Kentucky Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon ’71 to give Founders Day address Jan. 20

Posted by Centre News in Convocation, News 13 Jan 2016

lyon_george_ellaKentucky Poet Laureate George Ella Lyon ’71 is the 2016 Centre College Founders Day speaker. She will deliver her remarks on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m. in Newlin Hall of the Norton Center for the Arts.

As part of the annual Founders Day ceremony, the College will present Lyon with an honorary degree.

Centre received its charter from the Kentucky legislature on Jan. 21, 1819.

Lyon has written four books of poetry, a novel, a memoir and a short story collection, as well as nearly 40 books for young readers. Her honors include an Al Smith Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize nomination and a feature in the PBS series The United States of Poetry.

Often rooted in Appalachia, Lyon’s work speaks to a broad audience. As a Booklist reviewer wrote of the novel With a Hammer for My Heart, “Lyon gives readers a story rich in precise, gorgeous language that glows like a sword on the forge and cuts as deep… Tragedies old and new weave a tiny Kentucky town into the center of the universe.”

A native of Harlan County, Ky., and a Centre graduate, Lyon earned a Ph.D. in English at Indiana University.

by Diane Johnson
January 13, 2015