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Monthly Archives: April 2014
Sean Kinder, Associate Professor and Humanities Librarian from the Department of Library Public Services of WKU, gave a presentation on his to-be-published book Una Merkel: Actress with Saucy Wit and Southern Charm to his colleagues in Helm 100 on the morning of April 29, 2014. This was part of the WKU Libraries’ “We’ve Been Everywhere” program featuring its faculty and staff traveling outside Bowling Green, KY to do their research.
Southern Kentucky Book Fest partners announced Holly Goddard Jones as the winner of this year’s Kentucky Literary Award for her book The Next Time You See Me. First awarded in 2003 and reintroduced in 2012 after a brief hiatus, the Kentucky Literary Award is given to an author from Kentucky or one whose book has a strong Kentucky theme. Fiction and non-fiction books are recognized in alternating years.
Born and raised in Russellville, Kentucky, Jones attended Western Kentucky University before completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky and an MFA in creative writing at Ohio State University. Jones has taught at Denison University, Murray State University, and most recently the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she is Assistant Professor of English.
Holly’s first book, Girl Trouble, was published in 2009 by Harper Perennial. The book was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, People, New York Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. It has been translated into Italian (Fazi Editore, 2010) and French (Albin Michele, 2013). The Next Time You See Me, Holly’s debut novel, was published in 2013 by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
“Holly Goddard Jones’ debut novel is peopled with sensitively drawn, lonely characters we all recognize; the small Kentucky town they inhabit is so true to life that it feels like we have just driven down Main Street,” said Libby Davies, chair of the Kentucky Literary Award Selection Committee.
The award announcement was made at the Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green at an authors’ reception on Friday, April 25–the night before the main Book Fest event. Jones was recognized with a commemorative certificate and a monetary gift.
The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partners include Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and the Western Kentucky University Libraries. For more information about SOKY Book Fest, go to sokybookfest.org.
The 11:00 a.m. session at this year’s Southern Kentucky Bookfest featured cookbook authors Wes Berry, Bobbie Smith Bryant and Deirdre Scaggs.
Wes Berry, a native of Horse Cave, Kentucky grew up in Barren County where he recalled that his uncle was an entrepreneur who would “flip meat all day” and rewarded him for chores with smoked meat, thus beginning his fascination with barbecue or “meat cooked with smoke”. After graduating from WKU he received his MA and PhD from the University of Mississippi where he cultivated an interest in literature and the environment and published essays and short stories in a variety of journals. After a teaching stint at Rockford College in Illinois, he returned to his alma mater where he is presently an Associate Professor and coordinator of the Robert Penn Warren Center. Three years ago he began a quest which involved visiting 160 of the state’s barbecue shacks, joints, restaurants and festivals and culminated in his recent book KY BBQ published by the University Press of KY. Wes talked about the regional differences in Kentucky barbecue, the mutton line and the eighteen establishments which serve barbecued mutton, his several visits to the annual Fancy Farm picnic and the history of barbecues and politics in Kentucky.
Bobbie Smith Bryant is a native of Calloway County, Kentucky where she grew up on her family’s farm in the “Black Patch” of Kentucky—an area named for the unique tobacco curing process used only in that region. Her first book Forty Acres & A Red Belly Ford: The Smith Family of Calloway County published in 2011 described how for ten generations, the Smiths have made a life farming tobacco on land settled by their ancestors in the 1820s. This was the basis for a documentary film Farming in the Black Patch narrated by Peter Thomas from NOVA. In her newest book Passions of the Black Patch: Cooking and Quilting in Western Kentucky she contrasts 200 family recipes with stories and photographs of hand-crafted heirloom quilts. Her recipe for “Snow Cream” rekindled some of my wife’s childhood memories. She’s a community development advisor for the Kentucky League of Cities. She talked about when Calloway County was once the “banana capital “of America, explained how to find poke for your next “poke salad” and talked about the decline of tobacco farming as a way of life in Western Kentucky.
Deirdre Scaggs is the Associate Dean of Special Collections and Co-Director of the Wendell H. Ford Public Policy Research Center in the University of Kentucky Libraries in Lexington. A native of Vanceburg, Kentucky, where her family have lived since the early 1900s, she grew up in Lewis County where she was inspired by her grandmother, who was a hardworking, independent woman, active in her community and a great cook. She graduated from the University of Louisville where she majored in studio art with a specialty in photography. She received her MFA from the Ohio State University and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh where she worked on the Historic Pittsburgh project. After working at Ohio State University’s cartoon research library she moved to Lexington to become a project archivist for the Lexington Herald Leader’s photograph collection before becoming Director of Archives for the University of Kentucky. Her first book “Women In Lexington” in the Images of America series was published by Arcadia Press in 2006. In her newest book “The Historic Kentucky Kitchen”, which she co-authored with Chef Andrew McGraw for the University Press of Kentucky in 2013, she presents more than 100 recipes, mostly handwritten, found in UK’s Special Collections, each one of which has been tested. She explained how stumbling on a recipe which involved zucchini, tomatoes, anchovies and eggs started her and her coauthor on a quest to find other interesting recipes in the archives. More than 200 were selected for kitchen testing, some of which she confessed were cooking disasters. Some of those included are drawn from prominent Kentucky families like the Clays and Breckenridges while others came from Frances Jewell McVey, wife of a President of UK. The oldest date to the 1850s.
