R. Stoneback and the
Elizabeth Madox Roberts Society from New York will be joining us again
this year. Dr. Stoneback is a Distinguished Professor of
English at State University of New York at New Paltz. He is the
recipient of the state of New York 2004 Distinguished Writer Award and
author of eight books.
Dr. H.R. Stoneback
KY Writer's Day Show - performances by
Dawn Lane Osborn, and other
Kentucky Writers' Day Musicians. Dawn is a poet, song writer, and
musician and performs professionally.
Dawn Lane Osborn
Emcee for the weekend will be Terry Ward,
journalist, historian and Chair
of the Humanities at
College in Springfield, Kentucky.
List of Other Writers and Performers
"Take the inventiveness of Boy Dylan, the melodic
voice of John Denver; add the showmanship of
Garrison Keilor and that's Michael Johnathon." -- Bob Spear,
Publisher of HEARTLAND REVIEW
"Michael Johnathon is a folksinger,
songwriter, concert performer, author ... and now playwright ...
who has a worldwide radio audience approaching a million listeners
each week." He also created the world's first multi-camera weekly
series broadcast on the Internet.
This 'Woody Guthrie in a Cyber World' grew up in upstate New York
along the shores of the Hudson River. At 19 years old, he moved to
the Mexican border town of Laredo, Texas and found a job working as
a late night DJ on KLAR-FM. One night, he played Turn, Turn, Turn
by the 60's folkrock group The Byrds. As the song played, he
recalled seeing Pete Seeger and Harry Chapin performing in his
Dutchess County hometown in New York. By the time the song ended,
he decided to pursue a career as a folksinger.
Two months later, he bought a guitar and a banjo and settled into
the isolated mountain hamlet of Mousie, Kentucky. For the next
three years, he traveled up and down the hollers of the Appalachian
mountains knocking on doors and learning the music of the mountain
people. Michael experienced hundreds of front porch hootenannies
throughout Appalachia where folks would pull out their banjos and
fiddles, sit on their front porches with him and play the old songs
that their grandparents taught them.
Soon enough, he began performing concerts at hundreds of colleges,
schools and fairs. He performed two thousand Earth Concerts, plus
benefits for the homeless, farm families, and shelters helping
battered women and children. In all, he sang to over two million
people in one four-year stretch. Billboard Magazine headlined him
as an "UnSung Hero." He has been featured on CNN, TNN, CMT, AP,
Headline News, NPR, Bravo and the BBC ..."
Web site: http://www.woodsongs.com
too, am a Kentuckian…”
Elizabeth Wallen was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1952,
and would have died there in the land of 10,000 lakes and loons,
had she not sold the little hobby farm in St. Paul metro-area in
February 2007…just before the total mortgage meltdown. She and her
husband Ken relocated in April 2007 to 90 Hazy Downs Road in Marion
County, Raywick, Kentucky. From 1980 to 1982 she lived in St.
Mary, Kentucky on the site of the former St. Mary’s College in a
place that was reborn as Cornupcopia.
at heart a writer: of poetry, press releases, newsletters,
advertising copy and feature stories. She has more than 25 years
experience in advertising, marketing and sales, including the two
major daily newspapers in Minnesota – the Star Tribune and Pioneer
Brad Lanham, born and
raised in Gravel Switch Kentucky, is founder and president of the
Kentucky Fellowship of Musicians whose mission is “Bringing
Musicians Together”. “There are a lot of musicians around, but they
don’t seem to know each other or their shared love for music.
Giving those folks an avenue to
meet and arena to play in is our
Raised on Country & Bluegrass,
rebelled with Rock, redeemed by Contemporary Christian Rock, and in
the middle of Blues & Jazz, Lanham claims to be a lover of all
genera of music. “If it’s music, I want to be in the middle of it.”
Hamilton is director of Lebanon & Marion County Tourism. He
is the former sports editor, former news editor and former editor
of The Lebanon Enterprise.
