Horsepower: Art Inspired by the Poetry of Joy Priest

July 1, 2021
I’m delighted to announce a collaboration with our local arts council, LexArts, on a juried art exhibition inspired by the work of Kentucky poet Joy Priest. Joy’s debut poetry collection, Horsepower, was selected by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey—a past presenter at our conference in 2008—as the winner of the prestigious Donald Hall Prize for Poetry from Pitt Press, who published the collection in 2020.
This exhibition will be curated by a team that includes Shanita Jackson, an M.F.A. candidate in poetry at the University of Kentucky. In LexArts’s “Call to Artists,” Shanita writes:
Joy Priest’s Horsepower overflows with visuals. Her poetry collection transports the audience through time, space, family, identity, and the complex fabric of Louisville’s culture and despairing racial dynamics. Priest conveys these themes through muscle cars, horses, dichotomies of skin, chain-link fences, tires peeling down interstates, bees, the curled flowers of dying spiders, the invisible lines of Louisville, and many more compelling descriptions that engage the senses.
Please spread the word about this exciting opportunity, which is open to all, regardless of gender or state of residence. Entries are due August 16, and the $25 entry fee includes a copy of the book. Please visit this link for more information.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Louisville Literary Arts on the hiring of a new executive director, Charliese Brown Lewis, whose outstanding credentials and clear sense of calling bring renewed energy and talent to this vital literary organization in our sister city. Welcome, Charliese!