Tag Archives: Hunter S. Thompson

2015 Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame

Next week, the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in downtown Lexington will hold the third annual induction of the Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame. 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.

The requirements for the 2015 class have altered slightly from years past. For a writer to have been eligible this year, they must be (1) deceased (excluding one living writer), (2) published, (3) someone whose writing is of enduring stature, and (4) someone connected in a significant way to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In order to be nominated, each author had to undergo a three step process including nominations from the general public, recommendations from a committee comprised of former state poet laureates and the director of the Kentucky Arts council, and a final review and selection done by the Carnegie Center’s Hall of Fame Creation Committee.

This year’s inductees have been described as “eloquent, inspirational, and sometimes downright outrageous” by the Hall of Fame founder and Carnegie Center executive director, Neil Chethik. The full 2015 class is listed below:

      
Wendell Berry (Henry Co.)      Elizabeth Hardwick (Fayette Co.)      Effie Waller Smith (Pike Co.)

     
Jim Wayne Miller (Warren Co.)   Guy Davenport (Fayette Co.)  Hunter S. Thompson (Jefferson Co.)

The University Press of Kentucky proudly honors these authors, having worked with many of them at some point in their career. A small spotlight will go out to UPK book, Every Leaf a Mirror: a Jim Wayne Miller Reader, with a short reading by Mary Ellen Miller, Jim Wayne’s widow, during the ceremony.

The six winners will be officially inducted on Wednesday, January 28, at the Carnegie Center, 7 PM (Doors open at 6:30 PM). This event is FREE and open to the public.To get in the spirit of the induction, here is a poem from Every Leaf a Mirror titled “His Hands”:

His Hands
He noticed his hands, how they
cracked each other’s knuckles, how his fingers
thrummed restlessly on every tabletop,
foraging for magazines, snuffling about
in his pockets for cigarettes, like a dog
tracking a mole. He noticed his hands
reassuring one another, noticed them
turning on television sets when he wasn’t looking,
like horses who learn to open
gates and barn doors with their noses.

He knew his hands had learned from him
how to seem independent, how to hide
from the larger creature they were just a part of.
His hands were only children
telling on the street what they’d heard at home.

He walked in the woods.
Fish hung in his veins, shadows fanning.
Birds circled his farthest green thoughts.

He came home after dark, the mood following
like a friendly old dog. At home he noticed
his hands, alert, looking up, trying
to start a game of fetch.

#AdviceforGrads: These Famous Kentuckians Offer Wisdom for those Graduating this Month

Thomas Merton Quotes

In honor of all of you graduating this month, here are some words of wisdom from famous and accomplished Kentuckians as you make your way out into the world.

13 Finalists Announced for the 2014 Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame

Following last year’s inaugural class of inductees into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, 13 writers from the Commonwealth have been nominated for the honor this year. Only six of these beloved native sons and daughters will be inducted for this year’s class, announced at an induction ceremony slated for Thursday, January 23, 6:30 pm, at the Carnegie Center. It is free and open to the public.

To be eligible for induction this year, the writer must have been deceased, connected significantly to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the author of published and enduring fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

“These extraordinary writers are not only artists, they are authentic Kentuckians who spent their lives telling stories of the people, places and culture of our state, ” said Neil Chethik, executive director of the Carnegie Center.

According to Chethik, the purpose of the Hall of Fame is 1) to honor great writers and writing around Kentucky, 2) to affirm and promote Kentucky’s rich literary legacy, and 3) to provide a place where children and adults can learn about the great books and writers who came from (or through) Kentucky.

The 2014 finalists come from various regions in Kentucky and represent writers from many genres–children’s books, historical nonfiction, and autobiography, among them.

Congrats to all of this year’s honorees!

This year’s 13 finalists are:

James Lane Allen (Lexington)

Rebecca Caudill (Cumberland)

Thomas Clark (Lexington)

Guy Davenport (Lexington)

Janice Holt Giles (Adair County)

James Baker Hall (Lexington)

Etheridge Knight (Paducah)

Thomas Merton (Nelson County)

Jim Wayne Miller (Bowling Green)

Alice Hagen Rice (Shelbyville)

Effie Waller Smith (Pike County)

Jesse Stuart (Riverton)

Hunter S. Thompson (Louisville)

UPK Books by Honored Writers:

 

Hunter S. Thompson Would Approve: A Kentucky for Kentucky Derby Print

DecadentAndDepraved_SorrySoldOut_1024x1024

Hunter S. Thompson and The Kentucky Derby are not two things that would usually go in the same sentence. But in 1970, Thompson, famed gonzo journalist and author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Rum Diary (and native Kentuckian himself), wrote an essay that aimed to detail the debauchery of those who attended the Kentucky Derby. He called it simply, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.” The now-seminal story marked the start of Thompson’s “gonzo” style, in which a journalist would eschew the traditional, objective journalistic style in favor of including himself in the first person narrative of events, to the point in which he becomes a character.

Well this week, our favorite homegrown state branding team, Kentucky for Kentucky (of the Kentucky Kicks Ass fame) in conjunction with Louisville artist, Rachael Sinclair, has created a fantastic print, complete with jockey’s silks that give a horse’s name to the unique phraseology of the story, such as “Old Fitz” and “Nekkid Horses.” The limited edition print, which Buzzfeed has already featured on their front page and is currently sold out online, honors Thompson’s essay just in time for the Derby! Here’s hoping they make a few more!

Also, don’t forget to register for this week’s Derby-themed giveaway for your chance to win James C. Nicholson’s The Kentucky Derby!