Professional News

UPK Author Wins Investigative Writing Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 16, 2010) − University Press of Kentucky (UPK) author Penny Loeb was recently selected as the recipient of the 2010 Harry Caudill Award for her book "Moving Mountains: How One Woman and Her Community Won Justice from Big Coal."

The Harry Caudill Award of $2,000 in books from inventory is presented by Bookworm & Silverfish in Rural Retreat, Va., and is awarded every two years. The award was created in April of 2000 to recognize outstanding investigative writing about Appalachian issues.

In "Moving Mountains," Loeb recounts the story of Patricia Bragg, a Pie, W.Va., native, whose community was upended when coal companies chiseled into the nearby mountains in 1994. With Bragg at the helm, 88 homeowners sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their failure to comply with the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Lead by lawyer Joe Lovett, their dispute culminated in Bragg v. Robertson, a historic case that temporarily halted mountaintop dumping in the nearby valleys and forced the implementation of proper resurfacing techniques.

Loeb, a journalist and writer for more than 30 years, spent 14 years on prize-winning investigative teams at Newsday and U.S. News & World Report. Now a freelance author, she specializes in energy and environment and horse issues. Loeb is also working on several new books and producing an independent movie based on "Moving Mountains." Her screenplay has won several major awards, and she is currently raising money to shoot the film this fall.

Offices for the administrative, editorial, production and marketing departments of UPK are found at the University of Kentucky, which provides financial support toward the operating expenses of the publishing operation.