Poets Serve Bluegrass Flair to Crowd

by Alex Keys
Columnist

With the World Equestrian Games drawing a wide variety of guests to Lexington, the Affrilachian Poets and Holler Poet Series could not miss the chance to celebrate the multiplicity of writers in the Bluegrass Region.

Professor Jeremy Paden reads some of his newest work at the Carnegie Center on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, nine poets gathered among a crowded room of Lexingtonians to each read a handful of poetry written during the past year. Held at the Carnegie Center, “Born and Bred” was, according to Transylvania Spanish professor Dr. Jeremy Paden, an opportunity to “showcase the really vibrant, literary life that Lexington is home to.”

Paden read several pieces from his collection of food poems.

“Each of them sort of explores a different facet of the fruit,” said Paden. “Both the chocolate and the mango poem look at the relationship of the fruit as a commodity.”
The event was Paden’s first reading as a member of the Affrilachian Poets, a group started by Kentucky’s own Frank X Walker in 1991.

Other members of the Affrilachian Poets who performed included Mitchell L.H. Douglas, Keith Wilson and Bianca Spriggs, who co-hosted the event with Eric Sutherland.
The Affrilachian Poets were joined by poets from the Holler Poet Series, a monthly series at Al’s Bar that started in 2008. Readers from this group included Sutherland, Katerina Stoykova-Klemver, Sunny Montgomery and Whitney Baker.

Joining these two groups was Dr. Richard Taylor, former Kentucky poet laureate and current visiting Kenan writer at Transy.

The readers displayed a multiplicity of backgrounds and interests. Each voice rang with its own personal flair, making it difficult to believe that each poet had roots in the Bluegrass State. Topics ranged from oranges to cadavers, from life as a butcher to kissing a foreigner.

If you missed out on “Born and Bred” or would just like more poetry, stop by the Carnegie Center on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 6:00 p.m. for a reading featuring Kim Edwards, Silas House, Frank X Walker and Eric Reese.

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