On November 15, 1952, three months after the summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, another Olympic-style opening ceremony began on the other side of the world. Some 500 athletes entered a field carrying “brightly colored banners adorned with the symbolic peace dove.” An official lit a torch, then the athletes took an oath and filed off the field to the tune of the “March of Friendship.” Over the next 11 days, they competed in track and field, volleyball, wrestling, soccer, football, basketball and boxing. They enjoyed food, fun and high spirits, even nightly entertainments featuring songs and sketches.
That was the official version. But these games were a sham, for the location was Pyuktong, North Korea, during the Korean War. The “athletes” were prisoners-of-war drawn from every camp in the country, pawns in a propaganda exercise intended to portray the North Koreans in a positive light and emphasize the hospitality they lavished on their captives.
The activities of the “Inter Camp Olympics” were summarized in a souvenir booklet produced by and for the prisoners. In bizarrely effusive language, contributors described their experiences. “It was the most colorful and gala event to come about during our stay here in Korea under the guidance of our captors,” gushed Clarence B. Covington. “I am certain that no one in his sane mind will ever say that prisoners of war over here are not the best cared for in the whole world today.” George R. Atkins agreed. “At all times the cooperation, generosity, enthusiasm, and selfless energy displayed by our captors was perfect . . . . The lenient treatment policy has long ago passed its title of lenient, it has instead become a brotherly love treatment.” One can only wonder which of three voices is speaking: that of the brainwashed prisoner, psychologically conquered by his tormentors; the pragmatic collaborator, dutifully repeating what his captors want to hear; or the wise guy, laying it on thick and knowing that nobody back home would be fooled by such a charade.
In 1953, while serving in Korea with the 1st Marine Corps Division, Major Belmont Forsythe, a native of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, was appointed to a United Nations team receiving prisoners of war returning from North Korea. One of them gave him a copy of the souvenir booklet for the Pyuktong Olympics, and this fascinating propaganda piece is now part of the Belmont Forsythe Collection in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Special Collections Library. Click here to access a finding aid. For other collections relating to the Korean War and to prisoners-of-war, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.
Dr. Charles & Mary Boewe recently donated a letter written by Alice Hegan Rice to Helen Keller to the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections. In the short 1905 missive, Rice extolls Keller’s recent autobiography The Story of My Life published two years earlier. She further notes its popularity with the girls that Rice met at a Japanese boarding school the previous summer. Rice quoted from one Japanese girl’s composition when she wrote Keller that despite her handicap “the eyes of [her] heart are open.” To see the letter in full-text and view the finding aid click here.
The Manuscripts & Folklife Archives unit owns a large collection of Alice Hegan Rice material donated by her brother-in-law, Laban Lacy Rice in 1943. That collection contains personal and business correspondence, literary manuscripts, research notes, reviews, poems and other material related to Alice Hegan Rice and her poet husband Cale Young Rice. Alice Caldwell Hegan Rice (1870-1942) is best known for her first novel Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1901), but she wrote several other books as well as short stories and literary reviews. Forlorn after his wife’s death in 1942, Cale Young Rice committed suicide a year later. Mary Boewe was familiar with the Kentucky Building’s Rice Collection, since she used the material in preparing Alice’s biography Beyond the Cabbage Patch in 2010.
The Boewes donated the letter in memory of WKU’s distinguished history professor Carlton Jackson, who died earlier this year. The Boewes first met Jackson in the early-1970s when Dr. Boewe was director of the United States Educational Foundation in India. Dr. Jackson was there on a Fulbright grant teaching American history. Their friendship grew when Boewe, in a similar position in Pakistan, was requested to help organize an American Studies program at Quaid-i-Azam University. Boewe called on Jackson, who along with a colleague designed the curriculum, taught all the courses, and saw the first group of students through to their master’s degrees. Boewe and Jackson later collaborated in bringing a distinguished Pakistani professor to WKU on a Fulbright grant.
