Pennington’s papers include extensive correspondence with poet, novelist and educator Jesse Stuart. The correspondence between two Eastern Kentucky natives, both former Kentucky poet laureates, spans the years1957 to 1981. The donation complements a major collection of Stuart’s works and papers that he placed on permanent loan to Rare Books in 1980. Special Collections continues to hold the collection for the Jesse Stuart Foundation.
The new archive area, expected to open in spring 2013, will provide climate-controlled housing and exhibition space for primary source and research materials covering a range of disciplines.
Pennington has published more than 1,300 poems in periodicals worldwide and in numerous poetry collections. He has also has held lifelong interests as a folklorist and educator and has branched out his writing skills as a published playwright, journalist and documentarian.