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#ReadUP in the Community: Spotlight on Staff

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

The theme of 2016’s #UPWeek is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

From volunteerism, to mentorships, and staff members with not-so-hidden talents and passions, our friends at AAUP member presses around the world are servicing their communities in myriad amazing ways. Here are just a few examples:

Wayne State University Press

WSUP highlights their new in-house designer as part of their “Shelf-Talkers” series.

University of Washington Press

Mellon University Press Diversity Fellow Niccole Leilanionapae’aina Coggins on community and food sovereignty.

University Press of Mississippi

UPM Project Editor Valerie Jones discusses her volunteer work for a Jackson spay/neuter clinic .

University of Wisconsin Press

Production manager Terry Emmrich, who is also a fine art printmaker, discusses the Art & Craft of Print.

Johns Hopkins University Press

After nine years in manuscript editing at JHU Press, Debby Bors explains her passion for university press publishing.

University of Chicago Press

Associate marketing manager Levi Stahl has built a community of crime fiction fans around the cult-classic mystery novels written by “Richard Stark.”

Purdue University Press

Editor Dianna Gilroy discusses the connections between her work at the press on the Human-Animal Bond series and her work in the local and global community raising awareness about the value of the human-animal bond and the need to help homeless animals.

Princeton University Press

Behind the scenes with Eric Henney, new editor of physical, earth, and computer science at Princeton University Press.

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Former Triliteral sales rep, John Edlund shares his favorite books that he represented throughout his career with Harvard, Yale and MIT.

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#ReadUP in the Community: IndieBound in Kentucky

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

This year’s #UPWeek theme is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

We love to publish great books by great authors, but how do we get the books on your shelf? With a little help from our indefatigable partners in publishing: independent booksellers.

It takes a lot of love and passion for books, knowledge, and community to create a great bookstore. Indie booksellers promote new authors, help readers rediscover the classics, and bond community members through events, book clubs, meeting spaces, and even a cup of coffee.

Kentucky is unique in many ways, but one of the things we love most about our state is the number of amazing, dedicated, and energetic booksellers and bookstores across the Commonwealth!

With that in mind, we approached our #Indiebound friends with a few pressing questions about their reading communities, their favorite UPK books, and their favorite karaoke songs. . . . Get to know these champions of the written word, and stop by to snag a new book to #ReadUP!

Our Bookstores and Booksellers who Contributed here:

Our thanks to everyone who contributed their time and attention to helping us with this post. For a full list of independent booksellers in Kentucky, visit Indiebound.org or the American Booksellers Association.


Poor Richard’s Books, Frankfort
with Lizz Taylor

Find Poor Richard’s Books online here: http://www.poorrichardsbooksky.com

What do you love most about your reading community?
The Frankfort reading community is eager to listen to the recommendations my staff makes for “what their next read could be.”

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?

Crawfish Bottom by Doug Boyd is our top bestseller from the University Press of Kentucky titles.  This history of a local neighborhood originally right outside our front door has appeal for those who grew up here, as well as those who have heard the many colorful stories of this neighborhood.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
The Pearl that Broke its Shell by Nadia Nashimi.  She describes the young woman in Afghanistan trying to use education to advance their lives.  A great follow-up to Hosseini’s Kiterunner.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I would have liked to have been a doctor or detective, but I still do that type of work trying to find the books to suit my customers.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?

“You have been my friend—that in itself is a tremendous thing.”—E B White from Charlotte’s Web.  I love perusing my book shelves and remembering my “old friends.”

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?

Eleanor Roosevelt for her conviction, loyalty, and strength.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
My favorite thing to cook is food for my bookclub, the Absent-Minded Book Club (as we can never remember who is hosting or what we decided to read.  I love attempting a recipe that will enhance our latest reading experience.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
I could be Wonder-Book Woman as I must wear so many hats running Poor Richard’s Books.
My costume could be old book pages shaped to drape, but then I’d get caught up reading those old pages before I finish the costume.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?
I loved history, as the “truth is always stranger than fiction.”

What’s your favorite joke?
Not exactly a joke, but Mark Twain referenced Kentucky:  “I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because they are always 20 years behind.”

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I love to travel, hike and view art.

What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?
I actually like the privacy of my life out of the bookstore, where I am social all day long.

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
I think that Meryl Streep could handle it.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I have some medical background as my mother was in nursing school when I was reading Cherry Ames nurse mysteries as a young girl.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?
The Beatles—I even named my daughter Julia after that song.  I loved the french included in that piece.

Have you ever met any celebrities?
Robert Penn Warren was a real treat.  He said I could call him “Red,” when I didn’t know that he had been a redhead before his hair turned white.

Do you collect anything?
It’s hard to resist books, art and recipes.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
Music is in my head whenever I’m in a good mood.  But the selection varies from day to day.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
A science fiction show like Star Wars, or Star Trek would be an incredible adventure.

Name three things you can’t live without.
Books, color and peace!

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
Jane Austen is a favorite, as she responds to her world and admits her prejudices.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
A curious cat could work if folks didn’t have allergies.

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
We would be located in the middle of Diagon Alley in Harry Potter world.  How much fun to explore all the unique shops!

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Jane Austen for the reason previously stated.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
Definitely comfort food..maybe as satisfying as apple pie.


Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Crestview Hills
with Caitlin Fletcher

Find Joseph-Beth Booksellers online here: www.josephbeth.com

jb-crestviewWhat do you love most about your reading community?
I love how enthusiastic they are! There’s a preconceived notion that nobody reads anymore and I find that to be entirely false. People love their books, they love reading, and they love that anticipation of waiting for a new book. We get customers coming in asking for books that they’ve been waiting for years for. It’s beautiful.
What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?
I absolutely adored The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. It was full of rich characters and a plot that makes you want to never put down the book. Crystal was at our store for a signing when the book came out and she was so passionate about the book that it was hard to not enjoy it – so much love, thought, and imagination went into this book.
What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron. It’s beautiful. Diverse, interesting, and realistic. I loved it.
What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
Anything by Taylor Swift – usually “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Because no one sounds good singing that song and I love Taylor Swift.
If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
Gilmore Girls, probably. It’s quick, witty, and I would love to be best friends with Lorelai and Rory.
Name three things you can’t live without.
Books, laptop, and heat. Or food. Or my cat. This is a tough one.
If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
Hermione Granger.
If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
A quokka. They’re friendly, always smiling, and they’re helpful. Plus they’re really adorable.
If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
I couldn’t see us anywhere else except for the Cincinnati area. It’s our home!
If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Wow. I don’t know if I could choose just one. Stephen King is in my top list of favorite authors, so perhaps him. Or JK Rowling. Or Natalie Babbitt. There are so many.
If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
Something tasty. Like a cinnamon roll – because it’s sweet and comforting.
What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
I’m not very good at cooking, but I enjoy baking. I love baking brownies, which sounds incredibly simple; but for me it’s quite an achievement!
If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
Hydro and my super power would be manipulation of water. As for what I would wear, probably something practical without a cape.
What was your favorite subject in school and why?
English. Words have always come easily to me and reading has always been an escape for me.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I went through the phases: I wanted to be a doctor, then a social worker, then a rockstar, but in the end . . . I realized I wanted to write and since then, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
Other peoples’ opinions of you does not define who you are.
If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?
Maybe Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird continues to be one of my favorite books and I would have loved to talk to her about writing.
What’s your favorite joke?
“Have you heard the cookie joke? You wouldn’t like it. It’s pretty crumby!”
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I’ve never completely finished writing a novel. I start a lot, but never finish them.
What’s something you wish everyone knew about you?
I’m terrified of heights. If they knew, perhaps they’d stop asking me to climb tall things!
If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
I don’t really know . . . I feel like I’m too weird for someone to portray. Maybe Anna Kendrick. She’s got the quirky weird thing down.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can roll my tongue. I don’t think that constitutes as a hidden talent. But it’s the only thing I can think of.
What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?
Nirvana. They still are, actually. My favorite song by them is “Heart Shaped Box.”
Have you ever met any celebrities?
Not any big ones. I’ve met a few authors because of work and I met this singer from Canada that I’ve been a fan of for going on ten years now, but no one incredibly big.
Do you collect anything?
Editions of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. It’s my favorite book of all time.

