Author Archives: Daniel Peach

Kentucky Live! presents J.D. Wilkes, artist, musician and author of “The Vine That Ate the South”

J.D. Wilkes is a native of Paducah, Kentucky. In the introduction to his first book Barn Dances & Jamborees Across Kentucky published in 2013 he writes: “as a professional harmonica player and singer in a hillbilly music group, I’ve played my share of festivals and nightclubs since the age of sixteen. You name it, I’ve played it. From a boot scoot to a prison, a barbecue joint to a Masonic lodge. From fish fries to “pig-picks, juke joints to paddle-wheelers. Pool halls, mini-malls, parades, pubs, clubs, churches, casinos, coffee shops and drag strips.”

He’s the founder of the Legendary Shack Shakers, a Southern Gothic rock and blues band formed in the mid-1990s which toured widely with the likes of Robert Plant, The Black Keys and Hank Williams III among others.  His discography includes 17 albums.  He’s been nominated for a Grammy and his music has been featured on HBO’s True Blood series and a in a long-running Geico commercial. In 2015 he was featured on the BBC original series Songs of the South, in an episode focusing on the musical history of Tennessee and Kentucky.  He’s directed a film and is an accomplished visual artist who makes wonderful drawings and banners.

In his first solo album Fire Dream released in February, 2018 by Fat Legal Mess/Fat Possum Records and recorded at Delta-Sonic Sound in Memphis, he creates a complex tapestry of styles and sounds playing banjo, harmonica, and piano.

His debut novel, The Vine That Ate the South, published in 2017 by Two Dollar Radio Press, to quote the publisher “is a mesmerizing fantasia that incorporates vampire cults, exorcisms, and the Bell Witch of Tennessee, as two friends embark on a surreal, Homeric voyage that strikes at the very heart of American mythology.”

The story follows the journey of two young men through a haunted forest in a forgotten corner of western Kentucky.  Responding to a question on regional cultures in a recent interview Wilkes comments that “regionalism is important because it gives us all our own sense of place, community, and identity.”  As to the relationship between song writing and the creation of this novel Wilkes added “my songs have always been more short stories anyway, so I’ve had years of practice in a way.”

Wilkes will be reading from and discussing his novel on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Booksellers as part of WKU Libraries’ Kentucky Live! Southern Culture at Its Best series.

Copies of his books and music will be available for sale. Wilkes will also sign books and participate in a panel discussion (11:00 a.m.) at the Knicely Conference Center (654 Campbell Lane) as part of  SOKY Bookfest on Saturday, April 21.  For more information call 270-745-6121

 

Comments Off on Kentucky Live! presents J.D. Wilkes, artist, musician and author of “The Vine That Ate the South”

Filed under General, Kentucky Live, People, Podcasts

Far Away Places presents Soleiman Kiasatpour on “Morocco At the Crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East”

Soleiman Kiasatpour is an Associate Professor of International & Comparative Politics in the Department of Political Science at Western Kentucky University.  He received his PhD from the University of California, Riverside in 1998 for a dissertation on “Regime Transition in Post-Soviet Central Asia: The Cases of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan” which involved extensive field work in Central Asia in 1994 and 1996.

Born in the U.S. to Iranian parents he moved to Iran when he was 10 and lived there until his 20s.  He experienced a revolution, interstate war and being a “foreign” student upon returning to the United States as an undergraduate in Texas.

He’s taught at the University of California, Riverside, California State University, Dominguez Hills and South Texas College where he met his wife who taught French. He joined the faculty at WKU in 2002 and currently teaches classes on Middle East politics, international relations, comparative politics and political terrorism.

His research focuses on regime transitions, Middle East politics and public diplomacy and he’s frequently asked to comment about Middle Eastern affairs for various media. He’s lead Study Abroad Programs to Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands where he taught courses on Islam and citizenship in Europe, Middle East politics and Islam and politics.

His interest in Morocco began in Brussels, Belgium where over a quarter of the population are from Turkey and Morocco.  He taught a course there on identity politics of old and new immigrants. In the spring of 2013 a Moroccan Fulbright professor teaching Arabic at WKU enrolled in his U.S. foreign policy class.  With his help, he took his first group of student to Morocco in 2015

Last summer he lead his third study abroad program to Morocco where WKU students interacted with local public officials and upon return wrote about their experience in an article entitled, “Local Governance in Morocco During Political Instability” with a focus on Tetouan, a city of some 400,000 people near Tangier on the Mediterranean Coast. He’ll be making a return trip to Morocco this June and July.

We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore when Sol will be talking about “Morocco At the Crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East” in our Far Away Places series sponsored by the Friends of WKU Libraries.

