Author Archives: University Press of Kentucky

About University Press of Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky's two major historical societies.

Author Carol Boggess Wins Book Award

KHS Award logoUniversity Press of Kentucky author Carol Boggess has been named the recipient of a 2018 Kentucky History Award given by the Kentucky Historical Society for her book, James Still: A Life. The Kentucky History Awards recognize outstanding achievements by historians, public history professionals, volunteers, business and civic leaders, communities, and historical organizations throughout the Commonwealth, promoting the history of state and local history. The awards were presented at the Kentucky History Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 9, at the Old State Capitol in Frankfort.

Boggess offers a detailed portrait of writer James Still in the definitive biography of the man known as the “dean of Appalachian literature.” Despite his notable output, including the classic novel River of Earth, and his importance as a mentor to generations of young writers, Still was extremely private, preferring a quiet existence in a century-old log house between the waters of Wolfpen Creek and Dead Mare Branch in Knott County, Kentucky. Boggess, who befriended the author in the last decade of his life, draws on correspondence, journal entries, numerous interviews with Still and his family, and extensive archival research to illuminate his somewhat mysterious personal life.

In James Still: A Life, James Still.final.inddBoggess explores every period of the author’s life, from his childhood in Alabama, through the years he spent supporting himself in various odd jobs while trying to build his literary career, to the decades he spent fostering other talents. This long-overdue biography not only offers an important perspective on the Still’s work and art but also celebrates the legacy of a man who succeeded in becoming a legend in his own lifetime. According to Lee Smith, author of Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, Boggess’s “graceful and informative biography sheds light into many shaded places and dark rooms of his long life, illuminating the sources and passions of this beloved giant of American literature, one of the greatest writers of all time.”

James Still is the seventh University Press of Kentucky publication in eight years to win a KHS award, joining Kentucky and the Great War: World War I on the Home Front by David J. Bettez; The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia by Gerard L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin; Bloody Breathitt: Politics and Violence in the Appalachian South by T.R.C. Hutton; The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event by James C. Nicholson; A History of Education in Kentucky by William E. Ellis; and Lessons in Likeness: Portrait Painters in Kentucky and the Ohio River Valley, 1802-1920 by Estill Curtis Pennington. James Still was previously named the winner of the 2018 Weatherford Award for Non-Fiction.

Carol Boggess is president of the Appalachian Studies Association and former English professor at Mars Hill University.

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KHS Executive Director Scott Alvey, Carol Boggess, and KHS Governing Board President Constance Alexander. Photo by Marvin Young.

 

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This #GivingTuesday, #GiveUPK

As the year end approaches, we are looking back on the many moments of celebration of the 75th anniversary of the University Press of Kentucky, the nonprofit publisher for a consortium of fifteen universities, colleges, and two major historical societies in the state. We’ve been proud to host author readings, an open house, special events at regional conferences, and an exhibit of books and materials from the Press’s first 75 years. We’ve been fortunate to hire our first in-house book designer in 20 years and to establish a new trade imprint. More meaningful than anything else, however, has been the outpouring of support from citizens all across the Commonwealth. Your letters, emails, and phone calls sent the message that the Press has been doing something very special for 75 years—recording and uncovering Kentucky’s history, culture, and heritage for readers today and for generations to come.

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At the moment of this milestone anniversary, we at the Press bring a renewed sense of energy and purpose to our role as a connector: each day we strive to connect people, ideas, institutions, and projects. We look outward to this evolving world of learning and communication, seeking the ways in which we can be a part of key conversations and the development of important ideas. Through the books we publish, we hope to document, inspire, and encourage exploration of topics and events, whether across the globe or on our native patch of soil.

This year we are delighted to be a part of Giving Tuesday. We ask you to celebrate #GivingTuesday with us by continuing to support the Press with a financial contribution to the University Press Enrichment Fund. As our anniversary year draws to a close, we are busily planning the books and projects that will shape our organization in the decades to come. There is so much exciting work ahead. And through your contributions, you will keep the University Press of Kentucky growing and thriving.

