Richard Taylor

"I graduated from Atherton High School [in Louisville, Kentucky] in 1959. I went to the University of Kentucky where I majored in English, graduated in 1963 as an English major, and worked there with the campus literary magazine. At that time it was called Stylus. . . . From UK in 1963 I went to the University of Louisville, where I worked on a master's degree for a year in English. I graduated in '64, and I was not certain what to do at that point, so I was persuaded by my father to go to law school for the next three years at the University of Louisville Law School. I had a rather not-what-you-would-call-extensive law practice, in either duration or intensity. I clerked in law school for my father's law firm, and practiced nearly two months before giving up the practice of law. When I decided that I was not going to practice law, my father was very understanding." ["Richard Taylor" [An Interview], in L. Elizabeth Beattie (ed.), Conversations with Kentucky Writers II 260-277, at 265-66 (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2000)]

Taylor was Kentucky Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 1999-2001. (Kentucky's first Poet Laureate, J.T. "Cotton" Noe, was also a lawyer.) Taylor received the Distinguished Professor Award at Kentucky State University in 1992 and has won two creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a speaker for the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau and an antiquarian book dealer.

Taylor is the author of six collections of poetry, two historical novels, and several works of nonfiction and history. His most recent book is Rail Splitter, a collection of poems based on Lincoln's life, published by Larkspur Press.

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