The professional papers of a long-serving and impactful Louisville legislator are set to become a part of the archives of the Spalding University Library and School of Social Work.

Retired Kentucky state Rep. Jim Wayne, who served the 35th House District in Frankfort from 1990 to 2019 and who is also a mental health professional trained in social work, is donating a trove of his legislative papers,  news clippings and other archives to Spalding in order to make them a public resource and historical reference for research into lawmaking, politics, community organizing, social work and social policy.

Wayne, 73, will introduce the collection during a free, public lecture 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in the Spalding Library Lecture Lounge, 853 Library Lane. Co-sponsored by the Library and the School of Social Work, Wayne’s lecture is titled, “Against the Grain: The Social Worker in a Broken World.” Any social worker who attends the lecture will be eligible for one continuing education unit (CEU) toward their professional development.

The Spalding collection of Wayne’s papers spans from 1975, when he was a legislative aide in Washington, D.C., working on climate policy, to his retirement from the Kentucky General Assembly. Wayne said all told, he provided Spalding with about 10 boxes of files, plus a number of flash drives.

A friend of Wayne’s who had organized his own writings and archives told Wayne that it’s important to preserve and share one’s life’s work, especially when that work has impacted the public, because it provides historical context for future generations of what life was like, the successes and struggles that took place and how things were or were not resolved.

“It dawned on me that with all these things I had in my file cabinets in Frankfort and some of the things I had in boxes, ‘Perhaps (that friend) is right,'” Wayne said. “Perhaps someone is doing work on social policy and would like to understand how certain projects were undertaken, how coalitions were built, what negotiations were required, who the protagonists were and how things eventually moved  ahead.”

The archive has a range of public information regarding Wayne’s career that was collected by the Legislative Research Commission. That includes legislative committee transcripts and testimony, floor and committee speeches, and the text of bill signings. There are video copies of Wayne’s appearances on KET programs such as “Kentucky Tonight,” and clippings of his Courier-Journal op-eds, including ones regarding the 1980s and ’90s expansion of the Louisville regional airport and the impact it had on residents in neighborhoods surrounding the airport.

Wayne said the archive could serve as a source for research on issues and projects in which he’d played a key role, including state tax reform, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the strengthening of laws to protect against child sex abuse.

Viewers can also review examples of political materials from over the years, including clippings of newspaper endorsements he received.

“I think there are even a few yard signs in there,” Wayne said.

Wayne’s papers will be housed in the Spalding Library Archives at 853 Library Lane, and can be viewed in person. Contact library@spalding.edu to make an appointment. The staff is also beginning to digitize the collection so that it will accessible online through the Kentucky Digital Library online database.

Wayne said he is pleased that his papers will be housed at Spalding, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction writing. In addition, in 2018, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Spalding during a celebration hosted by the School of Social Work.

Spalding President Tori Murden McClure presents framed honorary doctorate diploma to Rep. Jim Wayne
Jim Wayne received an honorary doctorate for public service from Spalding President Tori Murden McClure and the School of Social Work in 2018.

“I love Spalding,” Wayne said. “I really feel like a part of the community there, and I think President Tori Murden McClure is really doing an amazing job of understanding how that university needs to serve the vulnerable and the marginalized in our city. The School of Social Work is a really fine school of social work, and I think the faculty at the School of Social Work will understand how to use this collection.”

In addition to his legislative career, Wayne is President and Founder of the Wayne Corporation, which provides Employee Assistance Programs to a range of businesses, hospitals and schools. Wayne also holds master’s degrees in social work and theology.

Two leaders in Spalding’s School of Social Work – Chair Dr. Shannon Cambron and Undergraduate Education Director Dr. Stacy Deck – said Wayne and his work made a lasting impression on them while they students preparing for their careers.

Cambron said Wayne played a pivotal role in her decision to become a social worker. After her mother went to work part-time at Wayne’s firm, Shannon Cambron met with Wayne at her mother’s request. At the time, Cambron had been struggling with choosing the right path for her graduate work.

