Paducah poet Etheridge Knight is among the thirteen finalists for the 2014 Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. Knight was born in Mississippi but moved with his family to Paducah when his father got a job working on Kentucky Dam.
Knight made his reputation in 1968 with the publication of his debut volume, Poems from Prison, which looks back at his eight year sentence for robbery following his conviction in 1960.
This book, along with a collection of works from himself and fellow inmates titled Black Voices from Prison established Knight as a major poet of the Black Arts Movement of the 60s and 70s.
He went on to a successful academic career and a Guggenheim Fellowship before his death in 1991. The other finalists this year include historian Thomas Clark, Trappist monk Thomas Merton, Jesse Stuart, and Hunter S. Thompson. The six inductees will be announced at a ceremony on January 23rd at The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington.