Greetings from Harlan, Kentucky! I have been here this weekend for the home town celebration of Kentucky's current poet laureate, George Ella Lyon. Despite plentiful rain, the 3 - 8 p.m. gathering worked out so well. Congratulations to Robert Gipe and all the folks who worked so hard to making this proclaimed George Ella Lyon Day a beautiful one for her and us all. There was a one day art exhibit, that took weeks to organize and pull together. There was a short play based on one of George Ella's  books, readings by students of her poems and of "Where I'm From" poems, music from an amazing adult choral group and from The Troubadors, as well as tributes that included George Ella's 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Unthank, and the previous Kentucky poet laureate and mentor Gurney Norman. The community provided a delicious potluck dinner as well!
I hope these photos I made will give a further feel for what the occasion was like. Don't worry, I am just able to show about 30 of them. The light in the big room was challenging for me, as was my wanting to visit with everyone. [Please remember this post was prepared the morning following the George Ellabration, and added to throughout the day as I returned home 5 hours away.]
|A rainy, foggy Saturday in Harlan, Kentucky|
|which we left to enter into a large room of light and food and art and music and celebration of a hometown writing girl who has made a big difference.|
|George Ella with Mrs. Unthank, longtime fan, former GEL teacher|
|more art show panels|
|Kentucky art -- with a heart (Harlan County)|
|GEL and Bruce Florence|
|on-going art work at the event, by hard workers!|
Sunday morning: These are only some of the photos I will be posting - this motel is not equipped with the fiber optic I am used to at home, in northeastern Kentucky, and the time fast approaches to START for home so this is the first version of this post.
....And now it is later, and I am at home, so here are some more photos!!
|George Brosi, books, books, books!|
|Jillean came from Berea, Richard Hague from Cincinnati!|
Bravery in action to read a poem to a crowd of strangers - bravo to all!
|waiting to be the next to read|
|a moving reading of George Ella's poem "She Let Herself Go"|
|a commissioned painting by Skye Brosi|
|a reading by Misty Skaggs, who did the major share of gathering up art for the show!|
|surround sound at its best|
|Ann Schertz, musical director|
|memories of illustrator and artist Paul Brett Johnson|
|Gurney Norman, former poet laureate, and an early supporter of George Ella (shown with that reaching mannequin arm....)|
|Thank you, Mrs. Unthank, for letting me take your photo during this happy occasion. And thank you for your early support of George Ella and her poetry, in the fourth grade!|