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By Kelley Bozeman

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Gurney Norman

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"I love Eastern Kentucky. I have fond memories of playing on the riverbank when I was younger."

-- Gurney Norman,
novelist and professor of creative writing at UK

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April 24, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) -- University of Kentucky professor and novelist Gurney Norman will be presented with the 2002 Eastern Kentucky Arts and Cultural Leadership Award at 6 p.m., April 26, at the Paramount Theatre in Ashland, Ky. Norman, an English professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of seven recipients.

The Grundy, Va., native, who was raised near Hazard, has taught creative writing at UK since 1979.

Tony Turner, award committee member and station manager at WYMT-TV in Hazard, said Norman was chosen because of his commitment and support of arts and culture in Eastern Kentucky.

"These awards are given to help grow and recognize leaders in the community," Turner said. "Gurney has never forgotten the area where he grew up."

"I love Eastern Kentucky," Norman said. "I have fond memories of playing on the riverbank when I was younger." Norman said he's been engrossed with the natural world all of his life.

"I teach Appalachian and Kentucky literature and I always tell people…in Kentucky, we are special…special because we have a long memory," he said. "To cultivate this memory is part of our cultural heritage. I am dedicated to serving the state and trying to nourish societal health."

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