2019 gonzofest louisville Programming

12:00 – 12:55 – LFPL Auditorium
Panel: Kentucky Journalism From Nixon To Trump
How has political reporting changed since the Nixon administration and the political turmoil of the 1960s and 1970s? Did the Gonzo style ever reach Kentucky newsrooms? Panelists will reflect on covering Washington, Frankfort, and City Hall, the interactions between various administrations and the press, and personal experiences on the campaign trail and political beat.

Timothy Denevi
is the author of Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson's Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism (PublicAffairs, 2018) and Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD (Simon & Schuster, 2014). His essays on politics, sport, and religion have appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine, Salon, The Normal School, and Literary Hub. He received his MFA in nonfiction from the University of Iowa, and he's been awarded fellowships by the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Tim is an assistant professor at George Mason University and lives with his family near Washington, DC.

Keith Runyon
was an award-winning writer and editor for The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times in Louisville, Kentucky, from 1969 until his retirement in 2012. For most of his career he was an editor of opinion, serving on the editorial board from 1977 until his retirement. He is also a lawyer (University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, 1982). He now is a frequent commentator on Louisville Public Media, and a consultant on many civic endeavors.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Olivia Krauth reports on education in Louisville, including JCPS, the University of Louisville and state policy. Before joining Insider Louisville, she covered technology and business as a reporter at TechRepublic. She also spent time on the data team at the Austin American-Statesman in Texas as a Dow Jones intern.Krauth graduated from UofL, where she was an award-winning editor of The Louisville Cardinal and obtained a degree in investigative journalism with a minor in Russian studies.

1:00 PM – HPK Threshold - Live Music on the Main Stage

1:15 – 2:10 PM – LFPL Auditorium
Literary Journalism and the Birth of Gonzo
Gonzo journalism didn’t spring fully-formed from under Hunter S. Thompson’s bucket hat. Throughout the 1960s, journalism was being pushed ahead by a group of writers including Joan Didion, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, and Thompson himself. William McKeen, chair of the department of journalism at Boston University, will set Thompson’s signature style in the journalistic context from which it emerged.

William McKeen is the chair of the department of journalism at Boston University and author of, among many other volumes of non-fiction, essays, and memoir, Outlaw Journalist (W.W. Norton, 2008), a biography of Hunter S. Thompson. He has written extensively on music and popular culture, and is the editor of the anthologies Rock and Roll is Here to Stay (W. W. Norton, 2000) and Literary Journalism: A Reader (Wadsworth, 2000). Before beginning his teaching career, he worked for several newspapers and magazines, including The Saturday Evening Post, The American Spectator, the Courier-Journal, the Palm Beach Post and the Tampa Bay Times. His major teaching areas are literary journalism, history of journalism, reporting, feature writing, and history of rock’n’roll.

1:45 PM – Arielle Biddix - Spoken Word on Stage 2

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­2:30 – 3:25 – LFPL Auditorium                                                                                                                     
Ed McClanahan: A Conversation With the Natural Man
Ed McClanahan, a 2019 inductee into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, returns to GonzoFest for a reading, interview, and Q&A. McClanahan emerged from Kentucky as a leading young writer of the 1960s, spending time at Stanford and in the company of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters before returning to Kentucky in the 1970s. Over a long career as a novelist, essayist, memoirist, and educator, McClanahan has earned a dedicated following in the literary world. He will read from his work, and speak with Professor Paul Griner of the University of Louisville about his career, his Kentucky origins, and his relationships with Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Steadman, and Gonzo journalism.  

Ed McClanahan is a native of Brooksville, KY, born in 1932. A graduate of Miami (Ohio) University (AB, 1955) and the University of Kentucky (MA, 1958), he has taught English and creative writing at Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Montana, the University of Kentucky, and Northern Kentucky University. His books include The Natural Man, Famous People I Have Known, A Congress of Wonders, and My Vita, If You Will, among others. O the Clear Moment, which features original cover art by Ralph Steadman, was published by Counterpoint in 2008. His latest book is I Just Hitched In From the Coast: The Ed McClanahan Reader (Counterpoint 2011). His work has appeared in many magazines, including Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Playboy. He has been awarded a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, two Yaddo Fellowships, and an Al Smith Fellowship. He lives with his wife Hilda in Lexington, KY, and is working on a latter-day sequel to Natural Man, titled The Return of the Son of Needmore.

Paul Griner is a professor of English at the University of Louisville. He is the author of the short story collection Follow Me (Random House) and the novels Second Life (Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press), Collectors (Random House) and The German Woman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). His short story collection Hurry Please I Want to Know appeared with Sarabande Press in 2015. His work has been published in Tin House, One Story, Ploughshares, Playboy, Zoetrope, The Telegraph of India, and many other magazines, journals, and anthologies, and has been translated into a half dozen languages. 

2:45 PM – Rob Avezedo - Spoken Word on Stage 2

3:00 PM – Casey Powell featuring Down to Mars - Live Music on the Main Stage

3:45 PM – Tony Brewer - Spoken Word on Stage 2

3:45 – 4:40 – LFPL Auditorium

Featured Speaker: Matt Taibbi
Matt Taibbi, contributing editor at Rolling Stone and author of many volumes of incisive political writing, returns to speak about his work at LFPL for the first time since 2014. If Hunter S. Thompson’s times called for a critical and creative journalistic response, surely our times do as well. has often been described as an inheritor of the Gonzo style. As he catalogs our nation’s political and social ills, Taibbi echoes Thompson by combining outraged observation with thoughtful – and often humorous – critique. 

Matt Taibbi, author of the New York Times bestsellers Insane Clown President, The Divide, Griftopia, and The Great Derangement, is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and winner of the 2008 National Magazine Award for columns and commentary. Taibbi lived and worked in Russia and the former USSR for more than six years in the 1990s and 2000s. Since returning to the US in 2002, he has written for The Nation, Playboy, New York Press, and New York Sports Express. He became a Contributing Editor at Rolling Stone in 2005, writing feature-length articles on domestic and international affairs. He also wrote the introduction to the 40th anniversary edition of Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72.

4:00 PM – Big Atomic - Live Music on the Main Stage

4:45 PM – Interview with artist Grant Goodwine & journalist Miranda McDonald - Stage 2

5:00 PM – Ron Whitehead and the Storm Generation - Live Music on the Main Stage

6:00 PM – Vice Tricks - Live Music on the Main Stage

6:45 PM – Ron Whitehead & Heidi Taylor - Spoken Word on Stage 2

7:00 PM – Zu Zu Ya Ya - Live Music on the Main Stage