Lee Pennington was born and grew to manhood in Appalachia in a small hillside community called "White Oak" located in western end of Greenup County, Kentucky. He attended the same one room school his parents attended. Later he went to McKell High School where he met and became close friends with the writer Jesse Stuart. The author of 19 other books, Pennington was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his I Knew a Woman and Thigmotropism. He was named Poetry Laureate of Kentucky by the State Legislature in 1984. He says, "Appalachian Newground is, in some small way, my recognizing and honoring the land of my birth." Appalachian Newground is his first book in 23 years.