“I knew I wanted to be a clinician,” she said, “but I also knew that doing that work from a lens of justice and liberation was important to me. I honestly didn’t know that social work could provide that path until I met with Jim. He was gracious and inspiring, and I left his office confident I had found my life’s work. Having the artifacts of his work on Spalding’s campus is a testament to the his legacy of advocacy and change on the personal and community level.”

Deck said that as a graduate student in the 1990s, she drove to Frankfort and “camped out” in an LRC office to review hard copies of Wayne’s legislative work on the Affordable Housing Trust Fund as background for a policy analysis assignment.

“I am delighted that information like that will now be easily accessible via Spalding University’s online archives of Representative Wayne’s papers,” Deck said. “In the same way that the Affordable Housing Trust Fund remains a lasting legacy of Representative Wayne’s social justice work, documentation of the process for achieving that legislative victory will now be available as a guide and inspiration to continue this important work.”

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Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, the state’s largest fall-spring reading series, will take place Saturday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Nov. 19, with readings by faculty and guests of the low-residency graduate programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. Critically acclaimed poet Kiki Petrosino, author of White Blood and winner of the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature, headlines the festival as Distinguished Visiting Writer.

All readings and events are free, ticketless, and open to the public. The University’s Covid-19 protocols require all participants to be masked while indoors. Plenty of free parking is available for the campus readings.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 13. Faculty Reading. (Brown Hotel, Citation Room, ground floor.) Masks required for all in attendance.

  • Lynnell Edwards (poetry), This Great Green Valley
  • Rachel Harper (fiction), This Side of Providence
  • Bruce Marshall Romans (TV writing), Messiah
  • Ellen Hagan (writing for children and young adults), Watch Us Rise (with Renée
    Watson)
  • Kathleen Driskell (poetry), Blue Etiquette

SCHOOL OF CREATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING
Overview | MFA in Writing | MA in Writing | Grad Certificate in Writing
Faculty bios
Good River Review literary journalblog

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Sunday, November 14. Faculty Reading. (Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth St.) Masks required for all in attendance.

  • K. L. Cook (fiction), Marrying Kind
  • Kira Obolensky (playwriting), Why We Laugh: A Terezin Cabaret
  • Dianne Aprile (creative nonfiction), The Eye is Not Enough: On Seeing and Remembering
  • Leah Henderson (writing for children and young adults), A Day for Rememberin’ (virtual appearance)
  • Sam Zalutsky (screenwriting), Seaside

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 17. Distinguished Visiting Writer Kiki Petrosino discusses White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia. (Auditorium, Columbia Gym, 824 S. Fourth St.) Masks required for all in attendance.

Introduction by Kathleen Driskell. Book signing to follow.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Friday, November 19. Faculty Reading. (Egan Leadership Center, 901 S. Fourth St.)  Masks required for all in attendance.

  • Jason Kyle Howard (professional writing and editing; creative nonfiction), A Few Honest Words: The Kentucky Roots of Popular Music
  • Maggie Smith (poetry), Goldenrod
  • Elaine Neil Orr (creative nonfiction; fiction), Swimming Between Worlds
  • Silas House (fiction), Southernmost

The reading schedule may change without notice. Check Facebook for updated information: Facebook.com/SpaldingSchoolofWriting. For more information, email schoolofwriting@spalding.edu.

The School of Creative and Professional Writing at Spalding University offers three low-residency programs, including the flagship 65-credit-hour MFA in Writing program; a 35-credit Master of Arts in Writing, offering tracks in creative writing and professional writing & editing; and a 15-credit graduate certificate in writing, also with two tracks. The School of Writing offers concentrations in fiction; poetry; creative nonfiction; writing for children and young adults; writing for TV, screen, and stage; and professional writing and editing. Students begin the semester in the spring, summer, or fall with a residency in Louisville or abroad, then return home for an independent study with a faculty mentor for the rest of the semester. Students may customize the location, season, and pace of their studies. See spalding.edu/writing for more information, or find us on Twitter @SpaldingWriting

The 2021 Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature is awarded to Kiki Petrosino for her newest poetry collection, White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia. The Spalding Prize was established by the School of Creative and Professional Writing at Spalding University to honor a work of literature that exemplifies the University’s mission and the School’s core commitment to compassion. The $7,500 prize will be awarded in November during Petrosino’s visit to the School of Writing, home of the nationally distinguished low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program.

