Wendell Berry (b. 1934)
Poet, novelist, and environmentalist Wendell Berry lives on a Peanut farm in Port Royal, Kentucky near his birthplace, where he has maintained a farm for over 40 years. Mistrustful of technology, he holds deep reverence for the land and is a staunch defender of agrarian values. He is the author of over 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays. His poetry celebrates the holiness of life and everyday miracles often taken for granted.

Van Deren Coke (1921-2004)
Frank Van Deren Coke, art historian, photographer and curator: born Lexington, Kentucky 4 July 1921; Professor of Art and Director, University Art Museum, University of New Mexico 1962-70; Director, International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House 1970-79; Curator of Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 1979-87.
He made his first images as a teenager, in Lexington, Kentucky, where his parents owned a hardware company. Unlike many photographers of his generation, he studied art history, gaining an MFA at Indiana University. His interest in the wider history of art would profoundly influence his later work - unlike many of his contemporaries, he looked far beyond the documentary realism which dominated US photographic thinking in the Sixties and Seventies. He authored many books

Bonnie Jean Cox (1943-2017)
Librarian, faculty member at the University of Kentucky and Director of Women and Gender Studies program. Married to Guy Davenport. 

Guy Davenport (1927-2005)
a many-sided author, painter, teacher and scholar whose work, while ranging from critical essays to translations to poetry, was perhaps most admired for short stories in the modernist tradition of Pound and Joyce. He was 77 and lived in Lexington, where he taught English at the University of Kentucky for three decades. Guggenheim Fellow and  MacArthur Genius Award. 

Zygmunt S. Gierlach (1915-1989)
Gierlach, a well-known Lexington doctor who specialized in radiology, died of a gunshot wound at his Nicholasville home Wednesday afternoon, state police said. Jessamine County Coroner Sharon Reynolds said that the death was a suicide.

Robert C. May (1935-1993)
May studied history at the University of Kentucky and became a photographer for the state of Kentucky and IBM.

Guy Mendes (b. 1948)
A photographer, a writer, a producer of TV documentaries and a collector who won several Emmy Awards as a documentary writer, director and producer for Kentucky Educational Television, where he has worked since 1973. 
Mendes began his photographic career almost by accident. He arrived at the University of Kentucky in 1966, hoping to become a journalist. The following year, he attended a rally to hear Wendell Berry speaking out against the Vietnam War. The two struck up a friendship that would eventually lead him to Eyeglasses of Kentucky, Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s optical shop and gallery. There, Mendes saw photographs by the likes of Emmet Gowin and Bill Burke and was afforded the privilege of snooping through stacks of prints, dolls, and masks that Meatyard kept in the back.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968)
is arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, has sold over one million copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty other books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race.

Cranston Ritchie (1923-1961) 
During WWII received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star as a member of the 101 airborne division. He worked as a machine operator at the Butler Machine Company, Lexington Kentucky.

Brian Sholis (b. 1979)
Executive director of Gallery TPW, a not-for-profit artist-run centre in Toronto, and also work as an editor and writer. From 2013 to 2016 he was curator of photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum and, prior to that, spent more than a decade working in New York at such organizations as Aperture Foundation and Artforum. His first book, Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954–1974, was published during fall 2016 by Yale University Press. It accompanied an exhibition of the same name.

Henry Holmes Smith (1909-1986)
Henry Holmes Smith was a pioneer in camera-less photography and had a profound effect on his many students while teaching at Indiana University from 1947 until he retired in 1977. In 1937 he was asked by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy to teach the first course in photography at the New Bauhaus in Chicago. Well known photographers he has influenced include Jerry Uelsmann, Jack Welpott, Aaron Siskind and Betty Hahn.  Successive generations of photographers continue to be greatly influenced by his teachings, critical essays on photography and the images he created.  

Jonathan Williams (1929–2008)
Founder of the Jargon Society and publisher of Jargon Press, Jonathan Williams was born in Asheville, North Carolina. He attended St. Albans School in Washington, DC, and then Princeton University before dropping out to attend the Chicago Institute of Design and Black Mountain College. A photographer and graphic artist, his books include An Ear in Bartram’s Tree: Selected Poems, 1957-1967 (1969), Strung Out with Elgar on a Hill (1970), Blues & Roots/Rue & Bluets: A Garland for the Southern Appalachians (1971), The Loco Logodaedalus in Situ (1972), Elite/Elate Poems (1979), and Get Hot or Get Out: A Selection of Poems, 1957-1981 (1982). He was the publisher of the Jargon Press. 

Louis Zukofsky (1904–1978)
Louis Zukofsky is an important American poet. The son of immigrant Russian Jews, he was born into the Jewish ghetto of the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1904. His conception of himself as a poet was indebted to Kaballistic Judaism, with both its emphasis on the magically transforming power of language and its division of the world into a tiny circle of initiates and a great mass of ignorant outsiders.