With gratitude,

Leila W. Salisbury
Director

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Meet the Press: Kayla Coco, Marketing Intern

Name: Kayla Coco-Stotts

Position: Marketing Intern

Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

Alma mater; major; minor: University of Kentucky; B.A. in Print Journalism; Communication minor (December 2018)


Why should students be interested in their local university press?

I believe that students should be interested in their local university press because there is so much culture and accomplishment within university presses that I think is somewhat overlooked. I heard about UPK my freshman year of college and knew I always wanted to intern here, but so many others haven’t had the chance to learn about the amazing work UPK does for the Commonwealth. Students especially are able to learn so much from UPK; it’s like having a library of amazing authors, reads, and resources right on campus.

Why should students support their university press? How are some ways to support the press?

Students should support their university presses because they’re in need of our support! Even just sharing social media, buying UPK books, or going to events that feature UPK authors stimulates the marketplace of ideas and keeps the local book culture thriving within the universities.

What have you learned during your time here, and how will you use the skills you gained as you start a career, further your education, etc.?

I’ve learned how to craft a press kit and the true meaning of marketing. I never thought I would see myself enjoying the marketing side of publishing, but it is truly rewarding to excited people about the projects we’re working on. I’ve already been thankful enough to use the skills I’ve obtained here to set up a job when I graduate.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

Mend: Poems by Kwoya Fagin Maples was amazing, heartfelt, and conveyed a level of anguish that I could never imagine being strong enough to experience. I also really loved Clarence Brown: Hollywood’s Forgotten Master by Gwenda Young because it gave me an opportunity to learn about an age of Hollywood that I’ve just not taken the time to understand before.

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them?

Actually, I’m from St. Louis originally so I’ve kind of become an unofficial tour guide for Lexington (I’m still waiting for my name tag to come in…I’m sure they’re sending it any day now). I always take people on a long walk around UK’s campus because I think it’s gorgeous, as well as downtown to some of my favorite restaurants and bars, like West Main Crafting Co. and Buddha Lounge. Breakfast? Josie’s for sure. Needing some lunch? Let’s head to Planet Thai! Can you tell I love food?

Did you always know you wanted to intern in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

Growing up I was very driven and academically successful, and I always heard, “You’re going to be a doctor someday,” from relatives. When I started at UK, I began in biosystems engineering, but doing something I could do versus something I wanted to do was entirely different. After a quick Google search and some encouragement from friends, I switched to journalism and decided to intern at UPK during my first semester. I have always loved books, and being a book editor is what I used to tell people I would do, “when I grow up.”

What was the last book you read?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and The Rules of Magic: A Novel by Alice Hoffman. Both are amazing books!

Name three things you can’t live without.

My dogs, sweatshirts, and dry shampoo

If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say? Do you have a personal motto?

Just do what you love. People always are going to say, “life’s too short,” but life can get pretty long and dull when you’re stuck doing something you don’t really enjoy, whether that be in a professional or personal environment. Oh, and while you’re still in high school, get a credit card, only use it to buy gas, and always make payments on time.

What’s your favorite word?

Sonder: the realization that each random passerby is living a life as complex and vivid as your own.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? What’s a random factoid about yourself?

I try to be as conscious as I can about living a minimal waste lifestyle by avoiding plastic containers or cups and avoiding using more than I need.

If you could have dinner with any three people—dead or alive, famous or not—who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln, Stephen King, and Malcolm X.

If you could try out any job for a day, what would you like to try?

Andy Lassner, the executive producer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, because I love a good scare and I think Ellen and I would be great pals.

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Give the Gift of Reading This Holiday Season!

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A Girl’s A Gun by Rachel Danielle Peterson, 50% off

As the holiday season quickly approaches, what better gift to give your loved ones than a book. The University Press of Kentucky is pleased to announce the start of their 2018 Holiday Sale, which is the perfect opportunity to purchase affordable, yet thoughtful, presents for everyone on your list. With special pricing and discounts up to 75%, this sale is a wonderful chance to stock up for the holidays. Most 2018 titles are 40% off, while older releases are 50% off. In addition, select new releases and special titles have set markdowns of $5–$10. There are books for history fans, film enthusiasts, military buffs, and many more, especially Kentuckians interested in regional titles. With such a broad selection, there are sure to be books that will please even the most hard-to-buy-for people on your list.

