Writers, Poets, & Journalists
Kentucky has a rich and multi-faceted literary history that includes some of the most famous, and widely published writers and poets in America. Many of them made names for themselves in the Southern Literary Renaissance of the early 20th Century; others have been key advocates for social change. In addition, numerous journalists have made their start in Kentucky.
The asterisk (*) symbol next to a name means that the individual was not born in Kentucky.
Sophia Alcorn (1883-1967) Developed the internationally used Tad-Oma method used to help deaf or blind students speak through their senses.
Noah Adams (Not Sure-Present) Co-host of National Public Radio’s (NPR) “All Things Considered” since 1979. Author and broadcast journalist.
Harriette Simpson Arnow (1909-1986) Native Kentucky writer who authored novels about Southern Appalachia.
Wendell E. Berry (1934-Present) Modern-day environmentalist, poet, agrarian, and novelist. Resident of Henry County.
Thomas D. Clark* (1903- Present) Historian laureate of Kentucky.
Sue Grafton (1940-Present) Mystery writer and best-selling alphabet mystery series.
Duncan Hines (1880-1959) Food critic and restaurant publisher.
Barbara Kingsolver (1955-Present) Novelist and Poet.
Bobbie Ann Mason (1940-Present) Novelist
Ed McClanahan (1932-Present) Novelist
Sena Jeter Naslund*
John Ed Pearce (1919-Present) Pulitzer prize winning journalist
Keno Don Hugo Rosa (1951-Present) Storyteller and artist of Donald Duck stories. Award winning comedic writer and artist
Diane Sawyer (1945- Present) Broadcast journalist, commentator. Co-anchor of Good Morning America.
Jesse Stuart (1907-1984) Author, educator, Kentucky Poet Laureate. Autobiography, “The Thread that Runs So True” in 1949.
James Still* (1906-2001) Poet, novelist, and Kentucky Poet Laureate.
Helen Thomas (1920- Present) Journalist and long-time White House correspondent. She has covered every president from Kennedy to the current Bush administration.
Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) Originator of “Gonzo” journalism. He used fiction techniques to portray real people and events that involved him.
Allen Tate (1899-1979) Critic, poet, and novelist. Original member of the Nashville “Fugitives.”
Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989) United States’ first Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize winner in 1947, 1958, 1979; the only 3 time winner