A Successful Arnow Conference
The 8th Annual Harriette Arnow Conference was held on April 9, 2010 at Somerset Community College. What Does the Future Hold? was the theme of the conference with around fifty people in attendance.
The day began with a welcome by Dr. Tony Honeycutt, Provost of Somerset Community College, and then a brief reading by Jeff Worley, editor of Odyssey Magazine and author of two chapbooks, Natural Selections and The Other Heart. He recently edited What Comes Down To Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets. Creative writing workshops were available throughout the day and were conducted by Jeff Worley, Jim Tomlinson, Kate Larken, Liz Fentress and Gurney Norman.
After the book signing and lunch, the keynote speaker was Ronald D. Eller, Ph.D. He is currently Hallam Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. Eller has spent more than forty years writing and teaching about the Appalachian region. The topic of his keynote address was On the Eve of Another Transition: Prospects for the Future of Appalachia. Eller has published more than sixty articles, but is most well known for his award-winning books, Miners, Millhands and Mountaineers; The Industrialization of the Appalachian South and Uneven Ground: Appalachia Since 1945.
Bruce Singleton, Chair of the Arnow-Casada Legacy Commission, brought the attendees up to date on the Arnow-Casada Schoolhouse Project and discussed the best possible path to take to make the school usable and accessible to the public. Tom Arnow, son of Harriette Arnow, spoke briefly about his mother and shared a story about her and a close friend, illustrating how our perception of events and people change as we get older.
Kentucky Poet Laureate Gurney Norman shared a reading with the crowd and then spoke about our relationship with the land and ways to think about it in a different way. Norman is Director of Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky. Norman continues to expand the cultural awareness of the region and state by reporting, writing, publishing and teaching. His novella-length folktale Ancient Creek will be released as a book in 2010, accompanied by an archival reading of the tale. The conference closed with Sharon Whitehead, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs, reading from Arnows book Flowering of the Cumberlands.
For further information about the Harriette Arnow Conference, please contact Lynn Crabtree at 606-451-6765.