On the evening of September 14 at Barnes & Noble Books, Bowling Green, KY, WKU Libraries featured Fred Minnick in its Kentucky Live! speaker series as part of its community outreach initiatives. Fred Minnick is the “Bourbon Authority” for the Kentucky Derby Museum. He talked about his newly published book Bourbon: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of An American Whiskey and signed it at the conclusion of his talk.
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Kentucky Live! presents Fred Minnick on “Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey”
Our first speaker in this year’s Far Away Places series is a native of Albacete, a market town located in Southern Spain, where his family has lived for generations in a region immortalized in Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Growing up he thought of becoming an actor but then turned his attentions to the more practical field of English philology. He studied Humanities at the University of Castilla-La Mancha where he later earned a doctorate in English philology in 2007. He currently teaches English at the School of Industrial Engineering at this same school.
His research interests are in the field of comparative literature, especially on American and British authors since the nineteenth century, such as George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway. These two writers are discussed in his recent book and in a past talk he gave in this series a podcast of which has been one of our most popular. An avid cycler who takes part in many races as part of an amateur cycling team, the focus of his next talk is on Spanish cycling.
Over the last 150 years, cycling has played an important role in the sport tradition of many European countries. Nowadays, this sport has turned into a relevant social, economic, and cultural phenomenon, not only in Europe, but also in other geographical and cultural contexts, particularly in English-speaking countries outside the Old Continent. Spain, which is among the nations with the longest cycling traditions, has not been an exception to this trend in which cycling is going beyond its traditional competitive nature to become the starting point of new social, cultural, and economic patterns.
In his talk he’ll explore the historical origins and later development: more specifically, how what we know today as cycling began in Spain by the end of the 19th century and how its later development was influenced to a great extent by the Tour of Spain (La Vuelta a España) as well as the incredible performance of several Spanish riders, who have raced in some of the best teams in the world. Then, its current condition as social and cultural phenomenon and as generator of economic growth. Lastly, the talk will finish with a brief account of a personal experience that may well be an example of how cycling can be a passion and almost a way of life.
We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane).
On July 17, 2017, the library hosted 46 students from the WKU Summer Start program. This program is a new offering that lets first-year first-time freshmen start college a month early. The students take two classes in order to create effective study habits and begin experiencing college before the fall semester begins.
The Summer Start program contains a mixture of social and academic events. The participants work with peer mentors who teach them effective time management and study skills. They also receive introductions to various offices and services on campus that all students need to know about.
Derek Olive and Erin Holderman from Summer Start believe that the Libraries are one of the most important stops on campus. To Derek and Erin, the Libraries are so vital for college success that one of their first stops was the Helm-Cravens Library. In fact, students moved in on Saturday, started classes on Monday, and came to Helm-Cravens Library on Monday afternoon!
The Summer Start students toured the library with library faculty members Dr. Brian Coutts, Dr. Bryan Carson, Government & Law Coordinator Rosemary Meszaros, and Health Sciences Librarian Carol Watwood. Dr. Carson provided handouts and demonstrated the libraries’ website.
On Wednesday morning, May 3, WKU Libraries faculty, staff, and students received a lesson in Chinese calligraphy from famous Gongbi artist Liu Shuling in the Helm Library. Gongi is a careful realist technique in Chinese painting using highly detailed brushstrokes that delimits details very precisely and without independent or expressive variation. Hosted by the Confucius Institute at WKU, Liu Shuling, with assistance from his daughter Liu Jiamei and WKU Librarian Haiwang Yuan who served as translator, discussed his art on display in Helm library and taught library personnel and WKU students the history and art of Chinese calligraphy.
The exhibit received media coverage in China.
For more information about the exhibit, see an article from WKU news. See below for example’s of Liu’s recent artwork.
The 10 a.m. session on Saturday, April 22 drew a crowd to hear the latest about new books from: David Grann, currently the nation’s hottest literary property, according to the Chicago Tribune; Fenton Johnson, one of Kentucky’s most acclaimed writers; Sean Kinder, one of this year’s nominees for the Kentucky Literary Award; and Holly Tucker, whose last book was on many people’s “best of the year” lists. Brian Coutts served as moderator.
David Grann, whose new book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, is moving up the best seller lists, talked about the years of investigative research he conducted into the murders of members of the Osage Indians in the early decades of the twentieth century. It involved combing through FBI files and interviews with descendants. When oil discoveries made the Osage among the wealthiest citizens in America they were targeted by local white residents leading to murders, poisonings, explosions, etc. Movie rights for this new book were recently auctioned off for $5 million. A movie adaptation of his 2009 novel The Lost City of Z opened last week nationwide. Two other movies based on his short stories True Crime and The Old Man and the Gun are in production.