In making the gift, the Boewes noted: “We believe this manuscript letter by Alice Rice to Helen Keller is a fitting memorial to historian Dr. Jackson and that it rightfully belongs among others by the same author on the campus of Western Kentucky University, where already there exists the largest single collection of Alice Hegan Rice manuscript materials.” To see a finding aid for the Rice Collection click here. To search for other Rice material in the collection or other literary papers, search TopSCHOLAR.
Sookie Stackhouse series author Charlaine Harris and two-time Caldecott Medal winner Chris Raschka to headline Southern Kentucky Book Fest this month
New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris will headline the Southern Kentucky (SOKY) Book Fest on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at the Knicely Conference Center. With more than thirty years of writing experience, Harris is best known for her Sookie Stackhouse series. The series was so well-received, it was the inspiration for the HBO series“True Blood.” Harris will be one of the featured speakers in the morning and available for book signings after her program. Chris Raschka, a two-time Caldecott Medal winner and author and illustrator of A Ball for Daisy, will be headlining Children’s Day on Friday, April 25. Raschka will be presenting on Friday and signing books on both Friday and Saturday.
“We are very excited about the upcoming SOKY Book Fest,” said Kristie Lowry, Coordinator for SOKY Book Fest and Literary Outreach Coordinator for WKU Libraries. “We have over 140 authors and illustrators participating this year from a full slate of genres. Lots of Harris fans along with many other book lovers have been inquiring about the day.”
For individuals eager to talk to their favorite authors, there is a ticketed “Meet the Authors” event scheduled for Friday, April 25. For ticket information, contact Kristie Lowry at 270-745-4502 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to Children’s Day, the Kentucky Writers Conference will be held at the Knicely Conference Center on Friday, April 25 from 9 am – 3:30 pm. Children’s Day is from 9 am-2 pm and the Kentucky Writers Conference is from 9 am-3:30 pm. There is no charge for either event; however, registration is recommended for the Kentucky Writers Conference. Visit sokybookfest.org to register online.
The Southern Kentucky Book Fest is made possible through its partners, including WKU Libraries, Warren County Public Library, and Barnes & Noble Booksellers. For detailed listing of the authors, presentations, and programs, go to sokybookfest.org.
WKU Libraries participates in World Book Night; Friends membership donates books to Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center
In celebration of World Book Night, WKU Libraries—a designated giver for the program–will be giving 30 copies of 100 Best Loved Poems to the Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center on Wednesday, April 23. To allow every student in the Center to have a book, twenty books will be donated by World Book Night and ten will be donated by the Friends of WKU Libraries.
World Book Night U.S. (WBN) is an ambitious campaign to give thousands of free, specially-printed paperbacks to light or non-readers. Collectively, there will be half a million free books in more than 6,000 towns and cities across America given away in an effort to spark an interest in reading.
“We are excited to have been selected as a World Book Night giver this year,” said Kristie Lowry, Literary Outreach Coordinator for WKU Libraries. “WKU Libraries is committed to spreading the love of reading through its many community projects, and working with the staff and kids at the detention center is always a pleasure.”
In conjunction with the donated poetry books, there will also be a poetry workshop for the Center’s students, made possible by the support of Friends of WKU Libraries, led by WKU upperclassman Joshua Johnston. Graduating this May with a degree in Creative Writing, Johnston has been accepted and plans to participate in the MFA graduate program at Indiana University this fall.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this great opportunity. Several of our students have become disillusioned with school and anything that is connected to education. Through the support of our community and WKU, our students are learning to appreciate the written word and to enjoy reading good literature. ” said Dr. Becky Painter, Programming Coordinator at the Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
Jonathan Jeffrey, Manuscripts & Folklife Archives Coordinator in the Department of Library Special Collections met with members of the Cumberland Trace Chapter of the Daughters of American Colonists in the Kentucky Library Research Collections area to discuss local material available for genealogical research. He put particular emphasis on the Library’s family files and manuscript collections that contain genealogical materials, including the Mildred Eubank Collection which covers Simpson, Allen, and Logan Counties, the Drucilla Stovall Jones Collection that specializes in southern Logan County, and the Nora Young Ferguson and Lloyd M. Raymer collections which document northwestern Warren County and Butler County. He also discussed the usefulness of TopSCHOLAR for searching Warren County’s marriage records and equity court records. You too can search any of these finding aids by clicking on the links.
Russian historian Karen Petrone, Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, talked about her book The Great War in Russian Memory, published by Indiana University Press. Using memoirs, literature, films, military histories, and archival materials, she shows that World War I, while never officially commemorated, was the subject of “a lively discourse about religion, heroism, violence and patriotism” during the interwar period. Her talk was part of the WKU Libraries’ “Far Away Places” speaker series and took place on the evening of Thursday, April 17, 2014 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore.