Now in its thirty-seventh year, the Kentucky Book Fair is expanding to become the signature piece of a larger event, the Kentucky Book Festival. Organized by Kentucky Humanities, the Kentucky Book Festival will span from November 12 to 17 and involve six days full of literary events around Lexington, culminating in Kentucky Book Fair on November 17 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The fair will feature more than 180 authors, including over twenty-five who have been published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK):
- James Archambeault, author of James Archambeault’s Historic Kentucky and Kentucky Horse Country: Images of the Bluegrass;
- Michael T. Benson, coauthor of College for the Commonwealth: A Case for Higher Education in American Democracy;
- Wendell Berry, author of The Farm and Harlan Hubbard: Life and Work, among others;
- Doug Brunk, author of Forty Minutes to Glory: Inside the Kentucky Wildcats’ 1978 Championship Season and Wildcat Memories: Inside Stories from Kentucky Basketball Greats;
- Thomas H. Conner, author of War and Remembrance: The Story of the American Battle Monuments Commission;
- Berry Craig, author of Kentucky’s Rebel Press: Pro-Confederate Media and the Secession Crisis and Kentucky Confederates: Secession, Civil War, and the Jackson Purchase;
- Jonathan S. Cullick, author of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion;
- John I. Gilderbloom, author of Chromatic Homes: The Joy of Color in Historic Places;
- Maggie Green, author of The Essential Plant-Based Pantry and The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook;
- Silas House, author of Southernmost and coauthor of Something’s Rising: Appalachians Fighting Mountaintop Removal;
- James C. Klotter, coauthor of the second edition of A New History of Kentucky, among others;
- George Ella Lyon, author of Many-Storied House: Poems, among others;
- Kwoya Fagin Maples, author of Mend: Poems;
- Bobbie Ann Mason, author of Patchwork: A Bobbie Ann Mason Reader;
- William Lynwood Montell, author of Tales from Kentucky Sheriffs, among others;
- Jeremy Paden, author of Prison Recipes and coeditor of Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets;
- Susan Reigler, coauthor of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook and Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide, among others;
- Randolph Paul Runyon, author of The Mentelles: Mary Todd Lincoln, Henry Clay, and the Immigrant Family Who Educated Antebellum Kentucky;
- Frederick Smock, author of On Poetry: Palm-of-the-Hand Essays and editor of The American Voice Anthology of Poetry;
- Bianca Lynne Spriggs, coeditor of Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets;
- Richard Taylor, author of Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape, among others;
- Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, author of Out of Nowhere: New and Selected Poems, At The Breakers: A Novel, and Come and Go, Molly Snow: A Novel, in addition, copies of her late husband, former Kentucky Poet Laureate James Baker Hall’s, posthumous memoir, The Missing Body of the Fox will be available at her table;
- Milton C. Toby, author of Taking Shergar: Thoroughbred Racing’s Most Famous Cold Case;
- Crystal Wilkinson, author of The Birds of Opulence, among others;
- Jeff Worley, author of Lucky Talk: 26 Short Poems and editor of What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets; and
- Mike Veach, coauthor of The Bourbon Tasting Notebook and author of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage.
In addition to authors who will be signing their books on the main arena floor on November 17, the Kentucky Book Fair will host a series of panel discussions and presentations for authors and readers alike on the main stage and in breakout rooms that day. Several panels include UPK authors eager to share their work:
- 10:00 am, Main Stage—H.W. Brands discusses Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants with EKU President Michael T. Benson.
- 11:00 am, Lindsey Wilson Room—“The People You Know: Rural Literature Now” will feature David Joy and UPK author Crystal Wilkinson discussing how rural literature has evolved over time.
- 12:00 pm, University of Kentucky Main Stage—Wendell Berry in conversation with Jon Parrish Peede, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The event will be moderated by UPK author Morris Grubbs, editor of Every Leaf a Mirror: A Jim Wayne Miller Reader.
- 1:00 pm, Spalding Room—Jonathan S. Cullick will discuss Robert Penn Warren’sAll the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion.
- 1:00 pm, Lindsey Wilson Room—Doug Brunk will join with coaches and players of the 1978 Kentucky Wildcats NCAA Championship Basketball Team to discuss Forty Minutes to Glory: Inside the Kentucky Wildcats’ 1978 Championship Season.
- 3:00 pm, Lindsey Wilson Room—EKU President Michael T. Benson will discuss College for the Commonwealth: A Case for Higher Education in American Democracy.
- 3:00 pm, Main Stage—Silas House in conversation with poet Nickole Brown and novelist Kayla Rae Whitaker.
The Kentucky Book Festival will be holding a series of events throughout the week at several different locations around Lexington. The events include readings, cocktail parties, trivia, and more:
- Monday, November 12, 6:30 to 8:00 pm—The Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning will host “New Kentucky Poetry & Prose” with readings by Willie Davis, UPK author Jeremy Paden, Robert Gipe, and Maureen Morehead. Free and open to the public; no tickets required.
- Tuesday, November 13, 12:00 to 2:00 pm—ArtsPlace will host “A Literary Luncheon with Silas House” featuring him reading from his new novel Southernmost. Tickets are required and available for $40 at kyhumanities.org; seating is limited.
- Friday, November 16—Jonathan S. Cullick, author of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion, will teach a KBF Master Class on the basic rhetoric principles of persuasion and how to use them to more than 300 students. This event is for preregistered students and not open to the public.
Dedicated to honoring the profession of writing and to providing a format for authors to meet their reading public, the Kentucky Book Fair attracts thousands of avid readers and patrons nationwide. Featuring a broad range of titles including children’s books, military history, mystery, nature, fiction, and nonfiction, the fair attracts promotes reading across genres and age levels. Founded in 1981, the Kentucky Book Fair is the state’s leading literary event.
A full list of Kentucky Book Festival activities can be found on the Kentucky Humanities website.