Wild Fig Books & Coffee, Lexington
with Crystal Wilkinson and Ron Davis

Find Wild Fig Books & Coffee online here: http://wildfigbooks.net

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William DeShazer for the New York Times

Learn more about Crystal, Ron, and Wild Fig Books & Coffee in this recent piece from the New York Times on neighborhood bookstores!

What do you love most about your reading community?
we love their enthusiasm for good books and emerging writers.

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend?
the man who loved birds with UPofKy

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?
the graphic novel, Beautiful Darkness. it was wonderful!

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why?
ron – the first african to see a slave ship off the west coast so he could warn him to the coming danger and to take appropriate action against them.
crystal – ida b. wells because she remains an inspiration.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
we’re both introverts.

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Follow the adventures of the Wild Fig “Barista Barbie” on Instagram!

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
sam jackson as both of us.

Do you have any hidden talents?
crys – trapeze artist
ron – trained assassin for the nigerian secret service.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song?crystal – prince, starfish and coffee
ron – funkadelic, maggot brain

Name three things you can’t live without.
tv remote… a car… werther’s originals.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
luke cage and spongebob because they would be awesome together.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why?
luke cage and spongebob (see above)

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why?
luanda, angola because it is so lovely.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why?
waffles. because… “waffles”.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?
art for ron because he paints.
english for crystal because she writes.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
ron wanted to be an architect.
crystal wanted to be a journalist.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
dont be poor.

Have you ever met any celebrities?
crys – bell hooks
ron – haki madhubuti

Do you collect anything?
african sculptures.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why?
crystal – starfish and coffee, because she loves prince
ron – black steel in the hour of chaos because he’s a public enemy fan.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why?
the 100. because we could build a life in the hills.

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?
tie among gayl jones, toni morrison, and james baldwin because they are all great writers with excellent social insights.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why?
avocado toast because we make a great one at the store!


Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington
with Kelly Morton

Find Joseph-Beth Booksellers online here: www.josephbeth.com

What do you love most about your reading community?
The diversity and enthusiasm!

What is one University Press of Kentucky book (or another university press book) that you love and would recommend? 
The Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson. Plus anything about bourbon.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose? 
The Lorax. Someone needs to speak for the trees.

If your shop had a mascot/spirit animal, what would it be and why? 
We kinda do – he’s a plastic dinosaur named Bob. No idea why.

If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
Listen carefully to everything I say, then completely ignore it and go with your gut.

If you could go back in history, who would you like to meet and why? 
My grandfather while he was fighting in Germany during WWII; he died before I was born and it would be amazing to meet him and tell him what his service in Germany would lead to.

What’s your favorite joke? 
Two cows in a field. One cow says to the other, “Are you worried about that mad cow disease?” Other cow says, “No, I’m a helicopter.” ZING!!

Do you have any hidden talents? 
Nope. Both of them are pretty obvious.

What was your favorite band/musician as a teenager and what was your favorite song? 
Anything by Destiny’s Child. Also the VeggieTales theme song. I was a strange teenager.

Have you ever met any celebrities? 
Yes – if anyone asks, Jason Segel is like, the nicest guy ever.

What is your favorite thing to cook and why? 
Pie because even if you mess it up, it’s still delicious.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and super power? What would you wear?
I don’t have a clever name, but I’d be able to breathe underwater and talk to sea creatures. I’d wear scales and seaweed – I’m beginning to think I’m just a mermaid.

What was your favorite subject in school and why? 
Lunch because food. But also art because that’s a different kind of sustenance. And English because I loved reading.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? 
I never really decided. I still haven’t. The nice thing about books is that you can become anyone you want in the pages.

What’s something most people don’t know about you? 
I’m an introvert. 