Elizabeth Madox Roberts Society will be part of the events,
in conjunction with their conference at St. Catherine College in
Paula Sparrow from Kentucky
Living magazine is back with more from her Creature Comforts
column. Though she usually writes about animal rescues in Kentucky,
this time she traveled to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in
Lampang, Thailand, where she learned about the plight of the Asian
elephants there. Of her writing about elephants and all animals,
she says, "There is no greater joy for a writer than to write what
you are passionate about."
Virginia Gillespie Vassallo graduated cum laude from The
Kimberley School in June, 1969, and spent her freshman year of
college at Jackson College, Tufts University. After marriage she
attended Susquehanna University and, two children later, she
graduated from Montclair State University in 1979 with a BA in
As a single mother looking for a
better job with more income, she entered the Seton Hall University
School of Law in 1982 where she obtained her JD and was admitted to
the New Jersey bar in 1986.
Virginia’s roots hail back to the
founding of our country. Her Quaker relatives arrived in
Pennsylvania with William Penn and some of them ultimately owned
most of the colony of Delaware. Another relative is believed to
have captained a supply ship for Jamestown colony. Eleazer
Robinson and Henry Clayton fought in the Revolutionary War. The
artist, Benjamin West, is probably the most well-known of her
ancestors. And, of course, there is her grandfather, Guy T.
Viskniskki, who founded The Stars and Stripes newspaper
during World War I.
Virginia and her husband,
Russell, who is also an author, reside on a large farm in
South-Central Kentucky where she rides her horse, Diablo, and cares
for her rescued animals. She is the grandmother of four and is
awaiting the arrival of another set of twin grandchildren.
An avid reader, she has propelled
her husband into their newly founded company, Krazy Duck
Productions. Like her grandfather who took failing newspapers and
sculpted them into profitable operations, Virginia is the
administrative backbone of her husband’s company and a formidable
writer in her own right.
Russell A. Vassallo always wanted to be a cowboy, but being
bedridden with asthma and pneumonia as a child made books become
his companions. Russ majored in political science and literature at
Seton Hall University and minored in philosophy, religion and
education. In 1958 he entered Seton Hall School of Law,
graduating in 1961 with a J.D.
In the course of his work as an insurance adjuster before taking
the bar exam, he met a couple of writers who encourage him to
continue his own writing. He took the bar exam 10 years after
graduating from law school, opened his own law practice and was
able to pursue his love of writing by working on Appellate Briefs,
business letters and Letters to the Editor of many local
Russell's stories of animal rescues after moving to his central
Kentucky farm are told in Tears and Tales: Stories of Animal and
The drive to be a cowboy is still with Russ. He horseback
rides on both his own trail system and around Kentucky. He
and Virginia own two Kentucky Mountain Saddle horses - the type
that are gaited and smooth to ride. Russ also rides a
standardbred ex-race horse whom he and Virginia rescued. Red
Leader's story is going to the editor this winter.
MOORE - Artisan, Craftsman, Musician / Songwriter presently
resides in Ashville, North Carolina. His grandfather gets the
credit for teaching him to play guitar and Johnny Cash for the
inspiration to start writing songs at the age of fifteen. Being
reared in a military family, he gathered influences from all over
the country; mainly the southeast. Moore was introduced to Penn's
Store when he accompanied buddy and Hall of Fame inductee Billy Edd
Wheeler at the 2007 "GREAT OUTHOUSE BLOWOUT".
