Preparing for the Kentucky Derby: Kentucky Press Style

Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of the United States, the Kentucky Derby has been pushed back until September 5th. This gives everyone plenty of time to prepare for the day and make it the best Derby celebration so far! Whether you’re a native Kentuckian looking to spice up your Derby day party or someone new to the festivities, these books will help you prepare.

WHICH FORK DO I USE WITH MY BOURBON? by Peggy Noe Stevens & Susan Reigler

UPK has many books that can help spice up your Derby day celebrations. WHICH FORK DO I USE WITH MY BOURBON? has an entire section dedicated to the Kentucky Derby and can help make the food, drink, and decorations go above and beyond. This is the perfect party-planning book. As well as offering step by step recipes for food and drinks, Stevens and Reigler give expert tips and tricks on everything you could need. They bring bourbon country to your table with this cookbook inspired by the different hosting traditions of five different distilleries.

“If there were two people I would turn to for help with bourbon and food, they would be Peggy and Susan. Individually, their knowledge and experience are impressive, but together, their collective depth and wisdom are staggering. Put your faith in this duo and let them help you entertain, amaze, and blow minds in a style worthy of Kentucky’s hospitality-rich and bourbon-drenched history. This book should be a shelf staple for any self-respecting bourbon fan.”

Rob Allanson, managing editor of American Whiskey magazine
THE KENTUCKY MINT JULEP by Colonel Joe Nickell

Are you more of a lay back on the couch with a drink while watching the Derby person? Then the cocktail book, THE KENTUCKY MINT JULEP, can help you perfect that iconic Derby day drink or any other drink you desperately want to try. More than just a recipe book, THE KENTUCKY MINT JULEP dives into the lore and legend of the famous drink. It also shares insight into garnishing and serving as well as choosing the right julep cup.

One of our many Derby books is SPECTACULAR BID, which details the life of almost Triple Crown winner Spectacular Bid. A safety pin was the only thing that kept him from winning the Belmont Stakes, where he finished third due to the injury to his hoof.


For all the history fans out there, UPK has an astounding array of history books about the Derby. Read about Sir Barton and how he was the first horse to win the Triple Crown in SIR BARTON AND THE MAKING OF THE TRIPLE CROWN. With multiple English and American winners in his pedigree, Sir Barton was destined to shine from the start. His wins inspired the ultimate chase for greatness in American horse racing and established an elite group that would grow to include legends like Citation, Secretariat, and American Pharoah.

THE KENTUCKY DERBY is full of the culture and history behind the derby, from its humble beginnings as a variation of England’s Epsom Derby to America’s “greatest two minutes in sports”. No other American past time is as full of pageantry, history, or tradition as the Kentucky Derby. For more than 130 years, spectators have been fascinated by the magnificent horses that run the Louisville track.

Though we’re all wishing the Derby was sooner rather than later, these books can fill the Derby-sized hole in your heart. Kick back with a Derby inspired meal and drink, or settle in your favorite chair with a Triple Crown winner.

Lexington’s Forgotten Murder: The Murder of Marion Miley

People are always fascinated by murder, whether it be in the form of a true crime show, a drama, murder mystery novels, or simply keeping up with the news. The newest murder mystery on the scene is a novel by Beverly Bell, where she explores the murder of the golf champion and aspiring doctor, Marion Miley. Miley was an internationally renowned gold champion, beloved by all she met, including celebrities like jazz crooner Bing Crosby. At 27-years-old, Miley was headed for greatness.

When six gunshots rang out on a September morning in the Lexington Country Club, the city’s day to day life would turn on its head. Miley had been brutally murdered. However, the bombing of Pearl Harbor less than two months later would redirect public attention and sweep Marion’s story to a forgotten corner of time — until now. The narrator oscillates between Marion’s father, her best friend, and one of her killer’s in this novel set around the manhunt and trial.

“Marion Miley was one of the country’s leading amateur golfers during the 1930s until her promising career was cut tragically short. Beverly Bell’s engaging and meticulously researched book explores the twists and turns in the hunt to find Miley’s killers in one of the nation’s most sensational murder cases. The Murder of Marion Miley is a story all golf fans should know.”

