County author Lampton
reaches to the heavens in her latest work
draws inspiration from nature for her books
Helen E. McKinney
(December 2007) The arts play a major role
in Nana Lamptons life. A painter and author, Lampton has just
released her latest poetic effort, The Moon with the Sun in Her
by Helen McKinney
Nana Lampton poses among
her books at the Kentucky Book Fair.
Since I was a child writing and painting have been
so much a part of my life, said Lampton. The Moon with the
Sun in Her Eye is Lamptons first attempt at a book of poetry.
Four years of hard work were put into the content of the book.
Lampton, 65, said she often takes her inspiration from the land.
Frequently, her farm, where she has lived for the last 20 years near
the Ohio River in Oldham County, is the subject matter of her writings.
Readers can sense the deep connection to nature that shines through
her work. One reason for this is that she grew up on a farm in Oldham
County. Lampton is very in tune with nature and shows her knowledge
of the changing seasons, sun and moon patterns and the lay of the open
fields in her poetry.
In The Moon with the Sun in Her Eye, Nana Lampton
boldly explores the tension between the feminine moon and the masculine
sun. In using the dual lenses of metaphor and image, she asks all of
us, Why cant we see more clearly? said Sena
Jeter Naslund, editor of the book. Naslund, a well-known Kentucky author
of such books as Ahabs Wife, published the book through
Fleur-de-Lis Press of Spalding University.
Naslund and Karen Mann co-founded Fleur-de-Lis Press in 1976 to celebrate
the 20th anniversary of the literary magazine, The Louisville Review.
Were devoted to publishing first books by authors. Were
a sort of stepping stone, said Naslund. Fleur-de-Lis Press publishes
one or two titles a year from authors such as Lampton out of their Louisville
There was always a tutor in the mix, said Lampton, referring
to her grandfathers role in her choice of becoming a writer. Her
grandfather, Mason Houghland, lived in Tennessee and Lampton has vivid
memories of him reading to her as a young child.
Her mother, Nancy Lampton, would also read to her, encouraging and cultivating
Lamptons desire to write. By reading to her daughter, Nancy Lampton
kept her daughters mind open and full of imagination.
Nana is a splendid original poet, said Naslund. She was
a former student of Naslunds at the University of Louisville.
The front cover of the book is from a painting Lampton created of her
farm. The original work of art was purchased by the Brown Forman Corp.
to hang in its office in Louisville.
Lampton paints mostly landscapes in watercolor and oil. My mother
was a wonderful landscape painter, said Lampton. Her mother instilled
in her the love of the arts at a very early age.
A graduate of Louisville Collegiate School, Lampton attended Wellesley
College and earned a bachelors degree with a major in English
Literature. She earned a masters degree in English Literature
at the University of Virginia, where she completed a year of graduate
study in English and Writing. Lampton attended the Smaller Company Management
Program at Harvard Universitys Graduate School of Business Administration.
Three art shows were held last year exhibiting her work. In 2000, the
University of Louisvilles Hite Art Institute exhibited 53 works
by Lampton. It was her first major show. The vast volume of works covered
her response to nature over the past two decades.
Lampton is CEO and Chairman of American Life and Accident Insurance
Co. of Kentucky in addition to holding the same titles with Hardscuffle
Inc. She travels extensively on business always packing a sketchbook
with her to document her world travels to such places as Kenya, Africa,
India and Czechoslovakia.
In June 2008, Lampton will be exhibiting
her artwork at the Smith-Berry Winery in New Castle, Ky. Her book of
poetry, The Moon with the Sun in Her Eye, can be purchased
for $15 through Fleur-de-Lis Press by calling (502) 585-9911, ext. 2777,
or online at: www.spalding.edu/louisvillereview/press.htm.
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