Wells is a self-proclaimed writing imposter. After graduation
from college (UK, of course), she became a blood banker and worked
in hospitals in Lexington, Cincinnati, New Orleans, and then spent
21 years at Central Kentucky Blood Center in Lexington. In 1994
she returned to Casey County, her home, and worked two more years
in hospitals in Somerset and Liberty. She retired at a tender age
and pursued a part-time career in house cleaning, banking, blood
banking consulting, marketing, and trying not to get on any more
Joberta was a technical writer
during her career as a blood banker but it was never for fun. In
1998 Donna Carman, the new editor of The Casey County News
in Liberty, asked her to write a monthly opinion column called
It’s A Hoot. Over the subsequent years the column has appeared
more frequently than monthly and she has done other writing for the
paper. All of her writing has been for fun and she says, “I don’t
do murder, rape and pillaging, beauty pageants, or turkey- and
deer-shooting stories. Let the pros do those.”
Joberta lives on a farm in
Yosemite where she feeds a flock of turkeys, a herd of deer, a
passel of ‘possums, a community of ‘coons, a family of foxes, a
quartet of cattle, and a cat or two.
keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth."
Together Blaine and Catherine Staat write the column "He Said, She Said"
that can be seen monthly in the Casey County
A veteran of both the U.S. military and Corporate America, Blaine Staat
escaped from Orlando Florida in 2005 on a quest to find a
better quality of life for his family. He now happily resides
in Liberty, Kentucky, where he owns and operates Linear Wave
Publishing and directs the day-to-day operations of the
Liberty-Casey County Chamber of Commerce.
Blaine has authored three books to date: Clash of the Figments,
a silly & obnoxious satire of hard-boiled detective mysteries;
Finding Liberty, a retrospective collection of stories &
essays; and the just-published What So Proudly We Hail, a
disturbing speculative novel about life in a nightmarish American
Sparrow have been performing and writing songs together for 44
years. They have done world-wide concert tours under the
auspices of the USIA, the British Council and other international
cultural organizations throughout Asia and Europe, from China to
Thailand, Russia to France, etc. They have given concerts at
more than 100 colleges and universities, from Bejing to Cambridge
University, from the University of Paris to SUNY-New Paltz
and throughout the United States. They have been featured
club entertainers from Nashville to New York to Kentucky. In
addition, they have appeared on numerous radio and television
programs throughout the world and their songs have been widely
published. In 1984 they recorded several albums in China,
which sold more than 5 million copies there.
Gregg Neikirk is a professor of English at
Westfield State College (Massachusetts) where he teaches writing
and literature, including seminars in Songwriting for the English
and Music departments. A Danville native and Centre graduate with
a Ph.D from the University of Kentucky, he has written songs since
his school days in Nashville during the 1970's. He is the president
of the Elizabeth Madox Roberts literary society, and is
co-directing this year's scholarly conference and the society's
Kentucky Writer's Day events at Harrodsburg, Penn's Store, and
Springfield. Both his twin sons, Adam and Lee, are guitar majors at
Westfield State. Neikirk is married to Nancy White Neikirk, also a
Christina Lovin is the author
of What We Burned for Warmth
(Finishing Line Press). Further publication credits
Harvard Summer Review, Diner,
Hunger Mountain, The Bark, Missing Mountains: We went to the
mountaintop but it wasn’t there, Susan B & Me, and other
journals and anthologies. An award-winning poet, Lovin has studied
in Harvard University’s writing program and holds an MFA in
Creative Writing from New England College. She is the recipient of
several artists’ grants from the Kentucky Arts Council (most
notably a 2007 Al Smith Fellowship) and the Kentucky Foundation for
Women. Chosen by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Lovin
recently served as Writer-in-Residence at Devil’s Tower National
Monument, Wyoming; and the Andrews Experimental Forest near
Corvallis, Oregon, in conjunction with the Spring Creek Project,
which selects writers whose work focuses on nature and/or ecology.
Lovin teaches college level writing courses and presents writing
workshops in and around Central Kentucky.
Emily Toadvine is
the video photographer at The
Advocate-Messenger in Danville where she has worked 21 years.
She lives in a log cabin in the Forkland community near Penn's Store with her husband and two
children. She enjoys reading all Kentucky writers.
