An inspirational poet, writer and teacher, Jane Gentry (1941-2014) was a professor of English at the University of Kentucky for forty years. She served with distinction as Kentucky’s Poet Laureate from 2007 to 2008. “The New and Collected Poems of Jane Gentry,” published this year by the University Press of Kentucky and edited by fellow poet, Julia Johnson, offers a moving collection of some of Gentry’s best-known verse as well as previously unpublished poems that show the full scope of her work, including her humor, irony and deep connection to the land.
Editor Julia Johnson worked with Jane Gentry and her daughters to compile this collection of Gentry’s most significant work, and the volume is the winner of the 2017 Thomas D. Clark Medallion Book award, which each year honors an especially important book on regional history or culture published by the University Press of Kentucky.
In an extraordinary literary program, Johnson, together with three of Kentucky’s most distinguished writers and poets laureate—Sena Jeter Naslund, Fred Smock and Richard Taylor—will celebrate Gentry’s remarkable work.
Julia Johnson is a poet and an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky. Sena Jeter Naslund, named Kentucky’s Poet Laureate in 2005, is the author of seven novels and is the Director of the MFA program in Writing at Spalding University. Fred Smock, Kentucky’s current Poet Laureate, is the Director of Creative Writing at Bellarmine University and the author of five poetry collections. Richard Taylor, professor of English and Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University, served as Kentucky’s Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2000 and has authored several collections of poetry as well as numerous works of fiction and non-fiction.
This program is jointly offered by The Filson Historical Society, the Thomas D. Clark Foundation and the University Press of Kentucky and is free to Filson members and non-members alike.