UPK Book Celebrates Christmas in the Commonwealth
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2012) — "Christmas is a nexus of memory and of paradox: sweet and bitter, abundant and empty, full of expectations and desolation, promise and loss," said writer George Ella Lyon. "Cards and carols and TV specials only express a small part of the emotional stew Christmas cooks up."
Lyon wraps up a colorful package of poetry, fiction, essays, recipes and songs into "A Kentucky Christmas," a keepsake of Kentucky’s most cherished Christmas traditions, now available in paperback from University Press of Kentucky (UPK).
The collection follows more than 50 of the state’s finest writers, including Thomas Merton, Wendell Berry, Linda Scott DeRosier, Bobbie Ann Mason, Silas House, and five Kentucky poet laureates through their own Christmastime memories. A book signing is scheduled for Lyon's "A Kentucky Christmas" 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington Green. Individuals can get several of the featured authors to sign the book at this event, including Lyon, Jan Cook, Jeff Worley, Crystal Wilkinson, Marcia Hurlow, Graham Shelby and Marianne Worthington.
From the first Christmas on the Falls of the Ohio, to settlement days along the Cumberland, to Appalachian country store windows on Christmas Eve, this delightful gift for the holiday season celebrates Kentucky traditions. "The more voices we hear expressing the real experiences of Christmas, the more room we have to enjoy the holiday," Lyon said.
Lyon invites readers to share Christmas adventures with Kentucky’s best-loved authors, such as gathering mistletoe with former state poet laureate Richard Taylor, searching for the perfect tree with author Billy Clark, sitting down to a feast of snow cream and fruit salad with cook Ronni Lundy, convincing a skeptic there is a Santa Claus with children’s author Marie Bradby, and donning a red taffeta Christmas dress with former state poet laureate Jane Gentry Vance, a professor of English at the University of Kentucky, before stopping to gaze at the "white full moon quiet as Bethlehem" with spiritualist Thomas Merton.
Just in time for the holiday season, "A Kentucky Christmas" promises to pay tribute to Kentucky’s most treasured traditions and enrich this season’s yuletide experience. Lyon calls readers to carry the Christmas spirit, with its beauty and chaos, tenderness and gifts, and recall that "every advent step we take echoes" with traditions of the past and hopes for the present and future.
Lyon is the award-winning author of more than 30 books for children and adults, including "With a Hammer for My Heart," "Catalpa," "Borrowed Children" and "Mothers to Tigers."
The University Press of Kentucky is the scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, representing a consortium that now includes all of the state universities, five private colleges, and two historical societies. Led by Director Stephen Wrinn, its editorial program focuses on the humanities and the social sciences. Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of the press are found at UK, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.
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