  and writer Georgia Green. The joyous occasion also included a musical rendition of James Baker Hall's poem, That First Kite, by Lexington musician Warren Byrom.


The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame was created to recognize Kentucky writers whose work reflects the character and culture of our commonwealth, and to educate Kentuckians about our state's rich literary heritage.


This is the second year of the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, which was created and is housed at the Carnegie Center in Lexington. The 2013 inductees are: Harriette Arnow, William Wells Brown, Harry Caudill, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, James Still, and Robert Penn Warren.



The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning empowers people to explore and express their voices through imaginative learning and the literary arts. The Carnegie Center is a family learning and literary arts center devoted to helping all people improve their quality of life. Our open-door policy invites people young and old to learn something new. We offer seasonal classes in writing, computer literacy, graphic design, and world languages; tutoring for students grades K-12; vibrant youth and family programs; literary readings, and other arts-related events, designed to encourage an appreciation for all art forms, and learning in general, among Central Kentuckians.