A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

University Press of Kentucky names Ashley Runyon new director, effective March 11; she returns to KY

By Danielle Donham University of Kentucky The University Press of Kentucky (UPK) has named Ashley Runyon as its newest director, effective March 11. A Kentucky native, Runyon has a history with UPK, including getting her start in publishing as a work-study student there. Located on the campus of the University of Kentucky, the University Press of Kentucky is a consortium press — the scholarly publisher...

Stan MacDonald: Kentucky’s scholarly press is essential to telling our state’s story

The University Press of Kentucky is housed in a no-frills building with small offices on the periphery of a university campus. The understated appearance gives no hint at what this relatively small publisher of scholarly and general interest books has accomplished. The Press has gained a national reputation for its awarding-winning works of fiction and histories about Kentucky, Appalachia, the Civil...

Kentucky by Heart: Kentucky Senator Richard Mentor Johnson led an interesting and controversial life

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist I have been reading The US Senate and the Commonwealth (University Press of Kentucky, 2019), by Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and Roy Brownell II. It focuses on an overall study of senate leadership, along with a fascinating look at what the book calls “the colorful and vivid lives of fifteen Kentucky lawmakers, including Henry Clay, Alben Barkley, and John...

New book co-authored by EKU president examines role of higher education on American Democracy

“The link between democracy and higher education has long been embedded in the American story.” That’s how co-authors Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson and Hal Boyd open the first chapter of “College for the Commonwealth: A Case for Higher Education in American Democracy,” newly published by University Press of Kentucky. Benson and Boyd, a former special assistant to Benson...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Richard Taylor’s new book explores history, inhabitants of Elkhorn Creek

Richard Taylor, a professor of English and Kenan Visiting Writer at Transylvania University, explores the natural history, early inhabitants, and commerce along an eight-mile stretch of the main stem of the Bluegrass Region’s most esteemed waterway in his new book Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape, published by University Press of Kentucky. Paul Sawyier (1865-1917) was an American impressionist...

Former Kentucky Poet Laureate Jane Gentry honored posthumously by Appalachian Writers Association

University Press of Kentucky author and former Kentucky Poet Laureate Jane Gentry (1941–2014) has been named the recipient of Appalachian Writers Association’s 2017 Appalachian Book of the Year for Poetry for her posthumous collection The New and Collected Poems of Jane Gentry, edited by Julia Johnson. The AWA’s mission is to recognize and promote writing about the Appalachian region. They work...

Fayette County Extension Service will present fifth installment of Kentucky Proud Evenings July 23

Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service will present the fifth installment of the Kentucky Proud Evenings series Monday, July 23 with guest author Deirdre Scaggs discussing her book, “The Historic Kentucky Kitchen: Traditional Recipes for Today’s Cook.” The free monthly series celebrates The University Press of Kentucky’s 75th anniversary with author discussions and samples from Plate...

‘Making patterns’ and creating powerful fiction, Kentucky’s Bobbie Ann Mason offers ‘Patchwork’

By Mack McCormick and Whitney Hale University Press of Kentucky Life is a quilt — random bits of memory that somehow fit together, forming a cohesive yet unlikely pattern. One of the best ways to uncover these seemingly hidden patterns, as demonstrated by Kentucky writer and University of Kentucky alumna Bobbie Ann Mason, is through fiction. “Writing fiction is a way of making patterns, discovering...

Kentucky Proud Evening in June shines a light on famous Lexington cold case

Fayette County Cooperative Extension Service will present the fourth installment of the Kentucky Proud Evenings series Monday, June 25 with guest author Robert G. Lawson talking about his book, “Who Killed Betty Gail Brown? Murder, Mistrial, and Mystery.” The free monthly series celebrates The University Press of Kentucky’s 75th anniversary with author discussions and samples from Plate It Up!...

University Press of Kentucky celebrating 75 years with LexArts UPK75 exhibit, other initiatives

Three-quarters of a century ago, what would become University Press of Kentucky (UPK) got its start in the History Department at the University of Kentucky. Now, over 2100 books later, they are celebrating that history with a special LexArts Gallery Hop exhibit — UPK75 — opening on the second floor of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning May 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be entertainment,...

