The Big Read Kicks Off October 7th

Pennyroyal Arts Council logo
The Pennyroyal Arts Council, Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library, Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County, and all other community partners are excited to announce the kick off this year’s Big Read! From October 7 through November 5, our community will celebrate literacy with a full calendar of events based on the Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. (Download a Brochure)

We invite the community to the first week of Big Read events:

Friday, Oct. 7, 12:30 p.m. – “The Fall of the House of Usher: A Big Read Documentary” – WKMS, 91.3FM. Get ready for the kick-off of this year’s Big Read with an audio dive into the haunting world of Edgar Allan Poe. Tune in for this 30-minute documentary that explores Poe’s life, work, bouts with poverty and alcoholism, and so much more.

Friday, Oct. 7, 7:00 p.m. – Big Read Kick Off with Helen McKenna-Uff – Alhambra Theatre. The spirit of Edgar Allan Poe fills the Alhambra Theatre at the Big Read Kick Off! Poe’s ghost appears in the form of Helen McKenna-Uff whose renowned personification of the horror master has been described as astonishing. Combining dramatic readings with documented facts of Poe’s life, this performance is sure to send chills down your spine. A Poe-themed photo booth, a student art exhibit, and free copies of the book to the first 100 readers top off this evening.

Saturday, Oct. 8, 10:00am - 4:00 p.m. – The Big Bleed Blood Drive – Founders Square Parking Lot near Main Street. Roll up your sleeve and donate a pint to the Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center’s blood mobile during this Poe-themed blood drive. To schedule an appointment, contact Robbin Shively at (888) 684-9296.

Saturday, Oct. 8, 2:00 p.m. – Kentucky Ghosts & Ghouls – OH MY! – Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library. Author of more than 20 books on Kentucky regional history and lore, Dr. Lynwood Montell shares his expertise through storytelling of various ghost stories, including “The Young Woman in the Window.”

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 12:00 p.m. – Brown Bag Lunch – Guild Gallery on 6th Street. “Edgar Allan Poe, The Man” with Dan Kemp.

Thursday, Oct. 13, 5:00 p.m. – Calling All Book Clubs! – Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library. Join us for this multi-group discussion of a selection of Poe’s short stories and poems. This event is open to book club members and people looking to join a book club. Enjoy wine, cheese, laughs, and Poe-themed fun.

Friday, Oct. 14, 6:00 p.m. – Dream a Little Dream with Poe & Cayce – Pennyroyal Area Museum. Emily Fox-Hill, a scholar of both Poe and Cayce, weaves together both Edgars’ perspectives of dreams & their interpretation.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 10:00 a.m. – Dream Interpretation Workshop – L&N Depot. Emily Fox-Hill continues her exploration of dreams with this interactive workshop based on the Cayce readings. Participants will learn skills to help them read their own dreams for guidance. Limited to 20 participants; call the Museum at 270-887-4270 to register.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. – Short Story Workshop – Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library. Poe defined the short story like no writer before or since. Peggy Kemp and Margaret MacDonald will lead this workshop to teach you the formula Poe developed so you can craft your own masterpiece. Enter your work in the WKMS “Give Me Some Poe” Short Story-Telling Contest. Call the Museum at 270-887-4270 to register.

Ongoing activities:

A Peek Inside the Casket: An Exhibit to Die For, Pennyroyal Area Museum

From the depths of the Museum’s underground have been unearthed the artifacts of the undertaker. From the days when services for the deceased were held at home, these morbid objects show how the ritual of the funeral was performed before the advent of modern funeral homes.

WKMS “Give Me Some Poe” Short Story-Telling Contest

Poe has been called the “Father” of the Short Story. Can you continue the tradition? Enter the WKMS Short Story-Telling Contest with your best 5 to 10-minute piece through October 16th. The Top 5 will get their work published in the Big Read Finale packet, and the Top 2 will perform live at the Big Read Finale on November 5. Find your inner story-teller and see contest details at

Poe Letterboxing Challenge

The Christian County Literacy Council has designed an intriguing treasure hunt that uses navigational skills, deductive reasoning, math, and reading to locate Letterboxes hidden in 10 important sites in Hopkinsville and Christian County. Pick up the rules, passports, and clues at the Literacy Council office (upstairs at the old courthouse) Books on Main (corner of 9th & Virginia streets).

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest. Hopkinsville is one of 77 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read from September 2016-June 2017.From October 7 – November 5, 2016, our community will celebrate the Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe with a full calendar of events.

For more information on these events, please contact the Pennyroyal Arts Council at 270-887-4295 or the Museums of Historic Hopkinsville-Christian County at 270-887-4270. You can also view a full calendar of events for the Big Read in Hopkinsville at