Annette Y. Kirk

Annette Y. Kirk is president of the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal and publisher of the cultural quarterly The University Bookman. She is also director of the Wilbur Foundation residential Fellows Program.

Annette Y. Kirk

A native New Yorker, Mrs. Kirk moved to the village of Mecosta, Michigan in 1964 when she married Russell Kirk. While raising their four daughters and acting as lecture agent for her husband, she founded the Mecosta County Council for the Arts, restored a one-room schoolhouse, and served as Chairman of the Mecosta Country Board of Social Services.

Mrs. Kirk was a board member of the Midland Charter Initiative and the Education Freedom Fund, which awards scholarships to low-income students in Michigan Schools. She served for some years as an advisor to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and to the Heritage Foundation’s Russell Kirk Memorial Lecture Series. In 2002 she was appointed to the board of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

Annette Kirk received her Bachelor of Arts degree and an honorary doctor of letters from Molloy College. She taught English and Drama in a New York public high school and did graduate work in theater at Queen’s College, in literature at St. John’s University, and in education at Columbia University.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Annette Kirk to the National Commission on Excellence in Education, which in 1983 published the landmark report, A Nation at Risk, elevating educational issues to national prominence. Since then, she has encouraged our educational and political leaders to consider to what purpose we are educating our youth, and whether true education can exist without a moral dimension.

During her thirty-year marriage to Russell Kirk, they gave joint lectures, campaigned for political candidates, and hosted thousands of students at seminars held in The Russell Kirk Center library where Russell Kirk wrote almost all of his thirty-two books over a period of forty years.

Selected lectures by Annette Kirk

By 'the Permanent Things' [T. S. Eliot] meant those elements in the human condition that give us our nature, without which we are as the beasts that perish. They work upon us all in the sense that both they and we are bound up in that continuity of belief and institution called the great mysterious incorporation of the human race.

Russell Kirk

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Russell Kirk as a Midwestern Writer

A panel on “Russell Kirk as a Midwestern Writer”  took place at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature on June 2, 2015 at Michigan State University. Jon Lauck was the moderator and presentations were made by Gleaves Whitney, James Person and James Seaton. The session was recorded and is available here.

Jul 2015

Spring Newsletter

The latest number of the Russell Kirk Center newsletter (Spring 2015) has just been posted. It features news on the recent Edmund Burke Society conference and other recent visitors and scholars at the Kirk Center. You can download it, and past issues, here.

Jun 2015

ISI video draws on Kirk’s thought

The Intercollegiate Review has published a short video with Robert Reilly that was shot at Mecosta last summer. In it, Bob Reilly draws on Russell Kirk’s The Roots of American Order to explain why “America is older than you think.” The video is just two minutes long, but Bob manages to give a thoughtful introduction to three of the four cities: Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome.

Apr 2015