Ky. Humanities Council’s new statewide literacy project features Pulitzer winner All the King’s Men

Kentucky Humanities’ new project, Kentucky Reads: All the King’s Men, will use Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to guide a statewide conversation on contemporary populism and political discourse, and their relationship to journalism. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as cooperation with valued partners, Kentucky...

Budget agreement includes cuts, full pension contributions and some new revenue

By Ashley Spalding Kentucky Center for Economic Policy The state budget passed Monday by the General Assembly for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 is very similar to the House’s budget proposal. Like the House proposal, the budget agreement – and accompanying revenue bill – includes substantial cuts in many areas but also raises a small amount of revenue and relies heavily on fund transfers in order...

University Press of Kentucky author Carol Boggess named 2018 Weatherford Award recipient

Carol Boggess University Press of Kentucky author Carol Boggess has been named the winner of the 2018 Weatherford Award for Non-Fiction for her biography James Still: A Life. The award is presented annually by Berea College and the Appalachian Studies Association to outstanding books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry that showcase unique aspects of Appalachian life and culture. It was created in...

UPK author Kathleen Driskell’s collection of poems named 2018 Judy Gaines Young Book Award winner

University Press of Kentucky author Kathleen Driskell has been named the winner of the 2018 Judy Gaines Young Book Award for her book Next Door to the Dead: Poems. The award is given annually by Transylvania University to the author of a recent book of distinction from the Appalachian region, and this year’s winner was selected by Jason Howard, editor of Appalachian Heritage and lecturer at Berea...

Former ambassador to Bulgaria James Pardew to speak at Transylvania U., UK’s Patterson School

With current tensions between the US and North Korea on the rise, continued instability in the Middle East, and a resurgent Russia, it is more important than ever to use the United States’ past foreign policy as an avenue of learning and improvement. James W. Pardew As a leading policymaker in the Balkans following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, former ambassador to Bulgaria James W. Pardew boasts...

New book analyzes impact of Kentucky’s ‘Rebel Press’ on public opinion during the Civil War

Throughout the Civil War, the influence of the popular press and its skillful use of propaganda was extremely significant in Kentucky. Union and Confederate sympathizers were scattered throughout the border slave state, and in 1860, at least twenty-eight of the Commonwealth’s approximately sixty newspapers were pro-Confederate, making the secessionist cause seem stronger in Kentucky than it was in...

Debut poetry collection from Rachel Danielle Peterson gives voice to Appalachia

Rachel Danielle Peterson is emerging as a unique, poetic voice of Appalachia. While regional narratives have traditionally been misrepresented or overlooked, she seeks to change that by writing candid work that mixes the compassion characteristic of a native with an unflinching honesty only possible with the critical distance of an ex-patriot. Her lyrical poetry illuminates the things we keep in the...

Kentucky Trinity: New book shines light on state favorites burgoo, barbecue and bourbon

As Kentuckians celebrate fall in the Bluegrass, it is sure they can be found at Keeneland or tailgating football games with one or more of the trinity of good taste in the Commonwealth — burgoo, barbecue and bourbon. A new book from University Press of Kentucky (UPK) by award-winning author and chef Albert W. A. Schmid serves up a feast for readers wanting to know more about these beloved and tasty...

Author David Domine’s ghost stories from Louisville available once again to chill and delight

When David Dominé moved into a house in the historic Old Louisville neighborhood, he dismissed local rumors of a resident poltergeist named Lucy. Before long, however, unnerving, disembodied footsteps and mysterious odors caused him to flee his home in the middle of the night. David Domine What began as a search to find rational explanations for the strange occurrences turned into a new life as a...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Woody Plants of Kentucky and Tennessee great addition for amateur naturalists

A deer hunter finds an acorn in the woods and wants to know what species of oak it came from; a hiker encounters an unfamiliar shrub at trail side covered in distinctive foliage and colorful berries. Even for experienced outdoor enthusiasts, the diversity of the natural world provides a continual source of amazement. Identification of woody plants — trees, shrubs, and woody vines — is...