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Kentucky Writers: Authors of the Bluegrass State

"Authors of the Bluegrass State" is a guide by Kentucky Collects. This guide provides information about authors and writers from Kentucky and their work.

Kentucky Poets Laureate

In 1926, the Kentucky General Assembly established the position of Kentucky Poet Laureate, and James T. "Cotton" Noe was nominated to the role. Originally, the General Assembly granted poets laureate lifetime appointments, and sometimes several people occupied the position simultaneously. However, in 1990, new legislation changed the position to a gubernatorial appointment and limited the position to a two-year term.

Duties of the Kentucky Poet Laureate involve promoting the literary arts throughout the Commonwealth, particularly participating in state literary activities like Kentucky Writers' Day.

Selection of the Kentucky Poet Laureate follows a public call for nominations. Nominees must "reside in Kentucky, have a long association with the Commonwealth, and have a critically acclaimed published body of work that is informed by living in Kentucky." Nominees are reviewed by an independent panel, and the Governor selects the final appointee. 

Source: Kentucky Arts Council

Current Kentucky Poet Laureate: Crystal Wilkinson

Crystal Wilkinson

"I hope to amplify the wondrous variety of Kentucky stories by going to libraries, either via Zoom or in-person. I'm interested in stories from different cultures."  -- Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson

Contact: To request a reading or other activity, email the poet laureate at Include "Poet Laureate Request" in the subject line.

Source: Kentucky Arts Council

Explore Works by Kentucky Poets Laureate

Publications about Kentucky Poets