The Carnegie Center has announced the inaugural six inductees into the newly created Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.
The freshman class includes:
Harriette Arnow, the novelist best known for "The Dollmaker," was born in 1908 in Wayne County.
William Wells Brown, was born into slavery in Lexington in 1814. His novel, "Clotel" (1853), is considered the first novel written by an African American.
Harry Caudill, born in Whitesburg in 1922, was the author of "Night Comes to the Cumberlands."
Elizabeth Madox Roberts, born in Perryville in 1881, was a novelist and poet, as well as a contemporary of the Southern Renaissance writers. She wrote The Time of Man.
James Still, best known for "iver of Earth," lived most of his life in a log house on Dead Mare Branch in Knott County.
Robert Penn Warren, the nation's first poet laureate, received the Pulitzer Prize for his novel "All the King's Men" (1946) and the Pulitzer Prizes in 1958 and 1979 for his poetry. He was born in Guthrie, Todd County, in 1907.
"These six writers are not only artists with the written word, they are authentic Kentuckians who spent their lives telling stories of the people, places and culture of our state," said Neil Chethik, executive director of the Carnegie Center. "There's something about Kentucky that produces great writers, and these six helped create Kentucky's literary legacy."
Selection to the hall of fame involved a three-step process: 1) nominations from the general public; 2) recommendations from a committee chaired by Lori Meadows, director of the Kentucky Arts Council, and including former state poets laureate, novelists, bookstore owners, a publisher and the state librarian; and 3) final selection by the Carnegie Center's Hall of Fame Creation Committee.
For a writer to have been eligible for this inaugural year, he/she must be 1) deceased; 2) published; 3) someone whose writing is of enduring stature; and 4) someone connected in a significant way to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. (After this first year, the hall plans to include living writers as well.)
The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame was created to recognize Kentucky writers whose work reflects the character and culture of our commonwealth, and to educate Kentuckians about our state's rich literary heritage.