Michael Trostel

“If someone else had been shot—in a state other than Kentucky, in a place
other than the isolated and exclusive Lexington Country Club—perhaps
there would have been only one bullet. And with it, a chance to recover and
imagine a different life. Marion would have known which path to choose: pursuing those long-dormant medical aspirations, riding horses again, with-
out her father’s warning voice ringing in her ears telling her how one fall, one fracture, could jeopardize her golfing ambitions. And finally having the time
to give Debussy his due.
But someone else wasn’t the victim of this random, deadly crime, Marion
Miley was. The gifted daughter of a frustrated golf pro. A national celebrity
who had dominated the game for the past decade and could still win the big
one. A golfer who had met movie stars and a former king and thought it was
normal. A girl who died two months before Pearl Harbor and whose name
would be shuttered away after the war with all the other bad memories.
And it wasn’t just one bullet that hit her. The second one blew through
her brain, stealing everything—power, finesse, life, breath, and her one
chance for immortality, winning at nationals. There would be no recovery, no
next act. The twenty-seven-year-old was dead before her body hit the club’s
apartment floor.”

— Excerpt from The Murder of Marion Miley by Beverly Bell

A Glimpse into History: From World War One to the First Gulf War

For all the history buffs out there, UPK is proud to claim many great military history books in its arsenal. From ones soon to be published to some of our older reads, there is something for everyone.

DESERT REDLEG by L. Scott Lingamfelter

One of our newest books about military history is DESERT REDLEG by L. Scott Lingamfelter, who was a frontline artilleryman during Operation Desert Storm. DESERT REDLEG chronicles a soldier’s experiences during the First Gulf War. When Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990, it triggered the First Gulf War and the coalition headed by the United States to retaliate with Operation Desert Storm. Lingamfelter tries to answer the question of whether or not the United States “got the job done” with Operation Desert Storm. Drawing on battle maps, official reports, and his comrades’ personal journals, he recounts the decisions made that led to victory.

“Scott Lingamfelter’s Desert Redleg is an excellent account of the prominent role and devasting power of the 1st Infantry Division Artillery during Desert Storm. His intriguing narrative of the numerous challenges, both logistically and in the synchronization of artillery support for the Big Red One, reveals the perseverance of American soldiers. Lingamfelter’s assessment of the doctrinal, tactical, strategic, and geo-political lessons the US Army learned during the Gulf War provides thought-provoking observations for our Army today and in the future. As a field artillery battalion commander during the Gulf War, Desert Redleg brings back personal and vivid memories of the gallant efforts we made in driving the Iraqis from Kuwait.”

Maj. Gen. Lynn Hartsell, US Army (Ret.)
AMERICAN DATU by Ronald K. Edgerton and THOUGHTS ON WAR by Phillip S. Meilinger

AMERICAN DATU and THOUGHTS ON WAR offer more of an analytical side to military history. AMERICAN DATU traces John J. Pershing’s military campaigns in the Philippines and examines how the Progressive Counterinsurgency doctrine was developed. THOUGHTS ON WAR confronts the shortcomings of US military dogma in search of a new strategic doctrine. Unlike when modern military doctrine was forged, the United States no longer mobilizes massive land forces for direct political gain.

KENTUCKY AND THE GREAT WAR by David J. Bettez and THUNDER IN THE ARGONNE by Douglas V. Mastriano

The last two books to offer up are KENTUCKY AND THE GREAT WAR and THUNDER IN THE ARGONNE. KENTUCKY AND THE GREAT WAR shows how Kentuckians banded together in a time of despair during the First World War. Bettez provides the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of the Great War on Bluegrass society, politics, economy, and culture, contextualizing the state’s involvement within the national experience.  THUNDER IN THE ARGONNE is about General John J. Pershing, the same man in AMERICAN DATU, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Douglas. V. Mastriano offers the most comprehensive account of this legendary campaign to date. Not only does he provide American, French, and British perspectives on the offensive, but he also offers — for the first time in English — the German view. 

In times like this, it might be refreshing to take a glimpse into history and see how we prevailed in hard times. We’re in uncharted territory, but so were many of the people these books focus on. Take the time to sit down and learn their stories.

Shining a spotlight on recent UPK New Poetry & Prose Series publications

Last month, the University Press of Kentucky opened submissions for the New Poetry & Prose Series, which seeks to publish contemporary works emphasizing profound language and inventiveness. This series has previously published several works, equally haunting and hopeful, that continue to deeply impact readers. Former New Poetry & Prose publications do not shy away from heritage or literary roots; each story forges its own special place in the modern literary tradition, from explorations of intersectionality in Appalachia, to the elusive search for cultural belonging for a young white-Palestinian woman.

