From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hayden, Shirley M.

(born: 1960) 

Shirley M. Hayden was born in Lexington, KY and grew up in Maddoxtown, KY, one of 13 children of the late Elmo and Joann Buckner Hayden. Shirley is the author of the 1995 novel, I Tell on Stephen Foster, and The Women of Nelson, which emphasizes the treatment of the families, African American women, and children who accompanied the U.S. Colored soldiers to Camp Nelson, KY during the Civil War. A screenplay is being written based on the book.

Hayden is also a poet with many published works, including It's My Poetry and I'll Cry if I Want To.

Hayden is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and has received writing residencies through the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She spends half her time in Kentucky and half in the hills of North Carolina.

For more see M. Davis, "A footnote of history becomes a novel,"Lexington Herald-Leader, 2/5/2008, Health Family section, p. D1.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Maddoxtown, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: I tell on Stephen Foster
NKAA Source: The Women of Nelson : a novel
NKAA Source: It's my poetry and I'll cry if I want to (poem)
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hayden, Shirley M.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-07-26 17:58:23