Kentucky’s former poet laureate to be featured at Oct. 24 poetry reading

JOE SURVANTJEFFERSON CITY (press release)—Carson-Newman University’s Sixth Annual Henrietta Jenkins Memorial Homecoming Poetry Reading will feature former Poet Laureate of Kentucky Joe Survant on Friday, Oct. 24. The 4 p.m. event is free and open to the public.

“Through his poetry, Joe Survant celebrates human history, its dreams and its journey to build community,” said Dr. Jennifer Hall, director of the Appalachian Cultural Center. “His work clearly reflects Professor Jenkins’ love of literature, language, history and travel—as well as her desire to recognize the importance of community and connection among all peoples.”

A native of Owensboro, Kentucky, Joe Survant served as that state’s poet laureate from 2002–2004 and is the author of five collections of poetry. His poems have appeared in magazines both in the U.S. and abroad, including the U.K., Singapore, Malaysia and China. His work has also been collected in more than a dozen anthologies.

Survant grew up on the Ohio River, which deeply influenced his writing. Ponds, streams, and rivers, above and below ground—is a constant presence in his poetry.

Survant has taught at the University of Kentucky, the Universiti Sains Malaysia and is retired from Western Kentucky University where he is a Professor Emeritus of English. His awards include the Arkansas Poetry Prize, the State Street Press Award, an Al Smith Fellowship in Poetry from the Kentucky Arts Council, a Fulbright to Malaysia and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Mary Patton Sarros, a 1963 alumna, established the Henrietta Jenkins Memorial Poetry Reading in 2009 in honor of her former professor.

Held in concert with Carson-Newman’s homecoming weekend, the reading will be held in the University’s Appalachian Cultural Center. Seating is limited.

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