KY Great Writers: Fenton Johnson, Dave Harrity, Jesse Donaldson

This past October, we had the pleasure of hosting Fenton Johnson, Dave harrity, and Jesse Donaldson for our Kentucky Great Writers Series. Local historian and Carnegie Center’s Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame Coordinator, James Goode, introduced each of the readers.

You may play using the above player or download by clicking here.

Fenton Johnson’s The Man Who Loved Birds (University Press of Kentucky, 2016) tells the story of a Trappist Monk on trial for cultivating marijuana. He talks about the history of hemp and how the nylon industry led to the criminalization of marijuana. The character then talks about the capitalism of farming and the hypocrisy of the justice system.

Dave Harrity reads from his newest poetry collections, Our Father in the Year of the Wolf (WordFarm, 2016), and These Intricacies (Cascade Books, 2015). He mentions that all proceeds of his book sales went to the Episcopal Peace Fellowship.

Jesse Donaldson’s The More Things Disappear (Thomas Dunne Books, 2016) is about a Kentucky Sheriff investigating the murder of his predecessor. It takes a hard look at Kentucky’s oxycontin addiction. At one point [47:08], he says that he learned to write from the Carnegie Center’s Jan Isenhour.

Minutes of the Recording:

  • 00:00 Jennifer Mattox introduces the event and thanks LexArts and the Kentucky Arts Council for partly funding the event as well as the Morris Book Shop and Nate’s Coffee for sponsoring the event.
  • 03:12 James Goode introduces Fenton Johnson and gives a brief bio and overview of his works
  • 03:30 Fenton Johnson reads
  • 20:18 James Goode introduces Dave Harrity
  • 20:18 Dave Harrity reads
  • 40:57 James Goode introduces Jesse Donaldson
  • 45:22 Jesse Donaldson reads

The Kentucky Great Writers Series connects authors to readers and writers in an intimate atmosphere and is operated by the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, Kentucky.

Posters for the event were designed and printed by Cricket Press.

Author: Bronson O'Quinn

Bronson O'Quinn is a writer, graphic designer, and web developer living in Lexington, Kentucky with his equally talented wife and three ridiculous cats.

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