News

9/8/2020

By Titus W. Chalk

Pulitzer-prize winning poet Paul Muldoon and author Kiese Laymon, whose memoir Heavy won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie medal for nonfiction, are featured in this year’s University of Kentucky Visiting Writers Series, which will be held online. Laymon will be reading alongside distinguished writers Cinelle Barnes, Minda Honey and UK alumna Joy Priest.

The English Department’s MFA in Creative Writing in the College of Arts & Sciences sponsors the series. Given the health risks associated with live readings, organizers are taking this mainstay of campus literary life online.

“This shows our determination to continue the high calibre and diverse guests our Visiting Writers Series has become known for, in a virtual format,” said Frank X Walker, the new director of Creative Writing. “We’ll also be adding master classes and workshops to ensure

9/7/2020

By Whitney Hale

 

Watch the trailer for the 2017 Emmy-nominated documentary "BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez" above.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 7, 2020) — Since the COVID-19 pandemic landed in the United States, organizations have scrambled to maintain their programming while keeping their participants safe and healthy. The Kentucky Women Writers Conference is no different -- it has gone virtual. this year.

Although aspiring writers may not convene in Lexington this fall, they will join online and hear from writers including poet Evie Shockley, author Jami Attenberg, novelist, essayist and filmmaker Bridgett M

8/20/2020

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 20, 2020) — The Kentucky Women Writers Conference – Virtual Edition runs Sept. 10–13, 2020, and is taking place entirely online.

Julie Wrinn, conference directory, recently wrote an op-ed in the Lexington Herald-Leader about how this event will be different in the context of the pandemic and the protests.The conference features writing workshops, readings and panel discussions. General admission is $25, with options for joining a small-group workshop or meeting with an agent for additional fees.

The conference will continue to include several signature free events, taking place at 7 o'clock, though each will look a little different this year. The

7/2/2020

By Danielle Donham and University Press of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2020): The University Press of Kentucky is highlighting several titles written by Black authors throughout its list, including several which are as part of their open access initiative in collaboration with UK Libraries. Some of these authors are faculty members of UK’s College of Arts & Sciences.

“The University Press of Kentucky has a long tradition of showcasing Black voices and stories,” said Ashley Runyon, director of the press. “From our award-winning Civil Rights series to

6/22/2020

 

  By Whitney Hale
 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020) — While many find working from home during a global pandemic difficult, others find the change of environment and schedule spurs their creativity. The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities is exploring the impact of this time on creatives as part of a new video series, “Over Yonder: Conversations with Artists and Scholars on Social Distancing.”

“Over Yonder,” which launched on the Gaines Center’s new YouTube channel, features the center’s director, Melynda Price, interviewing Kentucky artists, musicians and scholars on their quarantine experience. As part of the series, Price explores how her

6/11/2020

By Richard LeComte

Three University of Kentucky professors have received the College of Arts & Sciences Award for the Promotion of Diversity and Inclusion. The award recognizes a faculty member who has helped to develop a more diverse atmosphere in the College.

The College Inclusivity Committee reviewed the nominations. The awardees are: 

6/11/2020
By Ryan Girves  

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 11, 2020) — The University of Kentucky recognized two College of Arts & Sciences faculty members and three teaching assistants with the 2020 Outstanding Teaching Awards.

This annual award recognizes faculty and graduate teaching assistants who demonstrate special dedication and outstanding performance in the classroom or laboratory. A selection committee based in the Provost's Office for Faculty Advancement and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching reviewed nominations and gave the awards. 

"The diversity of disciplines reflected in the Outstanding Teaching Award winners speaks to the breadth and depth of expertise that distinguishes the University of Kentucky," said

6/4/2020

By Richard LeComte

National events burst into the curriculum of the University of Kentucky when precautions over the novel coronavirus drove instruction online. As the students of Julia Johnson’s large-lecture core creative writing class in UK’s College of Arts & Sciences saw their lives upended, she felt they needed an outlet to express their fears, emotions, and hopes.

“What we were experiencing being in quarantine and a global pandemic situation was something none of us had ever experienced before,” said Johnson, a poet and professor in the Department of English and MFA program in Creative Writing. “And to be a student during this — that adds another level to the experience.”

The result: Nascent poets and writers in both her undergraduate and graduate classes expressed themselves through haiku and other kinds of poetry. Some students then recorded

6/3/2020

The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to learning and working environments that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable for students, staff, and faculty.

We stand in solidarity with those working to confront systemic racial injustice in our communities and in the United States. We recognize the disproportionate burden of racism and other forms of violence on many within our A&S community during this time. We affirm our support of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in standing against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias.

During this time of pandemic and continued racism and violence that especially impact marginalized communities of color, we recognize the disproportionate impact on Black and African-American people. In the context of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and here in Kentucky, Breonna Taylor and David McAtee, we affirm that

5/6/2020

The 2nd year MFAs are graduating! Our usual end-of-the-year reading happened over Zoom, but it is as fun and bittersweet as always.

Watch the reading here: https://vimeo.com/415145980/1e25f2c5be

Congrats MFA class of '20!

 

4/27/2020

By Richard LeComte

The College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding TA Awards recognize excellence in undergraduate instruction by teaching assistants. Fifteen teaching assistants were recognized for the 2019-2020  academic year .

Eligible students are current A&S graduate student teaching assistants in at least their second year of graduate work and must be responsible for instruction in some or all of a course offered by the College. The TAs recognized this year taught in courses offered through A & S departments and interdisciplinary programs. 

