K E N T U C K Y  I S  M Y   L A N D
E. P. Dutton & Co., New York City, New York,  1952. 95 pp.
 
   
  Kentucky Is My Land was Jesse Stuart’s fourth book of poetry. The image above is scanned from the E. P. Dutton first edition; Marshall University’s Jesse Stuart Collection also includes a facsimile edition, including the same dust jacket design, published in 1967 by Economy Printers of Ashland, Kentucky—both of which are signed by Jesse Stuart.

 The book’s dust-jacket states that it “is Jesse Stuart’s reaffirmation of his passionate love for Kentucky in which he grew up, with its flowers and trees and weathers, and its infinite seasonal variety.” H. Edward Richardson, Stuart’s biographer, wrote that the “reviews of this pencil-thin volume pointed up the regional richness of his work” (Jesse, p. 344).

In a contest between Stuart and Edwin Carlisle Litsey, to see who would be Kentucky’s 1954 poet laureate, Stuart read the poem from which the title of the book is taken before the state legislature; the legislature chose both men. Stuart, who participated with reluctance in the whole affair, wrote with irony that “Kentucky I suppose [is the] only state in the Union with two poet laureates” (Richardson, Jesse, p. 353).

 

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