In a public presentation, Petrosino will speak about White Blood, which also won the 2021 Rilke Prize from the University of North Texas. Published by Sarabande Books in 2020, White Blood takes on the subject of Petrosino’s ancestral roots, along with the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination in Virginia.

The public is invited to attend Petrosino’s reading and presentation at 5:30 p.m. ET Wednesday, Nov. 17, in the Egan Leadership Center’s Troutman Lectorium, 901 S. Fourth St. A book-signing will follow the presentation. The event is free and ticketless, and ample free parking is available on Spalding’s campus.

School of Writing chair Kathleen Driskell says, “We’ve admired Kiki Petrosino’s work since her debut collection, Fort Red Border, was published in 2009, and her newest poetry collection, White Blood, is a timely marvel, resonant and inventive. We’re happy to honor Kiki and her beautiful work, and we look forward to her visit to our Spalding residency this November to accept the Spalding Prize.”

SPALDING’S SCHOOL OF CREATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING

A review by Katie Berta in Harvard Review Online notes that the book “blends the techniques of documentary poetics, erasure, persona, and traditional lyric to document and personalize the ways that descendants of enslaved people attempt to reconnect with their family histories—only to be thwarted by the persistent effects of racist policy and violence. The collection has a searching, yearning momentum that is cut by the wry intellect of a speaker who knows her pursuit of historical meaning remains subject to the same colonial forces that influenced the lives of her ancestors.”

Petrosino holds graduate degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her poems and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Best American Poetry, The Nation, The New York Times, FENCE, Gulf Coast, jubilat, Tin House and online at Ploughshares. She teaches at the University of Virginia as a Professor of Poetry. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Fellowship in Creative Writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, and an Al Smith Fellowship Award from the Kentucky Arts Council, as well as the UNT Rilke Prize.

Her appearance headlines Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing, the state’s largest fall-spring reading series. The festival features readings Nov. 9-17 by faculty and alumni of Spalding’s low-residency graduate writing programs.

GOOD RIVER REVIEW | School of Writing’s literary review

Presented annually to a book, play, screenplay, or body of work, the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature awards $7,500 to the author of the honored work. Spalding School of Writing faculty members nominate literary works to be considered for the award, but members of the reading community may also make nominations by sending a copy of the book, playscript, or screenplay no later than October 1 of each year to:

The Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature
School of Creative and Professional Writing
Spalding University
851 S. Fourth St.
Louisville, KY 40203

Playscripts and screenplays do not need to be published but must have been produced on stage or in film. There is no requirement for the work to have been published recently. The School Chair and Directors make the final decisions on the awardee.

Building on the success of the university’s nationally distinguished MFA in Writing program, the School of Creative and Professional Writing incorporates the MFA program, which focuses exclusively on creative writing, as well as a Master of Arts in Writing program and a graduate certificate in writing, both of which offer tracks in creative and professional writing. Together, the three low-residency programs create a multi-tiered offering for writers seeking graduate education in one, two, or four semesters. More information can be found at spalding.edu/writing.

 

Spalding University’s Festival of Contemporary Writing – the state’s largest fall-spring reading series – will take place in a virtual format Tuesday, Nov. 10 through Friday, Nov. 20, featuring readings by faculty of the low-residency programs of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Kevin Willmott will make a special appearance on Thursday, Nov. 19 to accept the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature.

All readings will take place virtually and are free and open to the public, but you must register separately for each event in order to receive the link to attend. The complete schedule of the festival, which is held in conjunction with the School of Writing’s fall residency, is listed below, and each session has a unique registration link.