What’s something you wish everyone knew about you? 
I’m an introvert. Seriously. Let me go hide.

If a movie was being made about your life, who would you want to play the starring role?
Someone completely unknown so they could get their big break!

Do you collect anything? 
Elephants, Harry Potter books, and scars, but the last one isn’t intentional.

What’s your favorite karaoke go-to song and why? 
Santeria” by Sublime because I know all the words.

If you could live in any TV show, what would it be and why? 
Bob’s Burgers because I’m pretty sure Gene is my spirit animal and I think I’d fit in.

Name three things you can’t live without. 
Espresso, cute dresses, and my wiener dog.

If your shop were a world city, where would it be and why? 
Cincinnati should count as a world city! Because we’re big enough but not too big, friendly but not overbearing, and we’re obsessed with buckeyes.

If you could host a book club with any author alive or dead, who would it be and why? 
Barbara Kingsolver because I bet she’d bring all sorts of treats to share.

If your shop were a food, what would it be and why? 
A really, really big just-baked cookie because we’re warm and friendly.

What was the last book you read? Did you like it? 
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Yes, in a my-heart-is-crushed-and-I’m-dying-but-ok-with-it kind of way.

#ReadUP in Your Community: Day 1

carter_proclamation_smIn the summer of 1978 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a University Press Week “in recognition of the impact, both here and abroad, of American university presses on culture and scholarship.”

That influence continues today, as does the increasing vitality of university press publishing programs, the many ways and means by which works are now produced and distributed, and the urgent need for articulate discourse in times pervaded by sound bites. Today, a renewed University Press Week highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

This year’s #UPWeek theme is COMMUNITY—honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

 

The University Press Community as a whole has collected their works that best exemplify this year’s theme in a gallery where you can find a great new read (click below):

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You can also explore other University Press’s efforts to empower and inform their communities via our yearly blog tour. Today’s posts highlight the people in our neighborhoods, read more on their blogs:

Northwestern University Press

http://northwesternup.tumblr.com/

Rutgers Unviersity Press

Sneak a peek at Rutgers’ 250th anniversary celebrations and the press’s role in them (with lots of pictures!)

Fordham University Press

Featuring Professor Mark Naison, co-author of Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930s to the 1960s.

University of Toronto Press

Our history editor recounts her experiences running lectures at a nearby Jewish Community Centre in Toronto on Why History Matters Today, featuring a string of our higher education authors.

University of Toronto Press Journals

Featuring one of our journal editors and the work they are doing in their own communities related to the journal they are responsible for.

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Curated book list of favorite University Press titles from Haun Saussy, University of Chicago faculty and Columbia University Press and Fordham University Press author.

Athabasca University Press

We will be featuring members of our editorial committee.

University Press of Florida

An introduction to our “neighborhood” of readers, authors, bookstores, sales reps, staff, and more.

 

 

 

Civil Rights Hero Receives International Recognition

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Bernard LaFayette Jr., taken at the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, standing in front of two photographs in 1963: one was when he was attacked in Selma, the other a mug shot of when he was arrested.

University Press of Kentucky author Bernard LaFayette Jr., whose memoir In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma was released in paperback earlier this year, has been awarded the 2016 Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace. He is also co-editor of The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North. The award is presented by the Gandhi Development Trust. The GDT was founded in 2002 by Ela Gandhi, the social activist granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi. The Gandhi Development Trust’s mission is to promote a culture of peace, justice, non-violence, and ubuntu (human kindness); promoting Gandhian values of ahisma (non-violence), self-sufficiency, love, sarvodaya (good of all), compassion, and universality in order to reach their core vision of a peaceful, just, and non-violent world.

The Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace was established in 2003 to honor people who have surmounted religious and ethnic obstacles to promote democracy, peace, and justice through non-violent measures. GDT believes that the award should not merely be seen as an annual event, but rather a catalyst for initiating non-violence, ubuntu, and nation building under the influence of non-violent leaders. LaFayette was chosen as this year’s winner in recognition of his outstanding work towards the promotion of peace, reconciliation, and justice both locally and internationally in his capacity as a civil rights activist.

peace and freedom.final.final.inddLaFayette’s memoir, In Peace and Freedom, recounts that career as an activist. He was a cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a leader in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins, a Freedom Rider, an associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign. At the age of twenty-two, he assumed the directorship of the Alabama Voter Registration Project in Selma—a city that had previously been removed from the organization’s list due to the dangers of operating there.

