LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 29, 2021) — The 40th annual Kentucky Book Festival returns to Lexington with a mix of virtual and in-person events scheduled from Monday, Nov. 1, to Saturday, Nov. 6. This year’s celebration features 140 authors who will sign books, participate in discussions and more, culminating in a daylong celebration at Joseph-Beth Booksellers on Saturday, Nov. 6. The weekdays events are a mix of in-person and ticketed events available at http://kybookfestival.org/2021-events.
These signings, conversations, trivia, meals, presentations and activities serve to celebrate the literary heritage within the Commonwealth. The University of Kentucky is the Main Stage sponsor of the festival on Nov. 6.
Authors and editors from the University Press of Kentucky and UK, including College of Engineering alumnus and former UK trustee James Hardymon, College of Arts and Sciences and Lewis Honors College alumna and chef Ouita Michel, and College of Arts and Sciences faculty member and Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson, will participate in various events during the festival.
- Alan Sullivan, author of “Voice of the Wildcats: Claude Sullivan and the Rise of Modern Sportscasting.” Sullivan previously managed the restoration of the Claude Sullivan Collection at UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center and is a former member of the UK Libraries National Advisory Board.
- Angene and Jack Wilson, authors of “Voices from the Peace Corps: Fifty Years of Kentucky Volunteers.” Angene Wilson is professor emeritus of education in the College of Education. Jack Wilson spent more than 35 years in public service.
- F. Douglas Scutchfield and James W. Holsinger, authors of “Contemporary Public Health: Principles, Practice, and Policy.” Scutchfield is the Peter P. Bosomworth Endowed Professor of Health Services Research and Policy Emeritus in the College of Public Health. Holsinger is chancellor emeritus and professor emeritus in the College of Public Health.
- Guy Mendes, author of “Walks to the Paradise Garden: A Lowdown Southern Odyssey.” Mendes is a faculty member in the School of Art and Visual Studies in the College of Fine Arts.
- Jennifer Hunter, co-author of “Cook Together, Eat Together” by UK Cooperative Extension Service, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension. Hunter is an extension professor and the assistant director of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
- Jeremy D. Popkin, author of “A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution.” Popkin is the William D. Bryan Chair of History professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- Jim Host, author of “Changing the Game: My Career in Collegiate Sports Marketing.” Host, a UK alumnus of the College of Communication and Information and former team member of the UK baseball team, is a member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame and the UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni.
- Kyle Macy and John Huang, authors of “From the Rafters of Rupp: The Book.” Macy was the starting point guard of the 1978 UK men’s basketball NCAA championship team. John Huang is a retired orthodontist and military veteran.
- Mike Pratt, co-author of “Kentucky Basketball: Two Decades Behind The Scenes.” Pratt is a color analyst for the UK Radio Network and former member of the UK men’s basketball team under coach Adolph Rupp.
- Ouita Michel, author of “Just A Few Miles South,” is a six-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee. Michel is an alumna of the College of Arts and Sciences and Lewis Honors College.
- Tracy Campbell, author of “The Year of Peril: America in 1942.” Campbell is the E. Vernon Smith and Eloise C. Smith Professor of American History in the Department of History.
- William H. Turner, author of “Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal.” Turner is a graduate of UK and a member of the College of Arts of Sciences Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
Authors: Fiction and Poetry
- Bernard Clay, author of “English Lit.” Clay is a graduate of the UK Creative Writing Program and a member of the Affrilachian Poets collective.
- Bobbie Ann Mason, author of “Dear Ann: A Novel.” Mason is a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, former writer-in-residence at UK and winner of two Southern Book Awards.
- Crystal Wilkinson, author of “Perfect Black.” Wilkinson is a College of Arts and Sciences faculty member and Kentucky Poet Laureate.
- Ed McClanahan, author of “Juanita and the Frog Prince.” McClanahan is a graduate of UK and frequently guest lectures creative writing workshops on campus.
- Frank X Walker, author of “Black Box: Poems.” Walker is a professor and the director of the MFA program for English in the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is also a former Poet Laureate of Kentucky and founder of the Affrilachian Poets.
- Gurney Norman, author of “Allegiance.” Norman is a UK graduate and professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as a former Kentucky Poet Laureate.
- Shawn Pryor, author of “Free Throw Contest.” Pryor is a computer support specialist for the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment School of Human Environmental Sciences.
- Silas House, author of “Clay’s Quilt.” Silas is the 2021 recipient of the Kentucky Governor’s Award for his service to the arts in his home state.
Other events featuring UK authors include:
- Nov. 2 at noon: Literary Luncheon with Ouita Michel.
- Nov. 5 at 8:30 a.m.: Commerce Lexington Spotlight Breakfast with James Hardymon and Terry Birdwhistell, senior oral historian at UK Libraries Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.
- Nov. 6 at 10:30 a.m.: Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce faculty member Amy McGrath and Kathy Stearman to host a conversation in-person and livestreamed virtually.
- Nov. 6 at 1:30 p.m.: College of Arts and Sciences’ Vanessa Holden to interview Shawn Pryor.
- Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.: Cocktails and Conversation with Margaret Verble moderated by Kim Edwards, former Department of English faculty.
A program of Kentucky Humanities, the Kentucky Book Festival is a celebration of reading, writing and publishing which takes place each November. Festival events seek to connect booklovers and authors, spark engaging conversations and empower readers by providing access to new books as well as opportunities to learn more about writing in a fun, safe environment. It’s the biggest bookish celebration in Kentucky!
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.