Comments Off on Far Away Places presents Soleiman Kiasatpour on “Morocco At the Crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East”

Filed under Events, Far Away Places, Flickr Photos, General, Latest News, People, Podcasts, Uncategorized

Far Away Places presents Theresa Rajack-Talley, author of “Poverty is a Person”

Poverty-Is-a-Person (8)
Theresa Rajack-Talley, Associate Dean for International Diversity and Community Engagement Programs in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Louisville, was featured in our WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places speaker series on Thursday, March 22, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green, KY. The focus of her talk was also the title of her book Poverty is a Person: Human Agency, Women, and Caribbean Households. A book signing ensued in conclusion of her talk.

Photo Album | Sound File | Podcast RSS

Continue reading

Comments Off on Far Away Places presents Theresa Rajack-Talley, author of “Poverty is a Person”

Filed under Events, Far Away Places, Latest News, People, Podcasts

Kentucky Live! presents Timothy B. Smith, “Altogether Fitting and Proper: Civil War Battlefield Preservation in History, Memory, and Policy”

Civil War-Battlefield-Preservation (11)

Timothy Smith from the University of Tennessee at Martin was the featured speaker in WKU Libraries’ “Kentucky Live series” on Thursday, March 8, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green. His topic was “Civil War Battlefield Preservation in History, Memory, and Policy.” The talk concluded with book signing.

Photo Album | Sound File | Podcast RSS

Continue reading

Comments Off on Kentucky Live! presents Timothy B. Smith, “Altogether Fitting and Proper: Civil War Battlefield Preservation in History, Memory, and Policy”

Filed under Events, General, Kentucky Live, Latest News, People

Far Away Places presents Nancy Rice on “The Magic, Mystery and Misfortune of Modern Kenya”

IMG_9063
WKU Biologist Nancy Rice talked about “The Magic, Mystery, and Misfortune of Modern Kenya” in WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places series on Thursday, February 22 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

Photo Album | Audio File | Podcast RSS

Continue reading

Comments Off on Far Away Places presents Nancy Rice on “The Magic, Mystery and Misfortune of Modern Kenya”

Filed under Uncategorized

Kentucky Live! presents Mary Ellen Pethel, “College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville”

_IMG_8997

Kentucky Live! Presented Mary Ellen Pethel on College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville  on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane).

Photo Album | Sound File | Podcast RSS

Continue reading

Comments Off on Kentucky Live! presents Mary Ellen Pethel, “College Life and the Making of Modern Nashville”

Filed under Events, Kentucky Live, Latest News, People

Kentucky Live! presents Ann DAngelo, author of ‘Dark Highway: Love, Murder, and Revenge in 1930s Kentucky’

Dark-Highway-Love-Murder-Revenge-Kentucky (10)

WKU Libraries’ last of this semester’s “Kentucky Live!” speaker series featured Ann DAngelo, an attorney for the Kentucky Department of Transportation Cabinet on the evening of November 16, 2017, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green, KY. She talked about and signed her new book Dark Highway about the case of Verna Garr Taylor’s death on the night of November 6, 1936.

Photo Album | Sound File | Podcast RSS
Continue reading

Comments Off on Kentucky Live! presents Ann DAngelo, author of ‘Dark Highway: Love, Murder, and Revenge in 1930s Kentucky’

Filed under General, Kentucky Live, Latest News, People, Podcasts

Far Away Places presents Holly Tucker, author of ‘City of Light, City of Poison’

Holly Tucker speaking at Barnes & Noble

Holly Tucker, a professor at Vanderbilt University, was the featured speaker at the WKU Libraries’ “Far Away Places” speaker series on the evening of Thursday, November 9, 2017, at Barnes & Noble Bookstore. She talked about and signed at the end of the talk her book City of Light, City of Poison–Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris.

Photo Album | Sound File | Podcast RSS
Continue reading

Comments Off on Far Away Places presents Holly Tucker, author of ‘City of Light, City of Poison’

Filed under Far Away Places, New Stuff, People, Stuff

Far Away Places presents Fedja Buric, “Bosnia: More Than Twenty Years Since Dayton”

Bosnia More Than Twenty Years Since Dayton (15)

With support from an IYO grant, WKU Libraries invited Bellarmine Historian Fedja Buric to be our guest speaker at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on the evening of Thursday, October 26, 2017, to talk about the history and the current situation in Bosnia.

Photo Album | Sound File | Podcast RSS

Continue reading

Comments Off on Far Away Places presents Fedja Buric, “Bosnia: More Than Twenty Years Since Dayton”

Filed under Events, Far Away Places, General, Latest News, People

Kentucky Live! presents Joel Pett, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist

Political Cartooning (17)

Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Joel Pett spoke in this year’s WKU Libraries’ “Kentucky Live” speaker series on the evening of Thursday, October 19, 2017. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, a partner with WKU Libraries for community outreach services.

Photo Album | Sound File | Podcast RSS
Continue reading

Comments Off on Kentucky Live! presents Joel Pett, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist

Filed under Events, General, Kentucky Live, Latest News, People