Constance Alexander: Film inspired by Kentucky writer Wendell Berry commands us to “Look & See”

“Is there a way to go back?” was the first question posed by a member of the audience after a recent one-time screening at Paducah’s Maiden Alley Cinema of “Look & See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry.” The provocative documentary featuring the renowned Kentucky writer, poet, teacher, farmer, and outspoken citizen of a lost landscape, begins with Berry’s lyrical narration of lines from...

Rural Blog: ‘Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry’ documentary premiers in New York Friday

A film documenting the shifting values of rural America through the eyes of writer, farmer and activist Wendell Berry is set to premiere at the IFC Center in New York on June 30, reports Whitney Hale of the University of Kentucky. “Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry” is the first documentary about Berry, one of America’s most prominent living writers. It was filmed in and around...

Kentucky by Heart: Writing room provides many opportunities for virtual trips, enriching experiences

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist My sweet spot for leisurely travel destinations is almost always centered within the state of Kentucky. I don’t feel deprived at all in saying so about what might seem to be such modest expectations; Kentucky is a special place that I can both enjoy and feel a sense of pride as I travel it. Call me simple in tastes, but it won’t matter a bit to me. There’s...

Kentucky by Heart: No shortage of inspirational quotes attributed to well-known Kentuckians

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist My dad used to say to me when I was growing up: “When in doubt, don’t.” I forgot his source for that bit of advice, but I have often recalled those words at appropriate times (though, frankly, I’ve not always heeded them). Fact is, focusing on people’s words can certainly have an effect on the way we act, and that can sometimes be a real positive. At other...

Kentucky by Heart: One man’s top 10 bucket list of books not to be missed — what are your favorites?

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist My love of reading Kentucky-related books, particularly non-fiction, started as a child. Inspired by my father’s interest in showing our small family the people and places of the state, I devoured the biographies in the tiny Grant’s Lick Elementary School library dealing with the Commonwealth. I read books about Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, Mary...

Kentucky by Heart: Murray State historian Duane Bolin approaches each day with joy

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist The first time I met Dr. Duane Bolin, history professor at Murray State University since 1996, was when we participated in a special book signing event in Frankfort a few years ago. It involved Kentucky Monthly writers who had also authored books. I quickly found Duane to have a friendly spirit and a deep, working knowledge of Kentucky’s history. That interested...

Rural Blog: St. Catharine College closing due to funding; U.S. Education Department dispute cited

When the only women’s college in Kentucky announced last month that it would admit men as resident students for the first time, the president of Midway University indicated it was a move for survival in “challenging times for private higher education.” His point was illustrated in another small Kentucky town Wednesday, as Saint Catharine College near Springfield announced that it...

Constance Alexander: It’s springtime in Kentucky and there’s plenty to love about poetry

Ask me to give a talk in April, and it’s poetry you’ll be hearing, no matter what. And if the topic is announced to the group in advance, some will manufacture a flimsy reason to skip the event. Others smile in anticipation as they put the date on the calendar because, in some deep recess of the brain, you secretly love poetry. It’s buried deep in your pockets, tucked in the cushions of the...

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group annual conference set for Lexington next week

The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SAWG) annual conference is scheduled Jan. 27-30 in Lexington, Ky. SAWG, which operates in 13 states in the South—Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia—”was founded in 1991 to foster a movement toward a more sustainable farming and food...

Kentucky author Wendell Berry selected for Lifetime Achievement Award from National Book Critics Circle

Renowned Kentucky farmer-author-poet-philosopher Wendell Berry will receive the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement award from the National Book Critics Circle, states the organization. Wendell Berry (Photo from Rural Blog) “Now 81 and still productive, Berry is the author of eight novels, two short story collections, 28 volumes of poetry and 31 volumes of nonfiction. Set in the imaginary town...