Interested applicants may submit complete manuscripts of poetry or fiction (novels, short story collections) alongside a cover letter, author bio/CV, and contact information, at UPK’s website. For those simply wishing to learn more about these beautiful stories, please enjoy these recent Poetry & Prose publications.

“Fernandez’s stories engage questions of identity and belonging within the Cuban exile community of Miami. The narratives in this collection are character-driven, delving into complex psychology that helps to paint a vivid picture of the interior and exterior worlds the characters inhabit. Filled with concrete details, vibrant interiority, and smart collisions between internal and external conflicts, the stories challenge readers to feel the power of the characters’ grief and longing.” – Joanna Luloff, author of The Beach at Galle Road and Remind Me Again What Happened

In GRIEVING FOR GUAVA, Cecilia M. Fernandez explores the unintended generational cost of immigration. Through ten vividly told and beautifully imagined stories, Fernandez paints a picture of intense happiness and immense grief among Miami’s population of Cuban immigrants. Although varying wildly in age, gender, and status, each character embodies the same deep desire for something unattainable and fleeting. Propelled by the desire to move forward, these families struggle to remedy who they are with who they have been, and who they need to be with who they must become.

Fernandez’s GRIEVING FOR GUAVA is a beautiful ode to heartache and hope; it was published in the New Poetry & Prose series in 2020.

“In this outstanding collection, Puerto Rican poet Elidio La Torre Lagares’s shrewd use of literary appropriation and postmodern sense of irony samples the work of T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, and Sylvia Plath, among others. But La Torre Lagares’s book is not about poetry alone; it centers primarily on his life under the forces of Hurricane Maria, which made a wasteland of the island, the death of his mother, and his father’s betrayal of the family. The lyric cry rises from La Torre Lagares’s helplessness, and it is powerful. The poems also speak to the planet’s future at this dangerous time.” – Paul Hoover, editor of Postmodern American Poetry

Lagares’s WONDERFUL WASTELAND AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS is an ode to pain and loss in the aftermath of physical destruction. Using emotional, profound language, Lagares navigates the turmoil of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico, where thousands of lives were lost, and infrastructure remains in recovery today. Through the lens of Lagares’s memory, WONDERFUL WASTELAND attempts to rebuild the emotional landscape of Puerto Rico; it is an enduring landscape filled with hope and love, loss and devastation, all communicated through Lagares’s poignant language.

WONDERFUL WASTELAND was published in the New Poetry & Prose series in 2019. It is Lagares’ first publication of poems written in English.

“Both wise and humorous, Mahmoud’s debut novel is an intimate portrayal of an early Arab American marriage, filled with passion, loss, and ultimately forgiveness. Readers will be moved by the fierce but fragile Isra, who refuses to be defined by her family, her husband, and her society.” – Susan Muaddi Darraj, author of A Curious Land: Stories from Home

Lena Mahmoud’s AMREEKIYA stars Isra Shadi, a young Palestinian-white American attempting to forge her own path in two unique storylines. In one, Isra is a young girl living with her amu and amtu – aunt and uncle – and struggling with the death of her mother and the abandonment of her father. In another, she is a young woman adapting to married life with her new husband, Yusef. In both, she attempts to define womanhood, loss, and pain, in the terms of the multi-faceted life she inhabits.

Mahmoud’s AMREEKIYA was published in the New Poetry & Prose series in 2018.

“Heartening, and unusually thoughtful, this collection of stories places the young women, their feelings and minds (not just their bodies) at the center. In that way, it seems more true to what adolescence in young women can be: full of mistaken attachments, questioning actions, and, sometimes, provocative men who may be a wrong choice, may appear to represent freedom that, in fact, will be due to the young woman’s own agency and growth.” – Crystal Wilkinson, recipient of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for The Birds of Opulence

The myriad stories in MAKE WAY FOR HER by Katie Cortese explore common themes of love, identity, and human imperfection, each through a wildly unique lens. In one story, a young pyrokinetic girl attempts to stifle her abilities long enough to dance with the boy she likes; in another, a woman with marital issues fantasizes about the ex-con in her cooking class. These perspectives, though markedly diverse, speak to the same unspoken desire for love, even if said love is far from picturesque or ideal. Cortese’s writing excels in painting vivid characters that we root for, understand, and identify with as they succeed – but especially as they fail.

