By Jenny Wells-Hosley

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2021) — Nikky Finney , the John H. Bennet Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. She will be awarded her honorary degree at a future ceremony.

Finney spent more than 20 years as a faculty member at UK where she held the Guy Davenport Endowed Professor of English. She was an influential educator and left a legacy of excellence in the departments of English, Creative Writing and African American and Africana Studies at UK.

Finney has written six books and dozens of poems and essays that explore and confront the experiences that have shaped life in the South for herself and countless other African Americans. Her work has been honored with multiple awards


By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 16, 2021) — A local theatre company and University of Kentucky’s public radio station is presenting the Commonwealth with a “last minute” holiday gift.

Now you can get into the spirit of the season by listening to some of Kentucky’s favorite voices.

AthensWest Theatre Company is partnering with WUKY for a special production, “Last Minute Gifts” — a collection of original holiday stories told by five prominent writers. The program will feature Silas House, Bo List, Vivian Snipes, Frank X Walker and Caitlin Waltermire.

There are two opportunities to listen. All you have


By Carlie Laughlin

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 11, 2021) — University of Kentucky students, faculty and staff from every area of campus are leading exciting, sustainability-focused programs. These programs provide high-impact research and learning opportunities for students and faculty, have significant positive environmental and economic impacts on operations, and provide resources and support for a foundation of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion at UK and across the Commonwealth. 

The 2021 Sustainability Showcase, hosted in the innovative and community-facing Cornerstone Exchange, highlighted the university's accomplishments in student engagement, athletics, health care, campus operations and interdisciplinary scholarship. A brief award presentation also honored the recipients of the 2021 Sustainability

Left to right, Arts & Sciences inductees Steven Beshear, Paul R. Wagner, Alan Lowe, Jim Duff, Ashley Judd, and Dean Christian Brady


On September 28, 2021, the University of Kentucky inducted 27 former students into the 2020 Hall of Distinguished Alumni. The alumni are being honored for their meaningful contributions to the Commonwealth, nation, and the world. The prestigious event, held every five years, was postponed last year due to pandemic restrictions.

The 2020 inductees include Paul R. Wagner (’70) who earned a B.A. in English, as well as an M.A. from the UK College of Communication, College of Communication and Information. Paul Wagner of Charlottesville, Virginia, is an Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning independent filmmaker, who has received multiple grants of support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National


By Julie Wrinn

Phillis Rambsy (M.A. 1999) grew up in Jackson, Tennessee, and attended Spelman College in Atlanta surrounded by English majors who planned to attend law school. But for Rambsy, also an English major, going to law school just felt too obvious. “I was sick of people talking about law school. So many English majors go to law school, and I felt that was all I heard people talking about was LSATs and law school rankings,” said Rambsy.

That contrarian spirit made her an especially receptive audience for a recruiter from the University of Kentucky. In Rambsy’s senior year at Spelman, hoping to get extra credit in one of her classes, she agreed to attend a UK representative’s talk about graduate programs. That representative was English professor and now Department Chair Jonathan Allison.

Phillis Rambsy (M.A. 1999) stayed connected to Lexington's literary

By Danielle Donham

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, 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

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 

  By Lindsey Piercy Friday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 8, 2021)  The Visiting Writers Series, hosted by the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky, kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 1,3 with Academy Award winner Kevin Willmott.

The VWS began in the spring of 2014 with a reading by poet Roger Reeves. Each year, the Department of English continues to bring nationally renowned authors to UK.

"This series is a source of inspiration and excitement for our students, faculty and staff


By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky – Academy Award-winner Kevin Willmott, the director of “The 24th,” will speak at an event featuring the film at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13. The event will be offered both in person at the Chad Perry III Grand Court Room in the J. David Rosenberg School of Law on the University of Kentucky campus and online. People may register for the online event here.  

The Visiting Writers Series, part of UK’s Department of English in the College of Arts & Sciences, is


By Jesi Jones-Bowman

UK undergraduate researchers Bridget Bolt and Gretchen Ruschman. Students are encouraged to explore undergraduate research opportunities at the Research + Creative Experience Expo.

At the University of Kentucky, undergraduates have access to outstanding research and creative work activities led by world-class faculty and staff that promote self-discovery, experiential learning and lifelong achievement.

Explore exciting undergraduate opportunities at the first annual UK Research + Creative Experience Expo 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, around the Gatton Student Center’s Social Staircase.

“The goal of the Research + Creative Experience Expo is to introduce undergraduates to the diversity of research and creative work conducted at UK,” said Chad Risko, faculty director of the


By University Press of Kentucky and Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 19, 2021) — University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences associate professor and Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson’s latest title and first poetry collection, “Perfect Black,” is now available from the University Press of Kentucky.

On Aug. 12, 2021, The New York Times listed “Perfect Black” as one of the four poetry books to read that week.



By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2021) — Before you know it, summer will be coming to a close. But there’s still time to get lost in a good book.