Register here to attend Willmott’s presentation and prize ceremony, which will occur 5:30-6:45 p.m. Nov. 19.

The Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature was established to honor exceptional literary works that exemplify Spalding University’s mission. The $7,500 prize will be awarded to Willmott for his body of work in November during his virtual visit to the School of Writing, home of the nationally distinguished low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program.

Willmott, who in 2019 shared the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, is also Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Kansas and has spent his filmmaking career taking on the subject of racism in America. He is a frequent collaborator with Spike Lee, most recently on the critically acclaimed Vietnam film Da 5 Bloods. Willmott’s other films include the mockumentary CSA: The Confederate States of America (which he wrote and directed) and Chi-Raq, a retelling of Lysistrata in a violence-wracked neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side (which he co-wrote with Lee). The film critic Richard Brody called Willmott’s work “brilliantly imagined fictions.”

“Kevin Willmott is an extraordinary screenwriter and teacher,” said Kathleen Driskell, Chair of the School of Creative and Professional Writing. “BlacKkKlansman, which he wrote with Spike Lee and others, is the kind of work we aim to recognize with our Spalding Prize and bring to our students’ attention. BlacKkKlansman is courageous, unflinching, and beautifully written. Like his earlier work, it’s a relevant social commentary on our times.”

In 2019, the year Willmott won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with co-writers Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, and Charlie Wachtel, the film was nominated for a total of six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The screenplay was adapted from Black Klansman, Ron Stallworth’s memoir detailing his work as the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, during which he infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan of Colorado Springs. BlacKkKlansman premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix. The American Film Institute named it one of the top films of 2018.

Willmott has visited the Spalding MFA program twice before, most recently to talk about Chi-Raq. Prior to Willmott’s visit, all School of Writing students and faculty will read and discuss the screenplay for BlacKkKlansman and will view that film as well as Da 5 Bloods, Destination Planet Negro!, and CSA: Confederate States of America.

SCHOOL OF CREATIVE AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING

 

FALL 2020 SPALDING FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY WRITING (VIRTUAL READING SCHEDULE WITH REGISTRATION LINKS)

7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, November 10. Faculty Reading. Register: https://forms.gle/rcNYgyVWbpwq3QcV8

  • Rachel Harper (fiction), This Side of Providence
  • Fenton Johnson (creative nonfiction, fiction), At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life, The Man Who Loved Birds
  • Lesléa Newman (writing for children and young adults), Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story
  • Douglas Manuel (poetry), Testify
  • Larry Brenner (writing for TV, screen, and stage), Growing Up Dead, Saving Throw Versus Love
  • Lynnell Edwards (poetry), This Great Green Valley

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, November 14. Faculty Reading. Register: https://forms.gle/a7A8eZYbhdfz5TUWA

  • Leslie Daniels (fiction), Cleaning Nabokov’s House
  • Greg Pape (poetry), Four Swans: Poems
  • Jacinda Townsend (fiction), Saint Monkey
  • Roy Hoffman (fiction, creative nonfiction), Come Landfall, Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations
  • Erin Keane (professional writing, poetry), Demolition of the Promised Land
  • Sam Zalutsky (writing for TV, screen, and stage), Seaside (Now streaming on Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, and elsewhere)

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, November 17. Faculty Reading. Register: https://forms.gle/WxGtjhYSQy2UTN1t8

  • Kirby Gann (fiction), Ghosting
  • Jeanie Thompson (poetry), The Myth of Water: Poems from the Life of Helen Keller
  • Keith S. Wilson (poetry), Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love
  • Edie Hemingway (writing for children and young adults), Road to Tater Hill
  • Eric Schmiedl (playwriting), Browns Rules
  • Dianne Aprile (creative nonfiction), The Eye is Not Enough: On Seeing and Remembering

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, November 19. Faculty Reading. Register: https://forms.gle/gtUHgDJ4jB2uNuXe7

  • Nancy McCabe (creative nonfiction, fiction), Can This Marriage Be Saved?, Following Disasters
  • Jeremy Paden (translation), Under the Ocelot Sun
  • Gabriel Dean (writing for TV, screen, and stage), Terminus, Qualities of Starlight
  • Silas House (fiction), Southernmost
  • Beth Ann Bauman (writing for children & young adults), Jersey Angel

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday, November 19. Spalding Prize winner Kevin Willmott. Register: https://forms.gle/C45gD6M1Qwvd3ZLb8

  • Kevin Willmott, Academy Award-winning screenwriter. Credits include BlacKkKlansman, Da 5 Bloods, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America. Willmott will be awarded the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature for his body of work.

