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By Whitney Hale
University of Kentucky
A group of historical and literary organizations in the Bluegrass have teamed up to present an author series highlighting popular cultural and historic topics in the Commonwealth.
The Waveland Summer Author Series, a free series open to the public, is sponsored by Friends of Waveland, University Press of Kentucky (UPK) and The Morris Book Shop, and will feature UPK authors speaking about their works in the context of Kentucky’s rich history. The Waveland Summer Author Series will begin May 17 at Waveland State Historic Site in Lexington.
For its inaugural event on May 17, the series will feature author and part-time UK history instructor James C. Nicholson and his book “The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event.”
Nicholson provides an intriguing and thorough history of the Kentucky Derby, examining the tradition, spectacle, culture, and evolution of the Derby – the brightest jewel of the Triple Crown. This event will give visitors a chance to interact with the author and hear firsthand how the most exciting two minutes in sports earned its title.
Each session runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Sessions will be held either on the grounds or in the cabin at Waveland, located at 225 Waveland Museum Lane, just off Nicholasville Road outside of New Circle Road. The sessions will feature an author talk, followed by a book signing.
Books will be available for purchase on-site from The Morris Book Shop and those wishing to read ahead may pick up a copy at the store, located at 882 E. High St. in Lexington.
Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch, or may pre-order a box lunch from Belle’s Bakery by calling 859-269-8223 (48 hours in advance). Tours of the Waveland Mansion will be available on the hour at the regular price through 4 p.m.
Ron Bryant, manager of Waveland State Historic Site, believes that Waveland and the University Press of Kentucky make a good match.
“The collaboration between the two is a natural pairing. This new series will fulfill the missions of both institutions by promoting an interest in history as well as a sense of what Kentucky has to offer,” Bryant said.
Mack McCormick, publicity and rights manager for the press, is enthusiastic about the upcoming series: “It will provide Lexington with a much needed, regular venue for a serious public discussion of our state’s history,” McCormick said. “Our authors are looking forward to sharing their knowledge about the Commonwealth with members of the community.”
The series will continue every third Thursday through October, with a new featured author each month. Here is the rest of the schedule:
• UK Extension Professor and Wildlife Specialist Thomas G. Barnes, “Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky” and “Wildflowers and Ferns of Kentucky,” June 21
• Mary Hamilton, “Kentucky Folktales: Revealing Stories, Truths, and Outright Lies,” July 19
• Retiring UK history faculty member Dan Rowland, “Bluegrass Renaissance: The History and Culture of Central Kentucky, 1792-1852,” Aug. 16
• Mike Veach, “The Social History of Bourbon,” by Gerald Carson, Sept. 20
• Macy Wyatt, “Ghosts of the Bluegrass,” Oct. 18
Six miles south of downtown Lexington, Waveland State Historic Site stands as one of Kentucky’s most dignified and gracious antebellum mansions. Completed in 1848 by Joseph Bryan, a grandnephew of Daniel Boone, Waveland is open to the public, and guests are encouraged to enjoy the beautiful grounds the site has to offer.
The University Press of Kentucky, organized in 1949, is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The press publishes books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields, as well as books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South and Appalachia. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of University Press of Kentucky are found at the University of Kentucky, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the book publisher.
For more information or to purchase any of the novels listed from University Press of Kentucky, visit the press online at www.kentuckypress.com.
Ron Bryant and Ethan Levine also contributed to this story
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