LaFayette was one of the primary organizers of the 1965 Selma voting rights movement and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, and his memoir, written with Kathryn Lee Johnson, shares the inspiring story of his finley.final.inddstruggles there. When he arrived in 1963, Selma was a small, quiet, rural town. By 1965, it had made its mark in history and was nationally recognized as a battleground in the fight for racial equality and the site of one of the most important victories for social change in our nation.

The award was presented on November 7, 2016, in Durban, South Africa.

 

A Diverse Gathering- Kentucky Style

Tomorrow will be the 35th Annual Kentucky Book Fair!  The event will be happening from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, and it is free and open to the public!

We have several authors who will be attending as well as speaking at the Kentucky Book Fair this year.  Some of our most notable authors include: Fenton Johnson, Kathleen Driskell, Roberta Simpson Brown and Lonnie E. Brown, William Lynwood Montell, Joy Perrine, Albert Schmid, and Edmund Zimmerer.  The variety of authors in attendance  demonstrates the diversity within Kentucky’s writing community.  In addition, there will be an opportunity for readers to meet their favorite authors with a meet and greet.

Here are some samples of our authors you’ll encounter:

Inspired by the real-life state police kidnapping and murder of a legendary storyteller and petty criminal, The Man Who Loved Birds engages pressing contemporary issues through a timeless narrative of ill-fated romance. Celebrated author Fenton Johnson has woven a seamless, haunting fable exploring the eternal conflicts between free will and destiny, politics and nature, the power of law and the power of love.

Fenton Johnson is the author of award-winning fiction and literary nonfiction, including two novels, Crossing the River and Scissors, Paper, Rock, as well as Keeping Faith: A Skeptic’s Journey among Christian and Buddhist Monks and Geography of the Heart: A Memoir. He is associate professor of creative writing at the University of Arizona and teaches in the MFA program at Spalding University in Louisville.

In The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, Joy Perrine and Susan Reigler provide a reader-friendly handbook featuring more than 100 recipes including seasonal drinks, after-dinner bourbon cocktails, Derby cocktails, and even medicinal toddies. The book’s introduction explains how the use of specific spirits and ingredients, glassware, and special techniques, such as muddling and infusions, accentuates the unique flavor of bourbon. Much of the book is devoted to recipes and instructions for the professional or at-home bartender, from classic drinks such as the Manhattan and the Mint Julep to drinks for special occasions, including the Candy Cane, Pumpkin Eggnog, and Kentucky Bourbon Sparkler. The authors complete the work with suggested appetizer pairings, a glossary of terms, and a bibliography of bourbon-related books.

Joy Perrine has been the bar manager at Equus Restaurant and Jack’s Lounge in Louisville since 1985, was named “Best Bartender in Louisville” by Louisville Magazine, and has won numerous awards for her cocktails.

Susan Reigler is an award-winning former restaurant critic and drinks writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Her articles about bourbon have been published in Malt Advocate and Wine Enthusiast. She is author of the Compass American Guide to Kentucky, Adventures in Dining: Kentucky Bourbon Country, and The Complete Guide to Kentucky State Parks.

In this fascinating book, William A. Penn provides an impressively detailed account of the military action that took place in this Kentucky region during the Civil War. Because of its political leanings and strategic position along the Kentucky Central Railroad, Harrison County became the target of multiple raids by Confederate general John Hunt Morgan. Conflict in the area culminated in the Second Battle of Cynthiana, in which Morgan’s men clashed with Union troops led by Major General Stephen G. Burbridge (the “Butcher of Kentucky”), resulting in the destruction of much of the town by fire.

