FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) — April 26 was Kentucky Writer’s Day, a tremendously important day for writers young and old across the state. Just two days prior, late Kentucky poet Robert Penn Warren was remembered on his birthday for his long history of writing within the commonwealth.

“Kentucky is a stronger, richer, more interesting and more connected place because of them,” Gov. Andy Beshear says, referring to Kentucky’s most celebrated writers.

Robert Penn Warren was the first Poet Laureate of the United States, officially becoming the nation’s first “Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.” Kentucky Writer’s Day was established in 1990 to honor the birth of Warren and to induct, in odd-numbered years, the state’s poet laureate.

The annual ceremony featured leadership from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson, Beechwood High School freshman Lupita Diaz and former Kentucky poets laureate.

Wilkinson, a multiple award-winning novelist and poet based in Lexington, was appointed by Gov. Beshear and serves as 2021-22 Kentucky Poet Laureate.

“It certainly continues to be an honor to represent the state’s legacy of arts and letters as poet laureate, and I’m grateful that we can once again gather in person to celebrate Kentucky Writers’ Day,” Wilkinson said. “Events like this help to emphasize to our youth in Kentucky how important literacy and literary events are to our commonwealth.”

The annual ceremony also featured readings by former poets laureate George Ella Lyon, Maureen Morehead, Sena Jeter Naslund, Richard Taylor, Frank X Walker and Jeff Worley. Beechwood High School freshman Lupita Diaz, who serves as this year’s Kentucky Poetry Out Loud state champion, was also featured as part of Tuesday’s ceremony.