We asked the University of Kentucky community to recommend books they feel would make good additions to anyone’s summer reading list.

In the descriptions below, faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences share the books they can’t put down. Pulling from the worlds of history and fiction — their picks explore timely themes while providing intriguing insights.

“A Time of Gifts” by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Recommended by Phil Harling, chair of the Department of History in


By University Press of KentuckyUK Libraries and Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 9, 2021) —  Thanks to University Press of Kentucky and librarians from the UK Libraries, here's a short list to of summer reading tips from University of Kentucky faculty members, alumni and local community members.

With topics ranging from food and beverages, history and geography to fiction and sports — there’s something for every reader and every interest. 

Athletics and Sports

CHSS is happy to announce its first-ever round of grant awards. Four awardees are recipients of the Faculty Manuscript Book Workshop! The Faculty Manuscript Book Workshops are an opportunity for generating constructive, informed criticism on near-final book manuscripts, when authors can most effectively utilize such feedback. An expert in the awardee’s field will be invited to present their thoughts on the manuscript, followed by a response from the author and discussion with a broader group of invited faculty.    And the winners are:     Eladio Bobadilla Eladio Bobadilla is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of History. His tenure book is “Without Borders: A History of the Immigrants’ Rights Movement.” The manuscript is a part of the Working Class in American History Series and is


LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 7, 2021) — Crystal Wilkinson is an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky and an award-winning author. Her novel, "The Birds of Opulence," was the winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. She is also the author of "Water Street" and "Blackberries, Blackberries." She also has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in Oxford American and Southern Cultures. 

Most recently, she was named the state’s poet laureate for 2021-2022, the first time a Black woman has been appointed to the prestigious post.

In this episode of "Behind the Blue," Wilkinson


Note: Photo is courtesy of Katie Kelley of the Hazard Herald. Photo shows Gurney Norman with Mandi Fugate Sheffel.

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Gurney Norman received an unusual honor of late when a Kentucky town named an affordable-housing development after him. 

Norman, professor of English in the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts & Sciences, was named Poet Laureate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky 2009 and is known for such works as “Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories” and “Divine Right’s Trip: A Folk-Tale.” His most recent book, “Allegiance: Stories,” is due out in the summer of 2021 in hardcover from Old Cove Press, distributed by Ohio University Press. 


By Akhira Umar

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2021) — Leaning into his excitement to showcase “America and her people,” one University of Kentucky  alumnus has graduated from the Big Blue Nation to the big screen.

Academy Award and Emmy Award winning filmmaker Paul Wagner, who earned a master’s in communication in 1972 from the College of Communication and Information and a bachelor's in English in 1970 from the College of Arts & Sciences, has produced and directed more than 40 films in his over 40-year career. His affinity for film, however, arose not from a specific passion but from a general interest in communication.

Growing up, Wagner wasn’t always the best student, until he started UK 's master’s program in communication. The atmosphere of respectable faculty and likable peers helped him to “


By Carl Nathe and Kody Kiser

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 11, 2021) — Four decades ago, Northern Ireland native Jonathan Allison earned an exchange scholarship to pursue graduate study in the United States.

His original plan was to earn a master’s degree then return to his homeland to resume his career of teaching literature and poetry to high school students. Instead he wound up earning a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and decided to become a college professor in America.

It became the good fortune of the University of Kentucky to hire Allison to join the faculty of the Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1988. He’s been at UK ever since and currently serves as chair of this esteemed department.



By Lindsey Piercy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 29, 2021) — Luke Glaser was once a struggling math student. Academically, he often excelled. But learning polynomials, as well as quadratic equations and functions, just didn’t seem applicable to his life as a high school teenager.

“I hated math, and I took AP classes to simply not have to take math in college.”

But 10 years later, in one of life’s little ironies, Glaser finds himself at the head of the classroom teaching AP Calculus.

“The biggest challenge wasn’t going to be re-learning integrals or derivatives but convincing students that taking the hard classes are worth it.”

As the AP instructor at Hazard High School, Glaser understands his seniors are facing an exhilarating but daunting decision — where to go to college.

The choice is


Congrats to Prof. Crystal Wilkinson, and first year MFA in fiction, Chioma Ezeano, on winning the O. Henry Prize!

Crystal Wilkinson, associate professor, is the award-winning author of The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and is a recipient of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in the Oxford American and Southern Cultures. She will be next year's Kentucky Poety


By University Press of Kentucky and Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 30, 2021) — The University Press of Kentucky is debuting its newest series, “Appalachian Futures: Black, Native, and Queer Voices,” edited by Crystal Wilkinson, niversity of Kentucky faculty member and Kentucky's recently named Poet Laureate, alongside Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle and Davis Shoulders.

This book series gives voice to Black, Native, Latinx, Asian, queer and other nonwhite or ignored identities within the Appalachian region.  

“This series reminds us that Appalachian literature is an ever-changing, complex organism with ancient bones and a


Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected