From the Executive Director

Dear Carnegie friends:

When the Carnegie Center invited Kentuckians last summer to nominate the first living person for the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, we learned again how passionate readers are – and how much of an impact Neil_website_picwriters can have. One reader nominated her favorite writer, saying, “She fueled the emergence of the right side of my brain.” Another avid fan said of his nominee: “I don’t think our state has produced a finer or more fantastic string of sentences.”

Now, from the nearly 50 nominees we received, a statewide committee of readers, writers and related creatives has made a final selection on the first living Hall of Fame writer. We’ll announce the selection in January, and then induct him or her into the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, January 28, at 7:00 pm at the Carnegie Center.

At the same ceremony, we will induct 5 deceased Kentucky writers, reaching back more than a century. These six will join the 13 writers who have been inducted the Hall of Fame since the Carnegie Center created it in 2012 (see cover photos).

During these last three years, the selections have occasionally generated controversy. We welcome the debate. After all, when we’re talking about who produces stirring art, about the impact of books on our lives, about the unique nature of Kentucky writing, we are having the right conversation.

We hope the Hall of Fame has other benefits too, including helping to sell books for all Kentucky authors. At the Carnegie Center, we recognize that commerce and art are interrelated – that one’s ability to make art is at least partly dependent on other people’s willingness, individually and collectively, to support it.

As we embark on 2015, please join us in celebrating Kentucky writers on January 28, and then make a resolution to support your local writers in the year ahead. Whenever you can, buy  a book.


Neil Chethik

Executive Director