Kentucky Women Writers Conference, featuring C.E. Morgan and Diane Ackerman

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Presenters at this year’s Kentucky Women Writers conference include Diane Ackerman, Jennifer Chang, Sue Halpern, C.E. Morgan, Simone Muench, Heather Sellers, Patricia Smith, Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, Valerie Wilson-Wesley.

The weekend begins with Friday’s Gypsy Poetry Slam, 7 pm to 10 pm, a spoken word poetry competition featuring national slam champion, Patricia Smith. Downtown Arts Center on Main.

The Saturday Keynote is an Evening with Diane Ackerman, 8 pm, Memorial Hall on UK campus.

The conference concludes on Sunday, September 12  at 7 pm at the Carnegie Center, and will include new work by C.E. Morgan, Crystal Wilkinson, and Kathleen Driskell (co-sponsored by WRFL’s Boomslang).

C.E. Morgan studied English and voice at Berea College, and has a master’s in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. Morgan was featured in in the New Yorker’s 20 under 40 fiction issue this summer. Her story, “Twins,” was included in the June 14 and June 21, 2010 issue. Her next book is about horse racing and race relations.

She was selected for the  National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35″ in fiction for 2009, celebrating emerging talent.

The emcee for the event honoring the authors was Kentucky native, Richard Hell (of Richard Hell and the Voidoids).

In a spring 2010 interview with Appalachian Heritage, she said, “I don’t think of my writing as a job. I think of it as a vocation. . . . Vocation is tied up with notions of service, and as a young artist you serve people by giving them your best, the work you produce that you truly believe to be of value.”

Asked by  L Magazine whose celebrity tell-all she’d sprint to the store to get, she said, memorably, “Anything by or about Dolly Parton. I wouldn’t buy a cover-up. Anyone ashamed of Dolly doesn’t deserve her.”

Asked to weigh in on the Franzenfreude  in the Courier Journal last week, she said, “Male genius has far outnumbered female genius in the history of literature, and it shouldn’t be a crime to say so…This issue will die when women produce more and more work of indisputable genius and, until then, we need to stop championing mediocre female work out of defensiveness, stop firing spitballs at male work and stop dissolving the line between high art and pop art.”

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