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December 2004
A Kentucky Christmas
edited by George Ella Lyon

Bill Goodman and bookclub guests
Host Bill Goodman (left) with George Ella Lyon, Dianne Aprile,
Peggy Steele, Jane Vance, and Graham Thomas Shelby

Writers and Musicians Seen on the Program

Dianne Aprile’s books include Making a Heart for God: A Week Inside a Catholic Monastery, The Eye Is Not Enough, The Abbey of Gethsemani, and The Things We Don’t Forget. A University of Louisville graduate and former writer/columnist for the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times, she currently is a member of the faculty of Spalding University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing program. She is a recipient of grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She and her husband live in Louisville, where she writes a book column for Louisville magazine.

George Ella Lyon grew up in the mountains of Harlan County. In elementary school she began writing poetry, and by the time she was a teenager, she had become interested in music as well as writing. She graduated from Centre College in 1971 and earned her doctorate from Indiana University in 1978. It was her love of poetry and her son Benn’s questions that helped her make the transition to writing for children. In 1985, George Ella’s first children’s book, Father Time and the Day Boxes, was published. Since then, she has published more than two dozen books for children and adults. Her works include Borrowed Children, Catalpa, Come a Tide, With a Hammer for My Heart, Mama Is a Miner, Gina. Jamie. Father. Bear, and Mother to Tigers.

Graham Thomas Shelby grew up in Lexington. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, he spent three years teaching English in rural Japan. He has written for the Lexington Herald-Leader, Kentucky Monthly, the Associated Press, and the public radio program A Prairie Home Companion. He studied and later taught creative writing at the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts. Graham is the son of writer Anne Shelby. He lives with his wife in Louisville, where he is an announcer on public radio station WFPL-FM.

Peggy Steele was born in Dothan, Alabama and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Alabama and a master of arts from Murray State University. She has lived in Bowling Green for more than 30 years, where she taught in the English Department at Western Kentucky University. Her first book of poems, Singing Into That Fresh Light, which she co-authored with her husband, Frank, was published in 2001. Journals in which her poems have appeared include The American Voice, The Blue Sofa Review, The Small Farm, Barnwood, Open 24 Hours, Poetry Now, and The Worcester Review. Her poems have been included in several anthologies, including The Best American Poetry of 1999. Her short stories have appeared in Adena, Groundwater, and Telling Stories: Fiction by Kentucky Feminists.

Jane [Gentry] Vance is a native of Athens in Fayette County and now lives in Versailles. Her collection of poems A Garden in Kentucky was published by LSU Press in 1995. Her poems have recently appeared in Louisville Review, Hollins Critic, Sewanee Review, and several anthologies. She teaches in the Honors Program and English Department at the University of Kentucky.

Mitch Barrett and Carla Gover Zoe Speaks is husband and wife Mitch Barrett and Carla Gover, who named their musical act after their first child, Zoe. Mitch grew up in Madison County, in the foothills of the Appalachians, while Carla grew up surrounded by the music and culture of the Eastern Kentucky hills in Whitesburg. They have won numerous awards for both songwriting and musicianship, including a first-place prize from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest for each of them. As Zoe Speaks, they travel the U.S. and abroad performing an original mix of traditional and contemporary acoustic styles.

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