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!


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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.

 

 

 


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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.

 


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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.

 


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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.

 


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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:

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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/
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The Early Signs of a Champion: Excerpt from SPECTACULAR BID

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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

Excerpt from EDWARD M. ALMOND AND THE US ARMY: FROM THE 92ND INFANTRY DIVISION TO THE X CORPS

Edward M. Almond and the US Army: From the 92nd Infantry Division to the X Corps gives an overview of General Edward M. Almond’s development as a military leader and his overall service. This biography covers almost 60 years from his early career as a soldier to his time in teaching and military leadership, and finally, to his retirement and death. It also covers the development of the US Army during that time, and the US Army’s treatment of African American soldiers.

This book notices the controversial, faulty man while examining his personal life and military accomplishments. Here is an excerpt from Edward M. Almond and the US Army: From the 92nd Infantry Division to the X Corps, page 26, that displays Almond’s attitude as a soldier during his early career:

From this first combat action, Almond placed himself at the front with his troops. On the evening of August 4, Almond seated himself in an observation post on the front slope of a hill overlooking the Vesle River. From there he could direct supporting fire for an American attack. The 3rd Battalion, 58th Infantry, advanced in a dispersed formation because of the Germans firing from the other side of the river. Almond sent his draft animals and carts to the rear and positioned his machine guns so that they could provide overhead fire across the stream. Just as Almond took a moment to eat, a shell exploded nearby and a fragment struck him in the head. He later remembered: “I had just opened a can of corn willy [corned beef] when a shell broke into our midst from across the stream, and although I had my helmet on it penetrated my helmet and the top of my head. My orderly who had brought me my supper was killed by another fragment, and a number of men in my vicinity were wounded also, and a couple killed.”

Medics evacuated Almond to an aid station and later to a field hospital where he recuperated. Almond’s small but potentially deadly wound and his performance under fire earned him respect and a commendation. The 4th Division commander, Maj. Gen. George Cameron, later cited Almond’s valor:31 “Staggering to his feet[,] he issued the necessary orders for the welfare of his men, directing that they report to the next senior officer and after making an inspection to see that all were as well protected as possible from shell fire, he consented to be evacuated. His coolness, courage[,] and utter disregard of personal welfare were a great inspiration to his men.”

BLOOD, GUTS, AND GREASE Explores the Leader and Human in General George S. Patton

“While the focus of this book is clearly on Patton’s development as a leader during the First World War, it offers insights into Patton’s personal life as well. Patton is larger than life, but also very human with the flaws, interests, and passions that would characterize his future.”

—from the foreword by Paul T. Mikolashek, Lieutenant General, US Army (Ret), Commanding General Third US Army, 2000–2002

Blood, Guts, and Grease: George S. Patton in World War I by Jon B. Mikolashek with a foreword by Paul T. Mikolashek explores the military and personal life of Patton, also known as “Old Blood and Guts” by his troops.

Whether you are in the military and are desiring to rise up in the ranks just like Patton, or you are a civilian interested in the history of military leaders, or even if military history has never been an interest to you, all can connect with the story of this leader.

Even in his controversial decisions, readers can gain a better understanding of the man behind those bold and risky calls. From the archives of his own letters and the writings in his diary, readers can start to have an understanding of who Patton was—he was a soldier, a lover, a father, a disciplinary, and a poet. He had a temper, seemed prideful at times, and even got himself into a lot of car accidents, after which he would write to his wife: “On the way back between Amiens and Paris I had my usual yearly accident.” He was human.

In this biography, a reader is allowed to perceive the human in a seemingly larger-than-life historical figure, and is also allowed to read how he became such a great military leader during the time of World War I.

 

Purchase BLOOD, GUTS, AND GREASE: GEORGE S. PATTON IN WORLD WAR here: http://bit.ly/2mnHtmw

Crystal Wilkinson Named Finalist for 2019 Dos Passos Prize

Crystal WilkinsonThe University Press of Kentucky is pleased to announce that Crystal Wilkinson, author of the award-winning The Birds of Opulence, has been named a finalist for the 2019 John Dos Passos Prize for Literature, an annual award that recognizes one of America’s most talented but underappreciated writers.

The John Dos Passos Prize for Literature is given annually by Longwood University to an underappreciated writer whose work offers incisive, original commentary on American themes. The winner of the prize receives an honorarium and gives a reading on Longwood’s campus.

Previous winners of the prize have gone on to win the most prestigious international literary awards, including Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards. They include Colson Whitehead, Sherman Alexie, Jill McCorkle, Tom Wolfe, and Annie Proulx.

Crystal Wilkinson is the award-winning author of The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and is a recipient of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in the Oxford American and Southern Cultures.

The six finalists are a diverse group of celebrated authors whose published works traverse genre and defy expectations. Their exceptional works are taught in college classrooms across the country.

“This is such an accomplished, innovative group of authors, and we are thrilled to honor them as finalists for the oldest literary award given by a Virginia college or university,” said Brandon Haffner, assistant professor of English at Longwood. “We have the difficult task of selecting one of them as the Dos Passos Prize recipient this fall, and the winner will join an impressive list of some of America’s most celebrated authors. These finalists represent various styles, subjects, and places, but all six of them explore crucial truths about the American experience.”

The finalists with selected works are:

Rabih Alameddine, The Angel of History; An Unnecessary Woman

Sesshu Foster, World Ball Notebook; Atomik Aztek

Linda Hogan, Mean Spirit; People of the Whale

Victor LaValle, The Changeling; The Ballad of Black Tom

Kelly Link, Get in Trouble; Magic for Beginners

Crystal Wilkinson, The Birds of Opulence; Water Street

The prize winner will be announced in August 2019.