One of Winchester’s best kept literary secrets is that one of Kentucky’s best living poets lives here. His name is Steven Cope. The other day he came to the library and donated copies of his published works. The library had a few of his books, but not even half the number he has published in the last decade.
Since 2002, Steven has published 12 books: five volumes of poetry for adults, two volumes of poetry for children, one volume of children’s plays, a novel, a collection of stories and anti-stories, a collection of proverbs and a collection of fables and tales.
That is only half of his creative life. Steven is also a musician, songwriter and teacher. But, he primarily considers himself a poet whose work is firmly rooted in and dedicated to the people, animals and hills of eastern Kentucky.
The author information page of his new “Selected Poems” (Broadstone Books, 2013) reads, in part: “Born in Menifee County, Kentucky, on July 3, 1949, Cope’s heart is still, and will no doubt ever remain in those hills. The undergirding and the heartbeat and muscle of his creative impulse derive not from the city, not from the archives of literature, but from a close and fundamental connection with the land and its creatures.”
In today’s political climate it’s doubtful any poet would still want to be, as Shelley avowed, an “unacknowledged legislator of the world,” but a poet like Steven Cope is, undoubtedly, a voice and seer of his place.
Steven’s books are available now, so put his name on your reading list and pick up a few the next time you’re in the library.
Or, better yet, you can hear Steven read at the Carnegie Center in Lexington on Thursday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m. It will be a great reading. He’ll have copies of his books available there for purchase and autographs.
Lots of keen things are happening at the library this week. Here’s a rundown: Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., the library’s discussion group, Meeting of Minds, meets to discuss Christianity’s influence on the development of Democracy. The discussions are lively, insightful and congenial; everyone is there to share ideas and listen. If you’d like to join, but need more information, call me at the library.
On Wednesday at 2 and 6:30 p.m., Kentucky Picture Show features a movie from 2012, starring Dennis Quaid and Bradley Cooper, about the ethical difficulties of a young author who wins acclaim for a book he didn’t write. Melodrama with free popcorn and sodas. How do we do it?
Also Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., the idol of the Clark County Extension Office, Jennifer Howard, will be presenting the latest of her Wow! Workshops, this one about citrus fruits. Jennifer will have lots of samples, and better, lots of suggestions about how to prepare and serve citrus. After all those dark, cold days of winter, citrus really gives your system a boost.
On Thursday, the monthly Local History potluck dinner and program (where the elite local historians meet) will be held in the community room. This month, University of Kentucky archaeologist Nancy O’Malley talks about her recent excavations around Fort Boonesborough. Please register to attend this program. The potluck dinner begins at 6:15 p.m.; Nancy O’Malley’s program begins at 7 p.m.
Has the lost tomb of Princess Honeysuckle been found at last? Find out at the library.