A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky by Heart: Historian breaks new ground with book on Ky.’s role in passage of 19th Amendment

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist It was a long and circuitous path toward the final passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, the act giving America’s women the right to vote. It would take years of grinding work amidst plenty of fits and starts, and the complexities of the issue of fighting for women’s suffrage were enormous. The leaders of the movement were far from united, and the...

Kentucky Humanities selects Crystal Wilkinson’s ‘The Birds of Opulence’ for 2021 Kentucky Reads

University Press of Kentucky author Crystal Wilkinson’s novel, “The Birds of Opulence,” has been selected by Kentucky Humanities for the 2021 Kentucky Reads. The novel will be at the center of statewide conversations on the dynamics of family and community, the strength of women, and the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Kentucky Reads will offer 25 scholar-led discussions of “The...

Kentucky Humanities selects Crystal Wilkinson’s ‘The Birds of Opulence’ for 2021 Kentucky Reads

Kentucky Humanities has selected Crystal Wilkinson’s The Birds of Opulence for its 2021 Kentucky Reads. The novel will be at the center of statewide conversations on the dynamics of family and community, the strength of women, and the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Kentucky Reads will offer 25 scholar-led discussions of The Birds of Opulence to community organizations throughout the Commonwealth....

Newest edition of Kentucky Bourbon Country guide provides a wealth of knowledge for bourbon lovers

By Hayden Gooding University of Kentucky Explore the culture of Kentucky bourbon and safely visit some of the most famous distilleries that are tucked away in the Bluegrass region through the University Press of Kentucky’s new edition of “Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide.” Written by College of Communication and Information alumna Susan Reigler, the third edition of “Kentucky...

Constance Alexander: The 2020 Kentucky Book Festival will be a virtual trove of literary treasure

Karen Salyer McElmurray writes with a longing for home, and for her that means Kentucky. “It’s my deepest heart’s home,” is how she puts it. Both sides of her family are from the commonwealth, but she has lived in many other places. Right now residing in Maryland, she describes the feeling as “living in two worlds,” and expresses the hope that maybe when she retires, it could be in Kentucky,...

Constance Alexander: How to best define Appalachian writing? Well, that depends…

Discussion begins with one word: Appalachia. What is the proper pronunciation? Long “a” or short? The dictionary confirms there is a “latch” in the middle, but is the latch fastened or not? Is the door opened, closed, or locked? Is it an entrance, exit, or both? Is there a secret password for admission, or are tourists welcome? Answers to these questions may spark disagreement because the way...

New book shines light on women’s history and their impact on the University of Kentucky

By University Press of Kentucky, Whitney Hale and Danielle Donham Special to KyForward In 1880, 43 women walked into the president’s office at the University of Kentucky and signed the student register, becoming the first female students at a public college in the Commonwealth. For them, gaining admittance was only the beginning. While men outnumber women five to one in Professor James White’s...

Daily Yonder: Recently published anthology of Appalachian literature walks on new ground

By James Branscome Special to KyForward If you are one of the hundreds of thousands who have read J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy or maybe even one of the 14,344 who have reviewed it on Amazon, you may have been led to believe that Appalachia is a region of 25 or so million of your fellow Americans who are culturally degenerate, likely illiterate, all Trump voters, and are very representative of what’s...

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...