Ron Whitehead is poet, writer, editor, publisher, organizer, scholar, professor. The son of Edwin and Greta Whitehead, he grew up on a farm outside of Centertown, population 323, in Ohio County, western Kentucky. He graduated from Ohio County High School in 1968. He attended Georgetown College, Western Kentucky University, The University of Louisville, and Oxford University (England). As undergraduate and graduate student he was the recipient of numerous scholarships, grants, fellowships, awards, and prizes including The Dean's Graduate School Citation at UofL and The English Speaking Union's Oxford Scholar Award plus the Joshua B. Everett Oxford Scholar Award. At Oxford he studied with Dr. Valentine Cunningham, Head of English Literature, at Oxford's International Graduate School. As poet and writer he is the recipient of numerous state, national, and international awards/prizes including The All Kentucky Poetry Prize and The Yeats Club of Oxford's Prize for Poetry. In 2004 he was inducted into Ohio County High School's Hall of Fame. In 2006 Dr. John Rocco (NYC) nominated Ron for The Nobel Prize in Literature.
Ron has taught college for 15 years at The University of Louisville, Spalding University, Jefferson Community College, St. Catharine College, and Bellarmine University. He has presented numerous talks, lectures, and writing workshops around the world at colleges, universities, and institutions which include Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), The University of Iceland (Reykjavik, Iceland), The University of Braga (Braga, Portugal), The University of Nijmegen (Nigmegen, The Netherlands), New York University (New York, New York), Hofstra University (New York, New York), University of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky), University of New Orleans (New Orleans, Louisiana), and many more. He has presented papers and chaired sessions at over 60 national and international Literature, Culture, and Arts Conferences including the Thirteenth Annual James Joyce Symposium at University College and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and the Eighty-Second Annual Scandinavian Culture Conference at Hofstra University on Long Island in New York.
In 1992 Ron founded The Global Literary Renaissance, a non-profit organization, supporting the global literary community. He was Director of the Global Literary Renaissance for 14 years. Ron has produced over 1,000 music and poetry events throughout Europe and the USA including many 24, 48, 72 & 90 hour Non-Stop Music & Poetry INSOMNIACATHONs plus he produced The Official Hunter S. Thompson Tribute (featuring Hunter, Johnny Depp, Warren Zevon, Roxanne Pulitzer, David Amram, Hunter's mother, Virginia, & son, Juan, & many others), the London International Poetry & Song Festival (with Richard Deakin), The New York City Underground Music & Poetry Festival (with Casey Cyr & others), The Netherland's 10-day International Meer Dan Woorden Festival (with Jan Pankow & others), LIVE at THE RUD Benefit Concert (with Jim James and Sarah Elizabeth), plus many many more.
He has edited over 1,000 titles and published over 600 titles including work by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter, Seamus Heaney, Jack Kerouac, Diane di Prima, Allen Ginsberg, John Updike, BONO, Yoko Ono, Andy Warhol, Amiri Baraka, Rita Dove, David Amram, Thomas Merton, Wendell Berry, Edvard Munch, William S. Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Herbert Huncke, James Laughlin, Douglas Brinkley, Lee Ranaldo, Robert Hunter, Anne Waldman, Ed Sanders, David Minton, Bob Holman, Cathal O'Searcaigh, Eithne Strong, Theo Dorgan, Jim Carroll, Casey Cyr, Denis Mahoney, Frank Messina, Steve Dalachinsky, Jean Genet, Jan Kerouac, Christopher Felver, Brother Patrick Hart, Robert Lax, Sarah Elizabeth, and many many others. Ron recently retired from editing, publishing, and organizing events.
Ron's work has been exhibited round the world from New York City to Louisville to New Orleans to San Francisco and from India to Czech Republic to Italy to Portugal to Ireland to The Netherlands to Iceland and beyond. The UN/UNESCO "Poetry On The Peaks" program selected The Dalai Lama/Ron Whitehead "Never Give Up" message/poem poster as its theme for 2002. Thousands of copies were donated and shipped to cities, mountain villages, Buddhist, and other communities, groups, and organizations round the world. The "Never Give Up" poem has been published in numerous publications including NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, a book by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, and many others.
For the past 17 years Ron has been GOing non-stop. He is the author of 19 books and he has work on over 20 CDs.
His BOOK titles include:
WESTERN KENTUCKY: Lost & Forgotten, Found & Remembered (with Sarah Elizabeth)
His CD titles include:
TAPPING MY OWN PHONE