FRANKFORT, Ky. — Aline Dolinh, the Southeastern United States representative in the National Student Poets Program (NSPP), will join Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker and six former poets laureate for readings during this year's Kentucky Writers' Day ceremony.
Kentucky Writers' Day is a public celebration of the Commonwealth's extraordinary literary heritage and is held each year on or around April 24, the birthdate of Kentucky native Robert Penn Warren, the first U. S. poet laureate and winner of three Pulitzer Prizes. Dolinh, a 16-year-old sophomore from Oakton, Va., will read at the event and visit a local high school classroom as part of her participation in Kentucky Writers' Day, coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council.
"I think being able to represent the National Student Poets Program in Kentucky is an incredible honor, as well as a chance to share the love I have for poetry with people who might not yet be familiar with it," said Dolinh. "There's so much freedom within it, and that's why I'm so excited that the scope of the National Student Poets Program has taken me to Kentucky for Kentucky Writers' Day. Being able to read with a great poet like Frank X Walker, while also addressing an audience of young people, strikes me as an amazing opportunity for changing the way people think about poetry."
The NSPP, the nation’s highest honor for youth poets in grades 9-11 creating original work, is a signature initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Each year a class of five high school students whose work exhibits exceptional creativity, dedication to craft and promise is selected to serve one year as teen literary ambassadors.
"We hope that Aline's participation in Kentucky Writers' Day will inspire other young people to explore poetry and writing, whether for career purposes or to develop a creative outlet for self-expression," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "We're honored to have Aline share her work with us during our annual celebration of Kentucky's strong and important literary heritage."
Joining Dolinh and Walker for readings are past poets laureate Maureen Morehead, Gurney Norman, Jane Gentry Vance, Sena Jeter Naslund, Joe Survant and Richard Taylor.
School groups, Kentucky writers and the general public are invited to the event, which is free. Kentucky Writers' Day is at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 24, in the Capitol Rotunda, 700 Capitol Ave. Seating is limited. A reception in honor of all Kentucky writers will follow the morning activities on the Mezzanine.
Groups unable to travel to the event but who would like to celebrate Kentucky writers in their own communities are encouraged to use the arts council's Kentucky Writers' Day Planning Guide that can be downloaded for free on the agency's website.
For more information about Kentucky Writers' Day, visit the arts council online.
The National Student Poets Program is a signature initiative which reflects the national imprimatur of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in advancing arts education, links the National Student Poets with audiences and resources in their neighborhoods through the Institute of Museum and Library Services' community-based network of libraries and museums, and builds upon the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers' long-standing work with educators and creative teens through the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The program works in coordination with the Library of Congress and the U.S. Department of Education and the academic awards are generously provided by the Bernstein Family Foundation. More information on the Program can be found at www.artandwriting.org/NSPP.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.