MAKE WAY FOR HER was published in the New Poetry & Prose series in 2018.

“This is a powerful book that illuminates one more complex, disturbing chapter of the African-American experience, a nineteenth-century white male physician’s gynecological experiments on female slaves. Mend is a brutal story, lyrically told in the voices of three of those women, and its author has memorably created both a painful reminder and a beautiful tribute.” – Kim Addonizio, from the runner up citation for The Donald Hall Prize

Although honored as the “father of modern gynecology,” J. Marion Sims’s legacy is tarnished by grim reality. Sims’s advancements were made through the suffering of eleven enslaved African American women, who he experimented on without consent or care. History has lost all but three of the names of these women. In MEND: POEMS, Kwoya Fagin Maples embodies these three named women and navigates facilitated memories and experiences, each relayed from hospital beds. The poignancy of this collection rests in its completeness; these women, Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy, are not merely victims or tools. They are human beings who suffer, triumph, and love. Each of these emotions is capture beautifully by MEND’s pages.

MEND: POEMS was published in the New Poetry & Prose series in 2018.

Celebrate this Women’s History Month with these fantastic UPK titles!

For much of our history, more than half the world’s population has been institutionally silenced. A wealth of stories have been lost to that silencing. Thankfully, in the past century – and even the past decade – those forces have begun to slowly abate, and for that, the literary tradition has been enriched. But even in 2020, writers grapple with the telling of experiences hitherto lost to time. How do we honor the lost voices of women and people of color, for example, while also exploring the modern creative voices of individuals in these groups?

This Women’s History Month, we would like to focus on a few UPK authors who have relentlessly worked to re-surface vital, untold experiences, while also adding new, necessary perspectives to the mix: their own. The UPK catalog has a myriad of these stories, from stories of interpersonal grief and trauma, to scholarly re-examinations of the intersection of class and gender.

To enjoy a piece of that history yourself this Women’s History Month, take a look at some of our most recent women-centered and women-authored releases.

“Wanting Radiance weaves a beautiful tale of Miracelle Loving’s pursuit for identity, populated by tarot cards, southern diners, fiddle players, tattoos, and the sweet night air on roads to nowhere. McElmurray’s dreamy language transcends this plane to bridge the liminal spaces between the past and present, life and death, who we were and who we might become.” Liz Prato, author of Volcanoes, Palm Trees, and Privilege: Essays on Hawai’i

In a world cultured by supernaturality, WANTING RADIANCE explores a highly natural bond: that which exists between a mother and daughter. Using deft prose, McElmurray creates Miracelle Loving, a part-time fortune-teller whose life strays following the unexpected death of her mother. After spending her young adult years as a listless card reader, Miracelle starts to hear a familiar voice that she thought would be gone forever. Driven by a need to understand who killed her mother – and what her life should look like in the aftermath of that act – Miracelle follows the winding trail left by her mother’s ghostly voice on an unforgettable magical road trip.

While situated inside a fascinating world of magic and power, McElmurray’s WANTING RADIANCE is equally spellbinding in its vivid relationships and characters. Miracelle’s heartbreak climbs through the page; her triumphs are our triumphs. Experience that triumph for yourself and pick up a copy of McElmurray’s most recent novel here.

“Don’t let Beverly Bell fool you: She must have been reporting live in 1941 from Lexington’s most notorious crime. Bell writes with a golden erudition and preternatural imagination that keep the wide-eyed reader up all night – think Truman Capote.” – Patty Friedmann, author of Where Do They All Come From?

In 1941, Marion Miley was at the height of her golfing career, having won ever women’s tournament but the national title. She was only 27 years old and one of the world’s greatest living golfers. But on the night of September 28, six gunshots rang out at the Lexington Country Club and ended Miley’s career – and life. Miley’s murder left a sprawling mystery in its wake, one that Beverly Bell maneuvers masterfully through nearly a century later in THE MURDER OF MARION MILEY. Oscillating between the perspective of Miley’s father, best friend, and killer, Bell tells a new, compelling story of tragedy and true crime.

