Writers who need a temporary office find one in the Writers’ Reference Room. The Writers’ Reference Room provides an inviting space for writers of all stages to write, use our free Wi-Fi, and peruse reference materials. A variety of references are available on writing skills and the business of writing and publishing, including a section for job seekers. This room has free-access to a variety of Writers’ Market books, literary journals, and magazines, as well as a collection of works by Kentucky authors to further promote the reading and study of these books.

The Writers’ Reference Room is open during Carnegie Center business hours. Writing groups, workshops, and meetings regularly use this room. Please stop by the front desk or call ahead to ensure that the space is available): 859-254-4175 ext. 21.


The Reading Room is open to the public during the Carnegie Center's regular buisness hours. It's a great place to read a book or work using the Carnegie Center's free Wi-Fi. You are welcome to take a free book. We are always restocking the Reading Room bookshelves with new book donations.

The Reading Room's is named after Harriette Simpson Arnow (1908–1986), an American novelist and historian. Arnow was born in Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky, and grew up in neighboring Pulaski County. In 1954, she published her most famous work, The Dollmaker, about a poor Kentucky family forced by economic necessity to move to Detroit. The novel not only reflects her own life, but also reflects the experiences of many Appalachians who migrated from their homes for the promise of better lives in the industrialized North.


National Book Ward winner Nikky Finney wrote Rice (1995), her second book of poetry, in these Carnegie cubbies in the early 1990s. She said, "I believe that public spaces should also have at their heart a sort of intimacy. I found here the intimacy of the imagination, the intimacy of books."

The Carnegie Center has eight writing cubbies available for $40 per month. The renter will only have access to the cubby during the Carnegie Center’s regular business hours. If you are interested in renting a writing cubby, please contact Karen Little at karen@carnegiecenterlex.org or 859-254-4175 ext. 21.


As part of the Carnegie Center’s mission to promote literacy and learning, the SkyDome Gallery showcases a diverse range of new and established artists. We believe that promoting unique perspectives not only welcomes upcoming artists into the vibrant Lexington arts community, but also promotes empathy and appreciation for the various artistic disciplines that have shaped our culture.

The SkyDome Gallery is located on the second floor of the Carnegie Center and is open during normal business hours as well as the LexArts HOP. The LexArts HOP, commonly known as Gallery Hop, takes place on the third Friday of every other month between the hours of 5 and 8 pm. For more information about the LexArts HOP, please visit www.lexarts.org/discover/lexarts-hop.


The BCTC @ Operation Read program, in the basement of the Carnegie Center, provides 5 levels of English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, Basic through Advanced. Classes are Monday through Thursday, mornings only. Classes and books/materials are free. Assistance with transportation and childcare may be provided. 
Schedule your assessment today by calling 859-246-6611 or BCTCAdultEd.Fayette@kctcs.edu. You will need to provide the student's name, Date Of Birth, mailing address, phone number, and email address. Students must complete registration and assessment prior to enrollment.


WEKU-FM’s weekly news magazine program, Eastern Standard, in partnership with the Carnegie Center and the arts news website UnderMain, broadcasts regular interviews with Kentucky authors and poets about their latest works. The series is hosted by Tom Eblen, a journalist, writer, and photographer who serves as the Carnegie Center’s Literary Arts Liaison. 



Lexington in the 21st century is a hub for writers. They converge here from throughout the state and region to study, teach, and find an audience. Soon after its founding in the late 1700s, Lexington became known as the "Athens of the West" for its writing and learning culture. It was also a place where people and ideas clashed, and that drama became the subjects of local literature: slavery, civil rights, women's rights, politics, religion, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Lexington writers have not only produced great books -- many have become influential advocates for change.


Every Saturday and Sunday JUNE - AUGUST, one to two authors will have a reserved spot at the Homegrown Authors table at the Lexington Farmers Market. Each author brings their own books, signage, and anything else to decorate the table. The author is responsible for selling the books, taking payments, making change, etc. Please come prepared to share the table if necessary. There is no charge to participate. However, we ask that you have information about the Carnegie Center and the Kentucky Book Festival at your table to help with marketing (materials will be provided when you check in at the market). 

We hope to see you soon at the Carnegie Center, home to writers, lifelong learners, & the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Join Us

251 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507

(859) 254-4175

Monday – Thursday: 10:00AM – 7:30PM
Friday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Saturday: 10:00AM – 2:00PM
Sunday: CLOSED

Monday – Friday: 10:00AM – 7:30PM

Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED