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.
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With support from an IYO grant Bellarmine Historian Fedja Buric will be our guest speaker at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Thursday, October 26. Born in Bosnia, at the age of 13 in 1992, he was forced to flee his home town with his brother and parents when a brutal ethnic conflict broke out in the former Yugoslavia which would lead to the murder of over 100,000 people and displace 2 million more. After roaming the Balkans in search of a safe haven they slept in an out-of-service train car before the UNHCR relocated them to a refugee camp in Turkey where they shared a couple of bathrooms with 3,000 unfortunate Bosnians. From there his parents wrote more than 30 letters seeking asylum. All said no except for the United States and in June 1995 the family came to Louisville. A graduate of Bellarmine University he spent a semester abroad at Oxford and a summer at Cambridge. He received his PhD in History at the University of Illinois. He teaches modern European history at Bellarmine and is researching the “Mixed Marriages of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Creation of Ethnic Difference.” He’ll be talking about “Bosnia: More Than Twenty Years since Dayton.”
Kentucky Live! presents Fred Minnick on “Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey”
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.
Our first speaker in this year’s Far Away Places series Ricardo Marin Ruiz spoke on cycling in Spain on Thursday, September 21 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Ricardo Marin Ruiz 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.
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.