“Birdwhistell and Scaggs offer a valuable, woman-centered view of the University of Kentucky’s early history. Stretching over seven decades, grounded in oral history, and filled with colorful stories of individual women, Our Rightful Place provides readers a tantalizing peek into the day-to-day experiences of the women who worked and studied at Kentucky’s flagship university, documenting their efforts to carve out a space for themselves.” – Melanie Beals Goan, author of Mary Breckinridge: The Frontier Nursing Service and Rural Health in Appalachia

Forty-three women enrolled at UK in 1880. These women were the first to call themselves UK Wildcats; but although they enjoyed the privilege of identifying as students, their fight for equality, acceptance, and a proper education was not over. In OUR RIGHTFUL PLACE, Birdwhistell and Scaggs explore the trials and triumphs of early women pacemakers at UK between the years 1880 and 1945. Using archival documents, yearbooks, and rare photographs, Birdwhistell and Scaggs illuminate the untold stories of UK’s female pioneers who demanded a seat at the academic table.

“DiSavino’s meticulous scholarship delves into, exposes, and connects a wealth of primary sources to build a three-dimensional portrait of Katherine Jackson French while uncovering the mechanisms that conspired to silence this remarkable early twentieth-century scholar and ballad collector.” – Deborah J. Thompson, assistant professor and Appalachian Studies faculty at Berea College

In KATHERINE JACKSON FRENCH, Elizabeth DiSavino details the forgotten history of Kentucky native and Columbia graduate French, whose remarkable collection of traditional Kentucky ballads was withheld from print due to a contentious set of academic rivalries, broken promises, and long-held gender prejudices. In her place, famed artists like northerner Olive Dame Campbell and English folklorist Cecil Sharp rose to prominence. In French’s erasure, Appalachia lost a powerful voice – a voice for women, for people, everywhere. DiSavino’s scholarly re-examination of French’s would-be legacy brings that forgotten voice back to the light.

Already up to date on these titles? Peruse a few other recent titles we’re proud of:

Keep the March Madness Spirit Alive with These Great Reads!

If there’s one thing many Kentuckians have in common, it’s a love for college basketball. Especially during March, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of filling out your tournament bracket and watching it inevitably get busted, all while still hoping that the Kentucky Wildcats make it to the championship game.

But with the cancellation of regional and national tournaments this year, as well as requests from government officials to stay home as much as possible in light of the spread of COVID-19, many may be left wondering how to spend their extra time and how to cope with the fact that this March will look much different.

Here at the University Press of Kentucky, we’d like to encourage you to keep the March Madness spirit alive by picking up one (or even a few) of our great basketball reads below! Even though you can’t watch the Cats vie for the national title, you can learn more about your favorite coaches, teams, and figures in the history of Kentucky basketball and the NCAA at large. Purchase now at so you can become an expert in time for March Madness next year!

CHANGING THE GAME details the life of college sports marketing pioneer Jim Host, who brought unimaginable revenue to college sports and made March Madness into what we know it to be today! Among other things, Host and his team developed the NCAA Radio Network and introduced the NCAA Corporate Sponsor Program, which employed companies such as Gillette, Valvoline, Coca-Cola, and Pizza Hut to promote university athletic programs and the NCAA at large. CHANGING THE GAME explores Host’s achievements in sports radio, management, and broadcasting; his time in minor league baseball, real estate, and the insurance business; and his foray into Kentucky politics. This memoir also provides a behind-the-scenes look at the growth of big-time athletics and offers solutions for current challenges facing college sports.

Until I was nine or ten, everyone called me Joe or Joe Hall. Then one day, my grandmother, for reasons known only to her, pulled me aside, telling me my name was “too short and too plain.” She said, “Let’s add your middle initial to make it more interesting. From now on, you say your name is Joe B., not just Joe. It’s Joe B. Hall.”

In COACH HALL, former UK men’s basketball coach Joe B. Hall reveals never-before-heard stories about memorable players, coaches, and friends and expresses the joys and fulfillments of his rewarding life and career. Joe B. Hall is one of only three men to both play on an NCAA championship team (1949, Kentucky) and coach an NCAA championship team (1978, Kentucky), and the only one to do so for the same school. During his thirteen years as the head coach at UK, Joe B. Hall led the team to a grand total of 297 victories!