Fenton Johnson talked about newest novel The Man Who Loved Birds and a new collection of essays Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays published this week. The idea for the novel, which is set in Kentucky, he said, had been germinating for a very long time and had been prompted by the murder of a marijuana grower with drug connections in the early 1970s. The novel involves the relationships between a monk in the Trappist Monastery of Gethsemane, a “marijuana” farmer, and a Hindu woman doctor who’s recruited to provide medical services for the county. Johnson’s next book, based on a 2015 front page article in Harper’s, is due out from Norton in 2018.
Sean Kinder’s wonderful biography of Covington, Kentucky film star Una Merkel was a finalist for this year’s Kentucky Literary Award. Una Merkel: The Actress with Sassy Wit and Southern Charm describes her roles in more than a hundred movies, and countless radio and TV shows and memorable appearances on Broadway where she won a Tony for her appearance in the Ponder Heart. The book was selected by the Huffington Post as one of the “Best Film Books of 2016”. Sean was a guest at Covington’s summer festival where a new mural of Una Merkel was unveiled. Kinder told the story of getting out of a cab on the Hollywood “walk of stars” (there are more than 2,600) almost exactly in front of the star for Una—taking this as some kind of sign!
Holly Tucker explained that while doing research for her earlier book Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution she discovered the hand written notes of the Paris Chief of Police during his investigation of the sordid affairs of poisonings, black magic, illegal abortions and much more, which involved not only the upper crust of Parisian nobility but even some of Louis XIV’s mistresses as well. Talking about her new book, City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris, she answered questions about how Paris became the “city of light” (it was because they began to provide candle illuminations in the late 17th century), the various techniques used to poison unfaithful husbands, and various tortures used to extract information from those involved. Suffice to say waterboarding is nothing new.
One of Kentucky’s most celebrated writers, Fenton Johnson, was a featured speaker in our Kentucky Live Series on April 20, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore. He talked about his newest novel The Man Who Loved Birds set in Nelson county Kentucky.
Far Away Places presents Ronald Fritze and “Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession, and Fantasy”
Historian Ron Fritze, Dean of Arts & Sciences at Athens States University, was the featured speaker in WKU Libraries’ April Far Away Places series on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Bowling Green, KY. Fritze talked about his newest book Egyptomania: A History of Fascination, Obsession and Fantasy, which, being the 11th of his books, has been drawing international attention.
Far Away Places presents “The Dominican Republic: The Land Columbus Loved, or the Land that Loathes Columbus”
Bellarmine historian Eric Roorda was the featured speaker in WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places series on the evening of March 23, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Bowling Green, KY, on the topic The Dominican Republic: The Land Columbus Loved, or the Land that Loathes Columbus. His talk concluded with him signing his eponymous book.
Kentucky Live! presents David J. Bettez with “Kentucky and the Great War: World War I on the Home Front”
David Bettez, the retired Director of the Office of International Programs at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, spoke in this year’s Kentucky Live! series on March 9, 2017 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore (1680 Campbell Lane). He talked about his newest book Kentucky and the Great War: World War I on the Home Front . The publication of his book and his talk coincide with the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.
212° Academy students Allison Cleaver and Eva Cook have been selected as the winners of the SOKY Book Fest – 212° Academy Young Authors Contest. Cleaver, daughter of Kevin and Terri Cleaver, wrote the historical fiction book My World in Two, and Cook, daughter of Ryan and Amelia Cook, wrote the historical fiction book Dreams Go Down in History #1: Tea for Two. Cleaver is a 6th grader from Jody Richards Elementary School, and Cook is a 6th grader from Alvaton Elementary School.
WKU Libraries Literary Outreach Coordinator and SOKY Book Fest organizer Sara Volpi said there was a wonderful variety of books this year. “We were exceedingly impressed with the imagination and effort put into each book the 212° Academy students wrote,” said Volpi. “The students work diligently for months, drafting their stories, revising, and sourcing illustrations. Picking the winners is always tough,” said Volpi.
One highlight of the 212° Academy experience is participation in SILS (Special Interest Labs), including areas of study such as Inventor’s Workshop, Roller Coaster Physics, and Wild Worlds. Led by teacher Andrea Heming, students in the Lulu Online Book Publishing SIL wrote, illustrated, and published original books which are entered into the Young Writers Contest.
“Students were able to research and write about something they were passionate about,” said Heming. “They were so excited to receive their books and see all their hard work come to fruition.”
The contest is a combined effort between the Southern Kentucky Book Fest partners (Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and WKU Libraries) and the teachers at the 212° Academy. Cleaver and Cook were recognized at their schools and are invited to sign copies of their books at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest on April 21-22, along with R.L. Stine and 170 plus authors.
For more information, visit www.sokybookfest.org or contact Sara Volpi at (270) 745-4502.