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WKCTC's Amelia Martens, One of 16 Kentucky Artists to Receive Fellowship Award

PADUCAH, KY (08/02/2018) West Kentucky Community and Technical College Instructor Amelia Martens is one of 16 Kentucky artists recently awarded $7,500 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council.

The prestigious award, named in honor of former arts council board chair and Kentucky journalist Al Smith, recognizes professional artists who have reached a high level of achievement in their careers. Since its beginning in 1983, the program has provided more than $2.5 million in funding to artists in visual arts, literary arts, media arts, composing and choreography. In this round of funding, the fellowships were awarded to artists in the literary arts disciplines, including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and playwriting.

Martens, a first-year experience instructor at WKCTC, is one of eight 2018 fellowship recipients to be recognized in the poetry category.

"I am so honored to have my work celebrated and recognized at the level of an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship; this award is important to me as an individual, and also as an artist working in the larger creative community in Paducah," said Martens. "I deeply appreciate the Kentucky Arts Council and the people of Kentucky who are continually working to ensure future funds exist for artists in this state."

Martens is the author of The Spoons in the Grass are There to Dig a Moat, a book of prose poems that was selected by Sarabande Books for the 2014 Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature. She is also the author of three published chapbooks: Purgatory, Clatter, and A Series of Faults. Her new chapbook, Ursa Minor, from Elsewhere Magazine is due to be out next week.

A co-founder of the Rivertown Reading Series and recent Pushcart nominee, Martens was awarded a 2016 Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and Emerging Artist Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council in 2011. In addition to recognition from the state art agency, her work has earned support from Rivendell Writers' Colony. Martens also serves as the associate literary editor for the West Kentucky Community and Technical College's Exit 7: A Journal of Literature and Art.

Martens received both a Master in Fine Arts degree in creative writing and a Master in Science degree in literacy, culture, and language education from Indiana University.

The other 2018 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship recipients, their literary discipline and county of residence include:

Creative Nonfiction
Catherine Brereton - Fayette County
Joseph Manning - Jefferson County

Hannah Pittard - Fayette County
Kathryn Yocom - Jefferson County
Carrie Mullins - Rockcastle County

Margaret Price - Fayette County
Robert Martin - Rockcastle County
Travis Newton - Warren County

Pamela Parker, Graves County
Annette Allen, David Harrity, Courtney Petrosino - Jefferson County
Janet Eldred, Marcia Hurlow, Jeremy Paden - Fayette County

For the next round of fellowships in 2019, the arts council will accept applications from songwriters.

For more information on the Al Smith Fellowships and the Kentucky Arts Council For more information, visit