Known as the “Man in the Brown Suit” and “The Baron of the Bluegrass,” Adolph Rupp (1901–1977) is a towering figure in the history of college athletics. In ADOLPH RUPP AND THE RISE OF KENTUCKY BASKETBALL, historian James Duane Bolin goes beyond the wins and losses to present a full-length biography of Rupp based on more than 100 interviews as well as court transcripts, newspaper accounts, and other archival materials. Rupp’s teams won 4 NCAA championships (1948, 1949, 1951, and 1958), 1 NIT title in 1946, and 27 SEC regular season titles. Rupp’s influence on the game of college basketball and on his adopted home of Kentucky are both much broader than his impressive record on the court.

Joe B. Hall, Jack “Goose” Givens, Rick Robey, and Kyle Macy–these names occupy a place of honor in Rupp Arena, home of the “greatest tradition in the history of college basketball.” The team and coaches who led the University of Kentucky Wildcats to their 94–88 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in the 1978 national championship game are legendary. In FORTY MINUTES TO GLORY, Doug Brunk presents an inside account of this celebrated squad and their championship season from summer pick-up games to the net-cutting ceremony in St. Louis. Brunk interviewed every surviving player, coach, and student manager from the 1977–1978 team, and shares unbelievable tales and heart-wrenching moments,

In WILDCAT MEMORIES, author Doug Brunk brings together some of the greatest coaches, players, and personalities from the UK men’s basketball program to reflect on Kentuckians who provided inspiration, guidance, and moral support during their tenure as Wildcats. Featuring personal essays and behind-the-scenes stories from Kentucky legends Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, Dan Issel, Joe B. Hall, Kyle Macy, Tubby Smith, Patrick Patterson, Darius Miller, and John Wall, this heartfelt collection shares an inside look at what makes UK basketball extraordinary. In candid firsthand accounts, the players and coaches discuss their incredible Kentucky support systems and offer a glimpse into the rarely seen personal side of life as a Wildcat.

Already read the books above? See below for more great basketball titles, and check them out here!

Recent Awards & Accolades

As 2020 begins, we’d like to start the year off right by thanking all of our authors, and by acknowledging those who have recently received awards and accolades. Take a look below for more information on individual awards, and join us in congratulating our talented authors on their incredible work!



Winner of the 2019 Arab American Book Award for Fiction: Amreekiya by Lena Mahmoud

The Arab American Book Award honors books that are written, edited, or illustrated by Arab Americans or address the Arab American experience. Amreekiya, winner of the 2019 award for fiction, evocatively explores love and identity in a Palestinian-American community through the eyes of twenty-one-year-old Isra Shadi.





Finalist for the 2019 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry and Finalist for the Housatonic Book Award in Poetry: Mend by Kwoya Fagin Maples

Mend is a collection of poetry written in the voices of enslaved women who were unwillingly experimented on by Dr. J. Marion Sims, the “father of modern gynecology,” between 1845 and 1849. It was selected as a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, which honors the best in Black literature in the US and around the globe, and as a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award for Poetry, which honors works of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction and is presented by Western Connecticut State University.


FRY Cvr for Publicity

Winner of the Barondess/Lincoln Award: Lincoln, Seward, and US Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era by Joseph A. Fry

The Barondess/Lincoln Award is presented yearly by the Civil War Round Table of New York to an author who has made a significant contribution to the understanding of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, Seward, and US Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era examines the legacy of foreign policy decisions that resulted from the partnership between Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Henry Seward, and analyzes the Civil War from an international perspective.




Winner of the EQUUS Film Festival Winnie Award for Racehorse Non-Fiction: Taking Shergar by Milton C. Toby

Awarded yearly at the EQUUS Film Festival, the literary Winnie Awards are given to titles that best capture the elements or essence of the horse, the horse industry at large, and/or all that surrounds the horse. Taking Shergar, winner of the 2019 award for racehorse non-fiction, is a riveting account of the most notorious unsolved crime in the history of horse racing—the stealing of Shergar, one of the Thoroughbred industry’s most renowned stallions.


Marble SHALIKASHVILI Final for Marketing


Finalist for the Best Book Award for Biography from American Book Fest: Boy on the Bridge by Andrew Marble

Sponsored by the American Book Fest, the Best Book Awards honor books of all genres and mediums in over 90 categories, published within the past two years. Boy on the Bridge, a finalist, is the first-ever biography of General John Shalikashvili, detailing his riches-to-rags-and-back-to-riches story and how he became one of America’s greatest military leaders.


