“I am beyond honored to be named State of Kentucky Beat Poet Laureate 2019-2021. Having edited, published, shared the stage and page and practiced hangoutology and become friends with The Beat Generation and continuing to preach The Beat Gospel and The Kentucky Gospel wherever I go, and I go, well this is a big damn deal! I am grateful!! Thank you National Beat Poetry Foundation!!” — Ron Whitehead
“I have long admired Ron Whitehead. He is crazy as nine loons, and his poetry is a dazzling mix of folk wisdom and pure mathematics.” — Hunter S. Thompson
Poet, writer, editor, publisher, scholar, professor, activist Ron Whitehead grew up on a farm in Kentucky. He attended The University of Louisville and Oxford University. As poet and writer he is the recipient of numerous state, national, and international awards and prizes including The All Kentucky Poetry Prize, The Yeats Club of Oxford’s Prize for Poetry, and many others. In 2006 Dr. John Rocco (NYC) nominated Ron for The Nobel Prize in Literature.
Ron has edited and published the works of such luminaries as His Holiness The Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter, Hunter S. Thompson, Thomas Merton, Jack Kerouac, Seamus Heaney, Wendell Berry, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, BONO, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke, Diane di Prima, Douglas Brinkley, Robert Hunter, Amiri Baraka, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and hundreds more.
Ron Whitehead has produced over 2,000 historic Arts Events, Festivals, and 24-48-72 & 90-hour non-stop music & poetry Insomniacathons, across the USA and in Europe, from New York City to New Orleans to The Netherlands and beyond.
Ron has performed thousands of shows around the world with some of the best musicians and bands on the planet. He recently returned from a Scandinavia Tour with Paris, France rock band Blaak Heat and from three New York City trips where his new book "blistered asphalt on dixie highway: Kentucky Basketball is Poetry in Motion" was released by Finishing Line Press at the historic Poets House.
Ron's work has been translated into nearly 20 languages. He is the author of 30 books and 40 albums. Songs and Poems from The KENTUCKY BOUND Concert (sonaBLAST! Records), companion to Ron’s new KENTUCKY BOUND: poems, stories, and songs book, were released November 17th at the opening of the Louisville Free Library’s big POETS, ROCK STARS, & HOLY MEN: A LITERARY RENAISSANCE Posters & Correspondence Exhibit. At the event, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer presented Ron with a City of Louisville Proclamation thanking Ron for his Lifetime Achievement of Supporting The Arts.