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Kentucky Poet Laureate to Speak at UC's Palmer Lecture


Williamsburg, Ky. - The University of the Cumberlands (UC) English Department is pleased to announce that Maureen Morehead, current Kentucky Poet Laureate, will deliver the 2011 Dr. Robert L. Palmer Memorial Lecture, Thursday, October 6, 2011, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gatliff Chapel on the UC campus.

The Palmer lecture series was established several years ago by a Jackson, Mississippi businessman and former Ambassador to Portugal, John Palmer to honor his uncle, Dr. Robert L. Palmer, long-time member of the UC English Department and pastor of Williamsburg’s First Baptist Church.

Writers invited as Palmer lecturers have made definite contributions to the world of literature and will contribute to the UC student body’s advancing their understanding of both the creative and the philosophical underpinnings of literature. Past lecturers have included North Carolina novelist Lee Smith, Kentucky poet and scholar Jim Wayne Miller, cofounder of the Affrilachian Poets group Frank X Walker and U. S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins.

In 1990, the Poet Laureate of Kentucky became a more formal honor, the appointments now coming from the Governor instead of the Legislature and covering only a two year period. Writers honored as Poet Laureate have ranged from James Still to Richard Taylor to Gurney Norman.

It is interesting to note that Morehead’s first collection appeared in 1990. Maureen Morehead taught in the Jefferson County Schools for 30 years and currently serves as Poet-in-Residence at Spalding University. Morehead holds the bachelors degree from Western Kentucky University and a Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. Morehead states, “I draw my imagery from Kentucky.”

Dr. Tom Frazier, Chairman of the UC Department of English states, “Our Palmer lecture series have been an outstanding success. The writers who have delivered past lectures have proven the power of the word. We are pleased to have Maureen Morehead this year and are confident that our winning tradition will continue.”

The Palmer Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the UC English Department at 606.539.4455.

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.

Article Provided by Katie Betourne, University of the Cumberlands Multimedia & Athletic Services Student Assistant