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The Struggle is Eternal by Joseph R. Fitzgerald, 40% off

Among the featured titles are new and recent releases in fiction, Amreekiya: A Novel, Make Way for Her: And Other Stories, Patchwork: A Bobbie Ann Mason Reader, and The Birds of Opulence. Authored by women writers and featuring female protagonists, these books speak to the human experience and describe interpersonal relationships in striking ways. Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets and Mend: Poems are recent collections that lend voice to marginalized groups—African-American writers from Appalachia and female slaves subjected to medical experimentation without their consent.

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The Philosophy of War Films edited by David LaRocca, 40% off

For those interested in Kentucky history, Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape, Forty Minutes to Glory: Inside the Kentucky Wildcats’ 1978 Championship Season, and A New History of Kentucky, second edition are featured. Named the 2018 Thomas D. Clark Medallion Book, Elkhorn chronicles the rich history and culture surrounding Elkhorn Creek, the second largest tributary of the Kentucky River. As basketball season begins, Forty Minutes to Glory is the perfect title for every member of the Big Blue Nation. The second edition of A New History of Kentucky is a revised and updated volume of the flagship history of the state history that brings the Commonwealth’s story into the twenty-first century.

Regional favorites like Burgoo, Barbecue, and Bourbon, The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook, and The Beer Cheese Book are also included in this sale. The University Press of Kentucky is offering free shipping on orders over $75 in honor of their 75thanniversary. To view a full list of the titles featured in this promotion, visit www.kentuckypress.com. Orders should be placed by December 1 to guarantee Christmas delivery, and sale prices are valid through January 31, 2019. To order visit www.kentuckypress.com or call 800-537-5487 and use the discount code FHOL.

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Miriam Hopkins by Allan R. Ellenberger, 50% off

The University Press of Kentucky (UPK) is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky and was organized in 1969 as successor to the University of Kentucky Press. The university had sponsored scholarly publication since 1943. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production, and marketing departments are found at the University of Kentucky; however since the 1969 reorganization, the Press has represented a consortium that now includes all of Kentucky’s state universities, five of its private colleges, and two historical societies.

Meet the Press: Sara Nederhoed, Marketing Intern

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Name: Sara Nederhoed
Position: Marketing Intern
Hometown: Kalamazoo, MI

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Tell us a little bit about your position at the press.

I am a senior at UK majoring in journalism with a double minor in English and political science. I’m graduating in May 2019. As a marketing intern here at UPK, I help the marketing staff out with things like writing press releases, creating graphics, and managing the social media accounts to help promote the books UPK releases. I started here in August at the beginning of the fall 2018 semester.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

TobyCompFOne of the titles that I have worked with a lot is Taking Shergar: Thoroughbred Racing’s Most Famous Cold Case written by Milton C. Toby. I think it is a very interesting story that grabbed my attention right away–a mystery about one of the most famous Thoroughbreds in the world being stolen in the middle of the night. The thieves wanted ransom for Shergar, but it was never paid. Shergar was never returned and his remains were never found. I wanted to learn more about it right after I read the description!

 

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

I am huge on food, so I hope my tourists are hungry. Being from Michigan, there were a lot of restaurants that I had never tried or even heard of when I came down to Lexington for school. Stop number one: Canes. I know they only have chicken tenders on the menu, but that is why I love it (and the SAUCE). Two: Local Taco. I’m not typically someone who eats tacos or anything like what Local Taco has, yet they have converted me. Southern Fried Tacos with no tomato = yum! Three: Keeneland. I have never been to a horse race before coming down here, and to me, it sets Kentucky apart. Keeneland amazes me every time I’m there.

What is your favorite word?

Ever since I was a kid, my favorite word to spell or write out has been Mississippi.

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

As a journalism major, I am very partial to the bland and boring Times New Roman. My sister, who is a graphic designer, would yell at me for that answer.