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday, Nov. 20. Faculty Reading. Registration: https://forms.gle/RGjoiR4f8ADcBxBg6

  • John Pipkin (fiction), The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter
  • Rebecca Walker (creative nonfiction, fiction), Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness, Adé: A Love Story
  • Robin Lippincott (fiction, creative nonfiction), Our Arcadia, Blue Territory
  • Kira Obolensky (playwriting), Hiding in the Open
  • Charlie Schulman (writing for TV, screen, and stage), Goldstein: A Musical About Family
  • Kathleen Driskell (poetry), Blue Etiquette

The reading schedule may change without notice. Check Facebook for updated information: Facebook.com/SpaldingSchoolofWriting. For more information, call 502-873-4400 or email schoolofwriting@spalding.edu. ‘

Kathleen Driskell, Chair of the Spalding University School of Creative and Professional Writing and an award-winning poet, was recently elected as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), the nation’s foremost advocacy and professional organization for college and university writing programs and individual creative writers.

Driskell is believed to be the first representative from a Kentucky college or university to hold the position of Board Chair for AWP, whose membership includes more than 500 college and university writing programs, 130 writers’ conferences and centers and nearly 50,000 individual writers.

AWP’s mission is to foster literary achievement, advance the art of writing as essential to good education and serve the makers, teachers, students and readers of contemporary writing. AWP hosts ones of the nation’s largest annual literary conferences and is the publisher of the Writer’s Chronicle magazine, a leading source of articles, news and information for writers, editors, students and teachers.

Driskell, who also serves as AWP’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Council Chair, was elected to the top position on the national board of directors during AWP’s national conference last month in Kansas City.

“When one of our new AWP board members made the observation that many of us seem to have grown up with AWP, I couldn’t help remembering that I have attended nearly every annual conference since 1999 in Albany, New York,” Driskell said. “Each morning as I boarded a big yellow school bus that had come to pick us up at a Ramada Inn, tucked under a noisy highway overpass, I thought the whole thing was a marvel. I still do, and I’m honored to serve as chair for 2019-20. I promise to do my best to build on the significant legacy of AWP.”

Driskell is a longtime Spalding faculty member who has been teaching at the university since 1994. She was promoted to director of Spalding’s nationally ranked low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in January 2018 after previously serving as associate director from 2003 through 2017. During 2018, Driskell led the development of Spalding’s School of Creative and Professional Writing – Kentucky’s first school of writing – then was named its first chair once it was established in the spring of 2019. In that role, Driskell oversees the MFA program as well as two new programs – a Master of Arts in Writing and a Graduate Certificate in Writing.

Driskell is the author of the poetry collections Blue Etiquette: Poems, a finalist for the Weatherford Award; Next Door to the Dead, a Kentucky Voices selection by the University Press of Kentucky and winner of the 2018 Judy Gaines Young Book Award; Seed Across Snow, a Poetry Foundation national bestseller; Laughing Sickness and Peck and Pock: A Graphic Poem. Individual poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, North American Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Greensboro Review, Rattle and Mid-American Review, among others, and have been featured in anthologies and online at Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and American Life in Poetry.

Driskell, a Louisville native who received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is a recipient of the Spalding Board of Trustees’ Outstanding Faculty Award. She has also served as the faculty representative on the Board of the Trustees.

Read a recent profile of Kathleen Driskell from StyeBluePrint.
Get more information on graduate writing programs at Spalding on the School of Writing blog.