About KAF

The University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum is a non-profit, nationally-recognized literary event. Author Forum programs carefully match an author and interviewer; their hour-long candid conversation takes place before a live audience in the Bomhard Theater of Kentucky Performing Arts in Louisville. The event is recorded and distributed by KET, airing as the series Great Conversations on PBS member stations across the country. The Forums are also recorded and produced into podcasts, called Great Podversations by Kentucky Author Forum. These podcasts are distributed by Louisville Public Media,  and are available online and downloadable.

The University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum was originally created as a cultural, educational effort, sponsored by the University of Louisville, in honor of its bicentennial. These programs have blossomed into one of the best author series on public television, with Great Conversations now available nationwide on PBS stations and Great Podversations podcasts. The vision of Mary Moss Greenebaum, founder and producer of the Author Forum, was that the University of Louisville, given its academic and cultural relationship with the Louisville community, was a natural focal point to create a world-class author event.

The first Forum- Senator Bill Bradley, in conversation with Eleanor Clift- took place on May 13, 1996, in The Kentucky Center’s Bomhard Theater, on a stage set by Bittners. Describing her vision of the Kentucky Author Forum, whose format remains consistent today, Mary Moss Greenebaum said, “I sought from the beginning to create a particular mood for the Forum: the audience should feel they are eavesdropping on a conversation they never expected to hear. Where else could one possibly hear Jane Goodall saying goodnight- in chimpanzee-to her interviewer, Dr. Richard Wrangham, Chair of Anthropology at Harvard?”

Today the University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum is supported by the Owsley Brown II Family, Bittners, LDG Development, and many partners.

The staging of each evening Forum in the Bomhard Theater of Kentucky Performing Arts is skillfully designed by Bittners. The set recreates a handsome library room. Author and interviewer are seated in traditional leather desk chairs and face each other across a reproduction of an antique partners desk. Under the artistic eye of Bittners, surrounding furnishings create an intimate mood for this national dialogue.

The hour-long evening interview is recorded for the Great Podversations podcast, produced by Kentucky Author Forum and distributed by Louisville Public Media. These podcasts are available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, NPR, Google, and most major podcast apps. Each Forum conversation is also recorded by KET, Kentucky Educational Television, and made available to PBS member stations nationwide, where it airs as part of the series Great Conversations. Past interviews are available to stream online on KET’s website .

Our media partner is Louisville’s own Courier-Journal newspaper, which provides the public with a book review prior to each Forum and helps advertise the events. Each author visit includes book sales and signings, coordinated by Louisville’s oldest independent, Carmichael’s Bookstore. Carmichael’s first opened its doors in Louisville in 1978, and in 2009 Carmichael’s was named “Book Seller of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. 

The open book logo, seen at the top of the page, was created for Kentucky Author Forum by designer Julius Friedman.

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