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Did you always know you wanted to intern or work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

I have always loved books, but never considered publishing before this internship. Since I am graduating soon, I am trying to expand my horizons and see what careers are available for me. As a kid and even into high school, I wanted to be a doctor. Something about it has always fascinated me, but alas, I found out that hard science is not my strong suit.

Why should students be interested in their local university press?

University press books are great tools, but students may not realize they exist or be as familiar with UPs/UP books as they would with books from trade publishers. Some students may not think about where their books are coming from! There are very important books being produced by authors and university presses. Keona K. Ervin’s Gateway to Equality: Black Women and the Struggle for Economic Justice in St. Louis, a title from UPK, received the 2018 Missouri History Book Award. It’s great to see the authors and books we work with get the recognition they deserve!

Students should also be interested in UPs because UPs often offer internships and may cause them to dive into a career path they have never considered before or even thought possible (like me). Plus, UPs serve their local areas and regions from within the region, which means publishing isn’t only designated to one place or one group of people—and it means that not everyone has to move to New York in order to work in publishing! (Unless you want to move to New York, because who doesn’t at one point in their life?)

Why should students support their university press? How can students support UPs?

Students should support their local university press because the books that come out are really interesting and have a lot of educational value. For example, being from a different state, I have learned a lot from the books we have published that are written about Kentucky or even by Kentucky writers. I think celebrating the fact that there is so much Kentucky has to offer in a literary sense is a great thing to show off. Students can learn so much and still support their UP just by going to events and even reading university press books that they find interesting. I first learned about UPK when one of my professors a couple years ago scheduled for us to come in and learn more about what book publishing is about and what goes into it. It was a great learning experience that a lot of students could definitely benefit from!

What have you learned during your time here, and how will you use the skills you gained as you start a career, further your education, etc.?

I have learned so much here at UPK. It is one thing to learn how to use and develop your skills needed for a career after college, but it is another to actually get to apply them to real-life situations. Writing press releases has helped me with my writing, with which I always need practice. Creating graphics and banners using creative software like Photoshop has helped me expand my design skills in order to use that in my future career when designing promotional ads or graphics. And in this day and age, social media has become a huge part of daily life whether we like it or not, and to be able to say that I know how to promote a book, author, event, or business effectively across social media is an important skill to have.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Not necessarily a character, but more of a literary universe: Harry Potter. I got into the series a lot later than most people my age, but everything about the books intrigues me.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

I just finished Frances Burney’s Evelina for my 18th-century “Rise of The British Novel” class and I really enjoyed it. Some twists and turns in a typical foundling narrative fashion, but the storylines we had to follow were very interesting!

What’s your favorite song to sing at karaoke and why?

A tough one because I never seem to sing the same song twice. A big one that I always enjoy other people singing is “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks. Even if you’re not a country fan, you still sing along!

 

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Meet the Press: Katie Huffman, Marketing Intern

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Name: Katie Huffman
Position: Marketing Intern
Hometown: Harrodsburg, KY

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your position at the press.

I am a junior English major with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. I currently work as a marketing intern, and I mainly write press releases and cover copy, help run the social media accounts, and do any research that the marketing team needs done!

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What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

I really love Amreekiya by Lena Mahmoud. I’ve had the opportunity to work with this title a lot, from helping draft the press release to researching background information on the culture portrayed and promoting the release on social media! I really enjoyed the storytelling and writing. Plus, the cover art is absolutely gorgeous!

Why should students be interested in their local university press?

Students should be interested in their local university press because it’s a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience, whether you’re interested in writing, public relations, research, or so much more. UPs lend voice to both up-and-coming young writers and established authors, so there’s always a wonderful myriad of experiences and viewpoints being expressed.

If someone was visiting Kentucky for the first time and you were their tour guide, where would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

I would definitely take them to Red River Gorge and Keeneland. Horse racing is about as Kentucky as you can get. As far as local food goes, I love Doodles for brunch, Windy Corner Market, and The Old Owl Tavern (located back in my hometown).

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

I enjoy Constantia and find it pretty visually appealing while still being professional and easy to read.

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What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?

The last book I read was The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I would absolutely recommend it.

