From the Executive Director

Hall of Fame Ceremony Moving to Kentucky Theatre

Executive Director Neil Chethik (right) with Wendell Berry, the first living inductee in the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame

Winter/Spring 2019

Dear Carnegie Friends:

In 2012, a half-dozen Carnegie staff members asked ourselves a simple question: What can we do to honor the best writers in our state? Brainstorming ensued, and a curiously simple answer emerged: Start a Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Six years later, the Hall of Fame is one of Carnegie’s most popular and fast-growing programs. At the first induction ceremony in 2013, 75 people attended to witness the induction of seven deceased Kentucky writers who helped create the state’s literary legacy. This year, more than 500 people jammed into the Carnegie Center to watch as Berea’s bell hooks–the Hall’s fifth living writer–entered the Hall of Fame, along with three authors from earlier eras.

This coming January, you are invited as the annual ceremony–free to the public–moves to the historic Kentucky Theatre.

On Wednesday, January 30, at 7:00 pm, the theater will be the venue where we induct two living Kentucky authors, Gurney Norman and Ed McClanahan, and four deceased authors: Sue Grafton, Alice Dunnigan, Helen Thomas and Jane Vance. Norman and McClanahan are legendary teachers and mentors, and both have been publishing books of high merit and popularity for 50 years. The other four inductees range from best-selling mystery writer (Grafton) to an acclaimed poet (Vance) to groundbreaking journalists (Dunnigan and Thomas).

We are moving the ceremony to the Kentucky Theatre to be sure that there’s enough room for you and your friends to attend. We want this annual event – as well as Kentucky-written books – to be available to everyone who likes to read.


Neil Chethik
Executive Director

For more information on the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, click here.