Jim Klotter June 19Winner of the 2019 Kentucky Historical Society’s Lifetime Dedication to Kentucky History Award: James C. Klotter

Presented by the Kentucky Historical Society, the Lifetime Dedication to Kentucky History Award is bestowed to an individual who has demonstrated a consistent, long-term commitment to Kentucky history through their work, writings, activities, or support of historical organizations in Kentucky. Dr. James C. Klotter, Kentucky’s state historian and author of UPK titles such as A New History of Kentucky (2nd ed.), was the 2019 recipient.


Finalists for the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award: Lessons in Leadership (by John R. Deane Jr., edited by Jack C. Mason) and Thunder in the Argonne (by Douglas V. Mastriano)

Each year, the Army Historical Foundation recognizes outstanding achievements in writing on US Army history with the Distinguished Writing Awards, presented at the Annual Members’ Meeting. Lessons in Leadership, chosen as a finalist for the award, is a memoir of John R. Deane Jr. (1919-2013), and gives insight to a commander’s perspective on some of the most important strategic meetings and missions of the Cold War. Thunder in the Argonne, also chosen as a finalist, details the most comprehensive account to date of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during World War I, which is widely regarded as one of America’s finest hours and the battle that forged the modern US Army.

Winners of the 2019 Kentucky Historical Society Publication Award: Elkhorn (by Richard Taylor) and Boonesborough Unearthed (by Nancy O’Malley)

The Kentucky Historical Society Publication Awards recognize exemplary publications that pertain to some aspect of Kentucky state or local history. Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape, selected as one of the 2019 winners, is an evocative and creative look at the economic, social, and cultural transformation of Kentucky from wilderness to early settlement by examining the regional primary watershed of Elkhorn Creek. Boonesborough Unearthed, also chosen as a 2019 winner, is a groundbreaking book that presents new information and fresh insights about Fort Boonesborough and life in frontier Kentucky.

Countdown to the 2019 KY Book Festival

The Kentucky Book Festival kicks off on November 10, just four days away! Every year this event is hosted by Kentucky Humanities to celebrate the literary movement within the Commonwealth. The book event will be held at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, and the surrounding Lexington area from Sunday, Nov. 10 to Saturday, Nov. 16. Many books published by the University Press of Kentucky (UPK) will be sold and signed during this event.

Festival Events featuring our UPK authors include:

  • Literary Luncheon on Tuesday, November 12 at Noon featuring authors Crystal Wilkinson, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ed McClanahan, Gurney Norman, and Mary Ann Taylor-Hall.
  • “Look and See” Screening on Wednesday, November 13 at 6:30 pm featuring authors Tanya Amyx Berry and Wendell Berry.
  • Book Fair Panel featuring Tanya Amyx Berry, author of For the Hog Killing, 1979 & editor Ben Aguilar in conversation with Nana Lampton of the Snowy Owl Foundation, Inc. on Saturday, November 16 at UK Main Stage at 12:30 pm.
  • Book Fair Panel featuring featuring authors Jayne Moore Waldrop, Jessica Wilkerson, Savannah Sipple, & Crystal Wilkinson in conversation with Hannah Markley, The Hindman Settlement School Creative Writing Fellow, on Saturday, November 16 at UK Healthcare South Stage-1 at 10:30 am. 
  • Book Fair Panel featuring Adrian Matejka, author of Map to the Stars in conversation with Frank X Walker, author of Last Will, Last Testament, and Michael Datcher, author of Americus on Saturday, November 16 at UK Healthcare South Stage-2 at 2:30 pm. 

More info on the Kentucky Book Festival Events including the Kickoff, Literary Luncheon, Look and See Screening, Cocktails and Conversation, Books and Brews Trivia, and the KY Book Fair can be found here.

The festival will close with the 38th Annual Kentucky Book Fair on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Panels will be hosted throughout the day featuring UPK authors such as Tanya Amyx Berry, Ben Aguilar, Crystal Wilkinson, and Frank X Walker.