Did you always know you wanted to intern or work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you want to do something different as an adult?

I’ve always known I wanted to work with books. Even as a kid, I’ve always loved to read, so publishing seemed like a good fit for me. It allows me to work with books in some capacity each day!

Why should students support their university press? How can students support UPs?

Students should support their university press because they do so many amazing things for their community! Students can support UPs by simply buying and reading their published titles. To get further involved, follow us on social media @KentuckyPress or apply to be an intern!

What have you learned during your time here, and how will you use the skills you gained as you start a career, further your education, etc.?

I can honestly say I’ve learned so much! Interning here has really helped me hone my writing and communication skills, especially over social media. I have learned how to succinctly communicate my point in a brief and interesting way. I hope to go into a career in publishing, so all of these skills will definitely be of use to me in the future!

If you could have dinner with any three people—dead or alive, famous or not—who would it be?

Audrey Hepburn, Eric Clapton, and Aspyn Ovard, definitely.

 

The Beauty in Bourbon’s History

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Spirits Tank, George T. Staggs Distillery, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY.  

Whiskey making has been an integral part of American history since frontier times. Kentucky is home to more barrels of bourbon than people, and ninety-five percent of all of America’s native spirit is produced in the Bluegrass State. In Kentucky, early settlers brought stills to preserve grain, and they soon found that the limestone-filtered water and the unique climate of the scenic Bluegrass region made it an ideal place for the production of barrel-aged liquor. And so, bourbon whiskey was born.

More than two hundred commercial distilleries were operating in Kentucky before Prohibition, but only sixty-one reopened after its repeal in 1933. Though the businesses were gone, most of the buildings remained, unused, slowly deteriorating for decades. Now, thanks in large part to the explosion of interest in craft bourbon, many of these historic buildings are being brought back to life, often as new distilleries. As the popularity of America’s native spirit increases worldwide, many historic distilleries are being renovated, refurbished, and brought back into operation.

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Spears Warehouse, Second Floor, Jacob Spears Distillery, Bourbon County, KY.

In The Birth of Bourbon: A Phorographic Tour of Early Distilleries, award-winning photographer Carol Peachee takes readers on an unforgettable tour of lost distilleries as well as facilities undergoing renewal, such as the famous Old Taylor and James E. Pepper distilleries in Lexington, Kentucky. This beautiful book also includes spaces that well-known brands, including Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace, have preserved as a homage to their rich histories. By using a photography technique called high-dynamic-range imaging (HDR), Peachee captures the vibrant and haunting beauty of the distilleries. HDR photography is a process that layers three or more images taken of the same scene at different shutter speeds. The technique creates a fuller range of luminosity and color and gives the photographs a striking, ethereal quality.

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Knobs and Pipes, J.E. Pepper Distillery, Lexington, KY. 

“Photographed again today,” Peachee explains, “they would look different, which would make some of the images, barely four years old, a relic in their own right.” In 2010, the James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington was the first set of ruins that she photographed. Four years later, the location was repurposed and commercialized.

Just months after Peachee visited the Old Crow Distillery in Millville, the ruins were sold to entrepreneurs who built Castle & Key Distillery, home to Kentucky’s first female Master Distiller Marianne Barnes. Likewise, the Dowling Distilleries warehouse in Burgin was photographed in the process of being torn down. Major buildings at other sites like Buffalo Springs Distillery in Stamping Ground did not survive to be photographed.

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Pillar and Engine, Old Crow Distillery, Woodford County, KY.

As more and more historical distilleries are lost or altered, these images provide an important glimpse of the past and detailed insight on Kentucky’s relationship with bourbon. The Birth of Bourbon is a tour of Kentucky bourbon heritage that might have otherwise been lost if not for Peachee’s determination to save it. The results not only document what remains, but they also showcase the beauty of these sites through a meditation on impermanence, labor, time, presence, and loss.

Carol Peachee is a fine art photographer and cofounder of the Kentucky Women’s Photography Network. She is the winner of the 2010 Elizabeth Fort Duncan Award in photography from the Pennyroyal Art Guild.