Friday, April 16, 2010

Kentucky Writers' Day

The Kentucky Arts Council will celebrate Kentucky Writers' Day at 10am Friday, April 23rd in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.

Past Kentucky Poets laureate Jane Gentry Vance (2007-2008), Sena Jeter Naslund (2005-2006), Joe Survant (2003-2004), and Richard Taylor (1999-2000) will give readings of their work as part of the event.

A special receiption to honor all Kentucky writers will follow at 11am on the mezzanine level of the Capitol. "Five Kentucky Poets Laureate: An Anthology," "Abraham Lincoln of Kentucky" and poet laureat broadsides will be offered for sale at the reception.

Kentucky Writers' Day is officially April 24 in honor of the birth date of Kentucky native Robert Penn Warren, the first poet laureate of the United States and winner of three Pulitzer prizes.

This event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

KSPS Mid-Year Conference

The Kentucky State Poetry Society will have its Mid-Year Conference April 16-17, 2010 in Harrodsburg, Kentucky

All events will take place on Main Street in Harrodsburg. Meetings and workshop will be held in the Masonic Lodge and The Kentucky Fudge Company at the top of Main Street across from the courthouse construction.

Main Street intersects with US 68 from Lexington, from Louisville turn left at the intersection of US 127 and US 68 then at the stop light turn right on Main Street.

The Friday Night Poetry Reading will begin at 7 pm in the Masonic Lodge and end when everyone is ready to stop. You may come and go as you please.

Saturday Morning we will meet upstairs at The Kentucky Fudge Company, (great coffee and scones) just up the street from the Masonic Lodge at 10 am for a short introduction meeting and workshop assignments and locations.

Workshops will begin @ 10:45 and run until lunch time. There are several wonderful places to have lunch right on Main Street including one of Kentucky’s best Mexican restaurants, Lafonda’s. The Kentucky Fudge Company will be open with fantastic sandwiches and drinks and we are hoping one of the best home cooking restaurant in Harrodsburg, Cousins, will be open. Just off of Main Street is a wonderful cafĂ© called The Bus Station where you can get a great burger and other tasty delights.

At 1 pm we will meet at The Ragged Edge Theater, just down Main Street from the Masonic Lodge where we will be entertained by some of the Ragged Edge Players. From there we will go to the next round of workshops which will end @ 4-4:30.

The Finality Banquet will be held upstairs at The Kentucky Fudge Company where you will be treated to one of the finest buffets you have ever experienced. After we eat The Kaboom Writers Collective will speak to us about their writing experiences and read some of their work.

The Workshops:

Haiku Workshop led by Drew Logan. I highly recommend this workshop if you have ever wanted to write haiku or if you are just wondering if you could. Drew has a large collection of haiku to share including many of his own.

How To Produced A Video Of Your Creative Writing led by Tom Vigneri a professional videographer and producer is a Workshop discussing how to adapt printed work into television presentations by explaining visualization, sound, performance, equipment needs, resources, the production process and production techniques.

A Persona Workshop led by Sherri Wright will explain persona poems, what they are, how to share someone else's skin for a brief time, see as they see, think as they do, let them whisper their stories into your ear. No brain cells will be harmed in the attendance of this workshop

(Note: Due to the lack of proper equipment we will not be doing the Chapbook Workshop led by Bobbi Rightmyer but Bobbi will be around to answer questions and explain the process. Just ask her to tell you about the process.)

We want your visit to Harrodsburg to be a wonderful experience. If you have not signed up and still would like to, give me a call so I can get a good banquet count. You will be able to pay your fee Saturday morning.

~~Tony Sexton

Tragedy at Upper Big Branch


It’s happened again
another coal mine disaster
more human lives lost because of our obsession with coal.
An explosion has rocked the underground mine,
Massey Energy again – where’s the surprise?
The largest coal producer in central Appalachia,
the largest number of safety violations;
when will they start caring about the heartache they have caused?
The worst explosion since 1984,
today, 25 miners are dead, and four still unaccounted for,
husbands, brothers, sons, nephews;
grandsons, friends, lovers –
for what?
So I can turn on a light with the flick of a switch,
power up my laptop without a thought in the world,
waste the electricity these men sacrificed for.
Some are cursing what John Peter Salley discovered,
in Boone County, West Virginia in 1742;
coal seams ripe with black gold,
there for the taking
to produce half of the nation’s electricity.
But again, is it worth it?
Coal dust and black lung,
poisonous methane gas,
carcinogens all to the frailty of man.
The women are breaking down
knowing they will ever see their husbands again.
Mothers and fathers will have to bury sons
well before their time.
Sadness engulfs the nation
as we all have the same prayer,
“God be with these families, friends and other loved ones,
protect them with your loving guidance, lessen their sorrow,
their hurting, their grief.”
And to the next generation coming down the line,
please hurry with alternative energy sources,
help us break the dependency on coal,
help us stop this unnecessary suffering;
help us stop the pain.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Accents Publishing

I was so excited today to read the wonderful article in the Lexington Herald Leader on my friend, Katerina Stoykova-Klemer and Accents Publishing, Lexington's newest printer of poetry and prose.

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer, left, with help from her son, Simeon Kondev, center, and Shawn Wright put together a book of poetry at Accents Publishing. Kondev draws the cover art for all the books, which sell for $ 5 each. (Photo copyright Lexington Herald Leader)

The mission statement for her new publishing house is:

"Our vision is to bring low-cost books to people who love literature but often can't afford it," she says. "So we do it quick, easy and cheap. Every one of our books is $ 5, and that is how we want to keep it. "

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer put pages in a glue binder while volunteer Tony Sexton grouped pages at Accents Publishing. Sexton is president of the Kentucky State Poetry Society. (Photo copyright Lexington Herald Leader)

Book publisher Katerina Stoykova-Klemer shown in her upstairs office on Thursday, March 18, 2010 in her home in Lexington, Ky. Katerina Stoykova-Klemer has started her own small company, Accents Publishing, to publish books of poetry that sell for just $ 5 each. This is her way of getting people to read poetry. Her printing and book binding operation, staffed by volunteers, is at her home. (Photo copyright Lexington Herald Leader; Photo by David Perry)

You can find Accents books at The Morris Book Shop, 408 Southland Drive; on; or at

Stoykova-Klemer sees good things ahead.
"I think we'll make up in volume for the low cost of our books," she said. "Poetry lets you know about yourself and about the world. It cuts through to the things you don't know, and it's always true in some way.

"We need that. We need the truth."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poetry Month Gathering

Kentucky State Poetry Society
Poetry Month Gathering
Featuring Workshops, Readings, Special Guest Speakers and Social Activities
April 17, 2010
in downtown
All events including the finale dinner are open to the public. Readings will be in an open mic format. Prior reservations are required for the open mic and the dinner.