It’s an ‘all-star lineup,’ with Wendell Berry as the headliner, at this year’s Kentucky Book Fair

Renowned essayist, novelist and poet Wendell Berry heads an “all-star lineup” for the 34th annual Kentucky Book Fair. Berry will be among more than 200 international, national and state authors and illustrators at the state’s premier literary event on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Frankfort Convention Center. The fifth annual Kids and Teens Day, featuring more than...

‘In failing the Earth, we are failing humanity,’ Prince Charles says during Louisville visit

In a whirlwind visit to Louisville this past Friday, Prince Charles highlighted issues related to sustainability and local food. In a speech at Cathedral of the Assumption, the heir to the British throne told the audience that Earth can’t afford to keep supporting a consumerist society. A transcript of his speech, which was introduced by Wendell Berry, follows:     * * * * * * * * *...

In Rare Form: Black Swan Books weathers changing landscape to celebrate 30 years

Black Swan Books owner Michael Courtney is celebrating the store’s 30th anniversary with a limited edition poem letter-pressed with handset type on handmade paper. (Photo by Alan Cornett)

Annual Kentucky Book Fair provides nearly $400,000 in grants to school, public libraries

(Photo from KBF)   Nearly 200 authors will participate in the 33rd annual Kentucky Book Fair on Nov. 15 at the Frankfort Convention Center, signing and talking about books as diverse as basketball, bourbon and the Beatles.   The book fair, Kentucky’s premier literary event, is one of the oldest of its kind in the nation. Since its inception in 1981, proceeds from the fair have resulted...

A book for anyone’s taste ready for autograph at Frankfort’s 33rd Kentucky Book Fair

(Photo from KBF)   Nearly 200 authors will participate in the 33rd annual Kentucky Book Fair on Nov. 15 at the Frankfort Convention Center, signing and talking about books as diverse as basketball, bourbon and the Beatles.   The book fair, Kentucky’s premier literary event, is one of the oldest of its kind in the nation. Since its inception in 1981, proceeds from the fair have resulted...

Kentucky Book Fair coming for 33rd year with basketball, Beatlemania and the Civil War

Kentucky’s premier literary event – Kentucky Book Fair – is coming for the 33rd year to the Frankfort Convention Center on Saturday, Nov. 15, with nearly 200 authors in attendance and an expected 4,000-5,000 patrons visiting.   The fourth Annual Children’s Day will take place the day before on Friday, Nov. 14.   Teeny Lamothe’s latest (Photo from KBF) The scores...

Pumped Up: Four professors excited about launch of UK’s new MFA in creative writing

By Sarah Schuetze Special to KyForward   There are many parallels between initiating a program and starting a novel, poem or story. Those creative possibilities inspired the University of Kentucky’s creative writing faculty who are enthusiastically beginning the first semester of the school’s new master of fine arts.   For Andrew Ewell, a new assistant professor in UK’s Department...

Katie Shoultz: ‘Visionary’ Tim Vogt focuses
on bringing people together, shedding labels

Bridget and Tim Vogt started Starfire, a person-centered organization based in Cincinnati. (Photo provided.)   Every once in a while, the whole notion of the six degrees of separation finds its way into a conversation of mine. It still intrigues me, really, that I am only a few friends away from knowing everyone else in the world.   But I think after meeting Tim Vogt of Bellevue, my degrees...

Group of writers, musicians and activists plan an evening against a proposed I-75 connector

A map of four I-75 connector project zones the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has identified for further study (Photo from ky.gov)   A who’s who of Kentucky writers, musicians and prominent activists plan a rally Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at The Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center in Lexington decrying a proposed I-75 connector project the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has been studying...

Pleas for Robinson Forest protection from mining, logging spark book by UK professors

Staff report   Eastern Kentucky’s Robinson Forest, owned by the University of Kentucky, is considered one of the state’s most important natural landscapes and yet also one of the most threatened.   UK faculty members Erik Reece of the Department of English and James Krupa of the Department of Biology recently released a book that brings to life the history and ecology of the...