Tag Archives: Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning

UPK75: 75 Years of the University Press of Kentucky

The word “exhibit” usually has a very specific connotation to those in the UP world. Exhibits are events—conferences, book fairs, craft markets, etc.—where publishers rent space to display and/or sell their titles. Some exhibits are geared toward selling books directly to the public, and your booth might be behind a chocolatier’s and across from a painter’s. Others occur during academic conferences and are primarily for meeting with potential authors and scholars in the field.

However, just a few short weeks ago, we were tasked with preparing for an exhibit of another sort—a showcase of our institutional history. We won’t dive too deep into the details in this post—if you missed our latest entry about the exhibit and other 75th anniversary initiatives, you can find it here—but the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning graciously partnered with us, lending us space in their second floor foyer to erect a display commemorating the past 75 years.

UPK75 debuted two weeks ago during the May LexArts Gallery Hop. Despite the rain, there was a wonderful turnout, and we were happy to share a night of celebration and camaraderie with our loved ones, fellow staff members (past and present), authors, and community partners.

If you weren’t able to make it to the Carnegie Center for the UPK75 opening, you missed out on a special night, but not to fear—the exhibit will remain on display through early July. We encourage you to stop by the Carnegie during its business hours to take a look in person.

And if you live too far away to make the trek to Lexington, you’re in luck, as we’ve captured a few of the evening’s highlights in the slideshow below.

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Thanks again to those who helped make this exhibit possible, as well as our Gallery Hop reception attendees and everyone who has visited the display. Our 75th anniversary celebration is far from over, though, so make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on UPK events and happenings!

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2015 Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame

Next week, the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in downtown Lexington will hold the third annual induction of the Kentucky Writer’s Hall of Fame. The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame was created to recognize Kentucky writers whose work reflects the character and culture of our commonwealth, and to educate Kentuckians about our state’s rich literary heritage.

The requirements for the 2015 class have altered slightly from years past. For a writer to have been eligible this year, they must be (1) deceased (excluding one living writer), (2) published, (3) someone whose writing is of enduring stature, and (4) someone connected in a significant way to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In order to be nominated, each author had to undergo a three step process including nominations from the general public, recommendations from a committee comprised of former state poet laureates and the director of the Kentucky Arts council, and a final review and selection done by the Carnegie Center’s Hall of Fame Creation Committee.

This year’s inductees have been described as “eloquent, inspirational, and sometimes downright outrageous” by the Hall of Fame founder and Carnegie Center executive director, Neil Chethik. The full 2015 class is listed below:

      
Wendell Berry (Henry Co.)      Elizabeth Hardwick (Fayette Co.)      Effie Waller Smith (Pike Co.)

     
Jim Wayne Miller (Warren Co.)   Guy Davenport (Fayette Co.)  Hunter S. Thompson (Jefferson Co.)

The University Press of Kentucky proudly honors these authors, having worked with many of them at some point in their career. A small spotlight will go out to UPK book, Every Leaf a Mirror: a Jim Wayne Miller Reader, with a short reading by Mary Ellen Miller, Jim Wayne’s widow, during the ceremony.

The six winners will be officially inducted on Wednesday, January 28, at the Carnegie Center, 7 PM (Doors open at 6:30 PM). This event is FREE and open to the public.To get in the spirit of the induction, here is a poem from Every Leaf a Mirror titled “His Hands”:

His Hands
He noticed his hands, how they
cracked each other’s knuckles, how his fingers
thrummed restlessly on every tabletop,
foraging for magazines, snuffling about
in his pockets for cigarettes, like a dog
tracking a mole. He noticed his hands
reassuring one another, noticed them
turning on television sets when he wasn’t looking,
like horses who learn to open
gates and barn doors with their noses.

He knew his hands had learned from him
how to seem independent, how to hide
from the larger creature they were just a part of.
His hands were only children
telling on the street what they’d heard at home.

He walked in the woods.
Fish hung in his veins, shadows fanning.
Birds circled his farthest green thoughts.

He came home after dark, the mood following
like a friendly old dog. At home he noticed
his hands, alert, looking up, trying
to start a game of fetch.

13 Finalists Announced for the 2014 Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame

Following last year’s inaugural class of inductees into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame, 13 writers from the Commonwealth have been nominated for the honor this year. Only six of these beloved native sons and daughters will be inducted for this year’s class, announced at an induction ceremony slated for Thursday, January 23, 6:30 pm, at the Carnegie Center. It is free and open to the public.

To be eligible for induction this year, the writer must have been deceased, connected significantly to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the author of published and enduring fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

“These extraordinary writers are not only artists, they are authentic Kentuckians who spent their lives telling stories of the people, places and culture of our state, ” said Neil Chethik, executive director of the Carnegie Center.

According to Chethik, the purpose of the Hall of Fame is 1) to honor great writers and writing around Kentucky, 2) to affirm and promote Kentucky’s rich literary legacy, and 3) to provide a place where children and adults can learn about the great books and writers who came from (or through) Kentucky.

The 2014 finalists come from various regions in Kentucky and represent writers from many genres–children’s books, historical nonfiction, and autobiography, among them.

Congrats to all of this year’s honorees!

This year’s 13 finalists are:

James Lane Allen (Lexington)

Rebecca Caudill (Cumberland)

Thomas Clark (Lexington)

Guy Davenport (Lexington)

Janice Holt Giles (Adair County)

James Baker Hall (Lexington)

Etheridge Knight (Paducah)

Thomas Merton (Nelson County)

Jim Wayne Miller (Bowling Green)

Alice Hagen Rice (Shelbyville)

Effie Waller Smith (Pike County)

Jesse Stuart (Riverton)

Hunter S. Thompson (Louisville)

UPK Books by Honored Writers: