Lee Pennington is a graduate of Berea College and the University of Iowa. He holds two Honorary Doctor degrees – A Doctor of Literature from World University & Doctor of Philosophy in Arts from The Academy of Southern Arts & Letters. He taught for nearly 40 years, the last 32 as Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky’s Jefferson Community College until he retired in 1999. Lee is the author of 22 books including I Knew a Woman (1977) Thigmotropism (1993) & Appalachian Newground (2016)–each nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His latest book is Daughters of Leda (2017)—selected as a finalist for “Best Book of Poetry published in 2017” by the American Book Fest. His Songs of Bloody Harlan was reprinted and re-released in 2019. He has had over 1300 poems published in more than 300 magazines in America & abroad. He has had 9 plays produced, wrote the script for The Moonshine War (MGM, 1970, starring Alan Alda, Richard Widmark, etc.), & has published thousands of articles & short stories in everything from Playgirl to Mountain Life & Work. Since 1990, through his video production company, JoLe Productions (joleproductions.com), Lee, along with his late wife, Joy, have produced 21 documentaries including In Search of the Mudmen (1990), Wales: History in Bondage (1995), & Secret of the Stones (1998), Eyes that Look at the Sky: The Mystery of Easter Island (2001), The Mound Builders (2001), The Serpent Fort: Solving the Mystery of FT. Mountain, Georgia (2005), Let Me Not Drown on the Waters: Fred Rydholm, Michigan’s “Mr. Copper.” Since 2011, Lee has produced 5 more documentaries: Some Days You Clean, Some Days You Litter: The Amazing Warner Sizemore, 2012; Room To Fly: Anne Caudill’s Album, 2013; Bosnian Pyramids Hidden History, 2015; Seafaring Strangers: Vikings in America, Part I, 2016; & Gunung Padang: Monument to Atlantis, 2017.
Lee has traveled extensively (in all the USA, in all the Canadian Provinces except 2, & in 90 foreign countries). For the past dozen years, he has served as president of the Ancient Kentucke Historical Association, a group dedicated to the study and research of pre-Columbian contact in the Americas. In 2013 the University of Louisville. opened the Lee & Joy Pennington Cultural Heritage Gallery, named after Lee & his late wife. The gallery contains UofL’s most valuable works including the likes of the first editions of Galileo, Copernicus, & Sir Isaac Newton. It will house all of Lee’s writings, films, & many artifacts he’s collected traveling around the world. He presently lives in Kratz House, a designated historic home, in Middletown, KY with his lady, Jill Baker, an artist who has illustrated several of his books.