FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker and six past poets laureate will gather April 24 in the Capitol Rotunda for readings and book signings in celebration of Kentucky Writers' Day, coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council.

Kentucky Writers' Day is a public celebration of the Commonwealth's extraordinary literary heritage and is held each year on or around April 24, the birthdate of Kentucky native Robert Penn Warren, the first U. S. poet laureate and winner of three Pulitzer Prizes.

"Kentucky Writers' Day is an all-star event for fans and admirers of Kentucky literature," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "There is no other event in the state where you have the opportunity to experience this group of distinguished writers who all have contributed to the Commonwealth's strong literary legacy."

Joining Walker for readings are past poets laureate Maureen Morehead, Gurney Norman, Jane Gentry Vance, Sena Jeter Naslund, Joe Survant and Richard Taylor.

In addition to readings by the poets laureate, the arts council will present a reading by the Southeastern representative of the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), 16-year-old Aline Dolinh of Oakton, Va.

The NSPP is a joint effort of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Selection to the program is the highest honor for young poets in grades 9-11 presenting original work.

"We are thrilled to have Aline joining us for our Kentucky Writers' Day program as a representative of the next generation of great writers in our region of the country," said Meadows.

School groups, Kentucky writers and the general public are invited to the event, which is free. Kentucky Writers' Day is at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 24, in the Capitol Rotunda, 700 Capitol Ave. Seating is limited. A reception in honor of all Kentucky writers will follow the morning activities on the Mezzanine.

Groups unable to travel to the event but who would like to celebrate Kentucky writers in their own communities are encouraged to use the arts council's Kentucky Writers' Day Planning Guide that can be downloaded for free on the agency's website.

For more information about Kentucky Writers' Day, visit the arts council online.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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