Penn draws on dozens of period newspapers as well as personal journals, memoirs, and correspondence from citizens, slaves, soldiers, and witnesses to provide a vivid account of the war’s impact on the region. Featuring new maps that clearly illustrate the combat strategies in the various engagements, Kentucky Rebel Town provides an illuminating look at divided loyalties and dissent in Union Kentucky.

William A. Penn, editor of the Harrison Heritage News, has published articles in Northern Kentucky Heritage and the Ohio Genealogical Society Quarterly.

 

Needless to say, this is an amazing opportunity to not only meet beloved authors but to discover new authors as well.  The Kentucky Book Fair is a great way of discovering new talents and even expanding your taste in writing!  For more information, you can visit the Kentucky Humanities Council’s website here: https://www.kyhumanities.org/kentuckybookfair.html.

 

Salisbury Featured on “UK at the Half”

Leila W. Salisbury, who was recently appointed the director of the University Press of Kentucky, discusses her joyful return to the Bluegrass, the November 5 Kentucky Book Fair, and the press’s exciting plans for its forthcoming 75th anniversary, as the featured guest during “UK at the Half.” The live radio broadcast aired during halftime of the Clarion University (where Coach Cal played in college) vs. UK men’s basketball game on Sunday, October 30, and was hosted by Carl Nathe of UK Public Relations and Marketing.

Click below to hear the interview.

 

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This Halloween, Seckatary Hawkins and the Fair and Square Club Solve the Mysteries of Stoner’s Boy and The Gray Ghost

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Long before Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys took center stage in the hearts of young readers as the iconic teen detectives, Seckatary Hawkins and his gang of “Fair and Square” boys were solving mysteries and stopping crimes along the riverbanks of the Ohio River. Beginning in 1918, the members of the Fair and Square Club captured the imagination of thousands of children and adults alike, as they explore the diverse Kentucky landscape in pursuit of adventure, mystery, and doing good. For over three decades, Schulkers’ creation provided inspiration to many young readers, including Harper Lee, who references his work in her iconic novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

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The tales of Seckatary Hawkins made their debut in The Cincinnati Enquirer, taking the nation by storm with weekly installments of Stoner’s Boy. The series continued with the exciting sequel, The Gray Ghost, in 1922. These tales soon spread to hundreds of newspapers seck_enquirer_cover-copyacross the country, eventually becoming the first children’s stories broadcast over the radio. By 1926, the popular serials had been turned into books, and over the next thirty-three years, the adventures of Seckatary Hawkins and the members of the Fair and Square Club would not cease to run in US newspapers, as well as inspiring the creation of comic strips, magazines, fan clubs, radio shows, and movies until 1951.

The enduring popularity of these adventure stories is based on a number of factors. Schulkers’ love of children and his realistic characterization of the boys in his stories appeals to adults and adolescents alike. Schulkers stands out for his apt depiction of Kentucky river boy dialogue, which allows the average Kentucky child to relate, as well as adults who can fondly reminisce about their childhoods. For today’s readers, the stories provide a portrait of boyhood in rural Kentucky nearly a hundred years ago, appealing to those who romanticize about a past that they couldn’t be a part of. seck-map-copy

 

Building on his own experiences, Schulkers creates an imaginative and dramatic setting for his river boys to adventure through.  Based on his childhood playgrounds on the riverbanks of the Licking, Kentucky, and Ohio rivers, the mountainous Cumberland River, and the cave country of Versailles, the Seckatary Hawkins gang brought to life for readers what it was like to live and play along those settings.

Building on wholesome values of   courage, honesty, loyalty, and common sense; patriotism, faith, friends, family, and fair play, Seckatary Hawkins and his band of friends teach valuable lessons to young readers. In these stories anyone, no matter their size, age, social status or appearance, can excel and do good things if they have faith in themselves and rely on the virtues of being “Fair and Square.” Teaching effective ways of handling bullies, the adventures of the Fair and Square Club show children a world where they can take charge of unpleasant situations and turn them fun, while still respecting themselves and others.

 

Buy the Books:

UPK_Stoner's Boy  UPK_The Gray Ghost