The Richmond Register

February 23, 2013

Kentucky author and former poet laureate Gurney Norman to read Thursday at RAAC


Special to the Register

RICHMOND — Author Gurney Norman is known by some as the 2009-10 Kentucky Poet Laureate, by others for his mythic travel novel, “Divine Right’s Trip,” and his short story collection, “Kinfolks.”

His many students know him as either director of creative writing at the University of Kentucky or senior writer-in-residence at the Hindman Settlement School’s annual Appalachian Writers Workshop.

Norman’s current project is his novella-length folktale, “Ancient Creek.”

He will take time from his busy schedule to read and sign “Ancient Creek,” as well as selections from his earlier works, at the Richmond Area Arts Center, 399 West Water St. on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Norman will be joined for the evening by author and illustrator Robert Gipe.

The reading is free and open to the public.

Norman’s influence on regional culture has placed him in a category with other Kentucky literary luminaries such as James Still, Wendell Berry and Jesse Stuart.

Three Norman stories published in “Kinfolks” have been adapted to films that have been screened at both the Sundance Film Festival and the New York Film Festival.

Norman also has narrated and directed three separate hour long documentaries for Kentucky Educational Television.

The director of the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Gipe recently was featured in the New York Times for his role as an executive producer of the Higher Ground series of community plays.

He is also well known for his role on the staff at the Appalachian Writers Workshop where his 6-foot 5-inch frame is outsized only by his quick wit.

A Gipe-penned short story that appeared in the Appalachian Heritage literary publication recently was hosen for the 40th anniversary issue.

For the RAAC event, Gipe will read from his current project “Trampoline,” an illustrated novel in acts. “Trampoline” is currently being published in serial form online at Still: The Journal.