Let’s take a look at the UPK books being featured this year:


From the Life of Kentucky’s Pioneer Sculptor: An Excerpt from Juilee Decker’s ENID YANDELL

Enid’s decision to become a sculptor was a passion as well as a pursuit of an occupation that brought her the independence through which she could forge her identity. Her mother realized early on that her eldest daughter was determined to build a name for herself through sculpture, regardless of any disappointment family members may have felt about her taking on an occupation. In a letter to Enid of 1896, Louise remarked how she knew that Enid was “an original in many things” and that Enid’s “life had gone out of my moulding and into your own.” Through her work, Louise’s daughter would sculpt her legacy.1

By the start of the twentieth century, Enid had become known through her work. For instance, she had been associated with the Chicago World’s Fair, where her classical figures served as architectural support for the Woman’s Building. In Louisville, her 7.1_Deckerproposal for a Confederate monument evoked allegorical representations of fame and victory. In Nashville, she produced a monumental figure of the Greek goddess Athena for the Tennessee Centennial. Shifting from classical exemplars in her public statuary of monuments and architectural elements of the fairs, Enid’s work became more expressive after the 1890s. Strikingly different from the classical statuary of her works for public spectacle and her traditionally posed busts, in this new body of work, Enid garnered praise alongside a developing public for her art. By late in the decade, she had already developed some interest in busts, usually commemorative, and figureens. Living in Paris, she came into contact with cutting-edge works of sculpture by artists such as Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), with whom Enid grew acquainted on her subsequent stays in Europe as a professional artist from the late 1890s onward. Rodin’s The Kiss (1892), a carved block of marble revealing two figures entwined in each other’s arms, was shown at the Paris Salon in 1898. About this time, Enid began to develop a body of work that took a dramatic turn in terms of form and in its emphasis of expressive qualities and sensuality, emphasizing themes of love, loss, and companionship on a scale both small and large.

By the turn of the century, sculptors were taking notice of the shifting terrain of sculptural form. In any one exhibit, for instance, works embodying classical form, realism, idealism, and fantasy might be represented. A case in point is the International Exhibition of Modern Art organized

in 1913 by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, an event known colloquially as the “Armory Show” in New York. Here Enid exhibited both realistic and expressive works, the former tending toward the treatment of form she had used for large-scale public commissions (such as the world’s fairs) and the latter tending toward the abstract and expressive qualities championed by Rodin and others. She developed an8.4_Decker intentional practice of choosing an exposition of form that conveyed meaning. And in 1899, amidst the swirl of activity in her studios in Paris and New York, Enid was clearly in pursuit of passion. 

Juilee Decker is associate professor of museum studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is editor of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals and the four-volume series Innovative Approaches for Museums. She has curated exhibitions focusing on visual arts, material culture, and public history and has served as a consultant to public art projects and programs in the US. The full text is available through our website [link]


1. Letter from Louise Yandell to Enid, September 20, 1896, FHS Mss A/Y21b/
Folder 20

The Early Signs of a Champion: Excerpt from SPECTACULAR BID

04.1 - Spectacular Bid Winning 1979

IN JUNE 1978, while he was having dinner with Bud Delp, Ron Franklin, who had been riding Spectacular Bid as part of his regular schedule, said, “Boss, that’s a helluva colt we got.”

“How the hell would you know?” Delp asked in his grumpy but amiable way.

Franklin knew. Earlier in the day, the apprentice jockey had ridden Bid half a mile in a blazing forty-six seconds flat. A good time for an adult racehorse to run four furlongs during a workout is forty-eight seconds. And Bid was a baby, a two-year-old that was just learning to race and whose bones and muscles had not yet matured.

When he got off the horse, Franklin said, “This horse is great! He feels like two horses under you. When you pull him up, he wants to go again.” Delp answered Franklin as a master would respond to an overeager apprentice: “What the hell are you talking about? What do you know about horses?” Delp himself did not want to admit it, but he was getting excited about this colt. Was this the horse he had been waiting for? Was this the horse that would lift him out of the claiming business? Could he have a champion? 06.1 - Spectacular Bid CB


Bid had returned from Middleburg Training Center in March 1978, along with the rest of Hawksworth Farm’s crop, and Delp’s assistant, Charlie Bettis, had been working with Bid for a few weeks. “Bud came over to see him,” Bettis said. “He came away impressed, and said, ‘He needs to be with me [at Pimlico].’” Delp had taken three of the Meyerhoffs’ most promising colts from the Keeneland sale to Middleburg; when he saw Bid run against the other two colts, Seethreepeo and I Know Why1, he said, “I could see that Bid was best.” Delp had to stop running Bid with the other two horses for fear that he would dishearten them with his speed. Franklin had to keep Bid under tight control to keep the other two horses on pace with the colt. Continue reading