Virginia (Gigi) Ragland Biles
is the author of A Child's Garden of Blessings, published by
Publications International, Ltd, in April 2005. After 32
teaching Gigi retired to pursue a writing career. A Danville
native, she acts and directs in the West T. Hill Community Theatre.
She has had stories published in many collections of children's
stories and enjoys going to schools and reading or talking about
the writing process.
Linda S. Prather was born in
Kentucky and is a resident
of Lexington. Her greatest desire as a writer is to write
characters that readers love, hate, laugh and cry with. She
loves learning -- period. She received an associate degree in
metaphysics in 1992 and has become a Certified Clinical
Hypnotherapist. Her first novel, The Gifts,
incorporated metaphysics into fiction.
Andy Rice, a native of Pulaski County, Kentucky currently
resides in Boyle County with his wife Jane. Andy's musical
inspiration comes from his uncle, who would
bring his guitar to family gatherings and perform for the family.
Andy's mother Geneva Rice was also an inspiration as she also
played the guitar and sang. Andy has written two songs,
"Which Way to Pray" and "Slipped and Fell in Love". Andy also
played guitar and sang solo in a country band named "Andy and the
Dandy's" in the early 1980s. In the '80s and '90s he played
with "The Kings Mt. Bluegrass Boys."
Songwriter Gary Cooper plays the guitar; Patti Ritter
plays the fiddle and they make beautiful harmonies together
performing original songs and covers. They play in
restaurants and bars, at parties and on many porches with friends.
Folks enjoy their range of musical styles from blues to swing, a
little bluegrass to country, and as much rock and roll as two
people can pull off. Home is down in a holler in Cumberland
County, Kentucky; in their travels they have played at events and
venues in Nashville, Bowling Green, New Jersey, Colorado and many
places in between. Visit their website at
Beth Dotson Brown is a
freelance writer and editor. She contributes regularly to a number
magazines and newspapers, including Danville’s Advocate-Messenger
newspaper and Total Health and Fitness magazine. Beth has written
for Catholic publications, including Catholic Digest, Our Sunday
Visitor, and St. Anthony Messenger. And her work has won awards
from the International Network of Young Journalists and the
Catholic Press Association.
Beth also puts her skills to use
to help nonprofit organizations with their communications
endeavors, to teach writing, and to lead writing retreats. She was
awarded a fellowship by the Knight Center for Specialized
Journalism, an artist’s residency by the Kentucky Foundation for
Women, and grants by the Kentucky Arts Council. She also writes
fiction. Yes! I Am Catholic is Beth’s first nonfiction book. She
lives in Lancaster, Kentucky. You can reach Beth at
Nesbitt, a Pennsylvania native, has had one desire in life --
to be a successful musician and songwriter. At the age of 14
he started playing guitar and writing songs. He soon realized that
the more instruments he could play, the easier it would be to get
into a band.
At the age of
17 he learned to play drums and bass guitar. The piano soon
followed. Jon was being influenced by musicians such as John
Lennon, Bob Dylan and the guitar playing of Jimi Hendrex. He loved
the showmanship of Kiss. The list goes on and on.
that a true musician should be open to different styles of music
from rock and blues to folk and country. This line of thought
has helped him develop his own style. Over the years he has
worked with many of Central Kentucky's top country and rock variety
bands. He has also preformed as a solo act.
want to be classified as a “one style writer”. He wants to be
known as a true musician, songwriter and performer. With his
love for music and a God given talent,
Jon has the ability to succeed.
Others to attend:
(No Photos or bios)
View the 2007
Kentucky Writers Day Events Here
View the 2007 Kentucky
Writers Day Performers list here.
View the 2006 Kentucky
Writers Day Performers list here.
For more information contact Jeanne Penn Lane at
Store (859) 332-7706 or (859) 332-7715, or
It is best to call ahead to check times and
257 Penn's Store Road
Gravel Switch, Kentucky 40328
859-332-7715 or 859-332-7706