“Graduate Teaching Assistants are fundamental to the high-quality education that the College of Arts & Sciences provides to undergraduate students,” said Sarah M. Lyon, A&S associate dean for graduate studies. “I am routinely impressed with their hard work and the contributions they make to pedagogical

4/13/2020
A picture of the Gaines Center building.

By Gabriela Antenore

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has selected 12 undergraduate students as new scholars for the Gaines Fellowship Program.

The Gaines Fellowship is presented in recognition of outstanding academic performance, demonstrated ability to conduct independent research, an interest in public issues and a desire to enhance understanding of the human condition through the humanities. Founded in 1984 by a gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK’s campus. The Gaines Center is designed to enrich the study of the humanities at the University of Kentucky.

4/7/2020
Frank X Walker

By Richard LeComte

LEXINGTON, Ky – Frank X Walker, professor of English and African American and Africana Studies in the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences, has received two honors for both his recent work and his career accomplishments.

Transylvania University has given the Judy Gaines Young Book Award to Walker for his collection of poems “Last Will, Last Testament.” The award has recognized outstanding works by writers in

2/21/2020
A photo of Nikky Finney

By Kathy Johnson

Two people with close ties to the University of Kentucky will be recognized for their achievements with honorary doctorates. The UK Board of Trustees approved awarding an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to William Harry Clarke and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities to Nikky Finney.

Clarke is professor emeritus of the UK School of Music, where he served for 43 years. He came to UK in 1965 as a teaching assistant for the marching band while working on his doctorate. In 1968, he became director of bands, a position he held for 21 years. During that time, Clarke grew the Wildcat Marching Band from 30 members to 300, expand the band to include women and established the band’s reputation as one of the best in the country. He also served as director of the UK School of Music and received the

2/20/2020

By Richard LeComte

A new Africana Saturday School begins this weekend at the historic downtown Lyric Theatre & Cultural Arts Center at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.

The Saturday School will be a series of double lectures given once a month through May. The theme for spring 2020 is “New Visions for Black Men: From Maleness to Manhood.” Events start at 9 a.m. and are free to the public.

Frank X Walker, organizer of the event and poet and University of Kentucky English professor in the College of Arts & Sciences, will kick off the series with a talk and reading titled “Honor Thy Mother & Father: Making the Case for a New Vision.” UK faculty participating in the series include Derrick White and Gerald Smith, both UK history professors as well as members of the UK Black

2/5/2020

By Whitney Hale

Shayla Lawson and Keith Wilson are among the esteemed writers known as the Affrilachian Poets.

The Visiting Writers Series (VWS), hosted by the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program in the University of Kentucky Department of English, is set to welcome Affrilachian Poets Shayla Lawson and Keith Wilson. The free public discussion, presented in partnership with Gaines Center for the Humanities, will begin 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in the William T. Young Library UK Athletics Auditorium.

The VWS began in the spring of 2014 with a reading by poet Roger Reeves. Each year, the program

1/27/2020
A photo of Crystal Wilkinson sitting on a couch in the front yard of a home.

By Lindsey Piercy

Crystal Wilkinson didn't become a writer to obtain fame and fortune. But the accomplished author is receiving some well-deserved recognition and funding to support her craft.

"I am absolutely elated."

Wilkinson, who is also an associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky, has been named a 2020 USA Fellow by United States Artists.

Since being founded in 2006, United States Artists (USA) has awarded unrestricted monetary grants to compelling artists in various disciplines. Following a rigorous nomination and panel process, each chosen fellow is given $50,000 — which can be used for whatever means the artist wishes.

“We

12/18/2019
A photo of author Frank X Walker

From building play houses out of grass as a child in Danville to writing poetry and publishing books as an adult, Frank X Walker uses his immense imagination to chronicle the African-American experience in Appalachia.

Walker, an alumnus and English professor at UK, has written 10 collections of poetry, several anthologies and many articles and essays. His epic journey begins with a childhood immersed in books and moves on to becoming poet laureate of Kentucky and a chronicler of an often-ignored heritage.

Walker recently was highlighted in the winter issue of Keeneland magazine. Read the full story here.

12/9/2019

By Ryan Girves

The University of Kentucky Office of Undergraduate Research recently recognized and awarded 19 students with the Oswald Research and Creativity awards. 

The Oswald Research and Creativity Competition was established in 1964 by then President John Oswald as part of the university’s Centennial Celebration. The program is intended to promote creativity in all fields of study and provides annual awards in seven categories. The competition accepts reports, of all forms of creativity, and scholarship by undergraduate students.

Categories include Biological Sciences; Design, including architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design; Fine Arts, including

11/20/2019

By Madison Dyment

The true art of writing is the many forms through which it can be expressed. The beauty of one of its most obscure forms, poetry, is not lost on UK College of Arts & Sciences' MFA student, Makalani Bandele, who recently won the Autumn House Press Poetry competition for his latest poetry book. 

Bandele, hailing from Louisville, discovered his love of poetry as an undergraduate student at the University of Notre Dame. After taking an introductory poetry class, he found the style resonated with him over other forms of writing and frequently engaged in the craft. 

“I love to hear people tell stories but my mind just can’t handle the huge banquet that a novel provides,” Bandele said. “With poetry, I’m able to give people a succinct idea while still exploring many different themes in that short piece.” 

Noting his skill, a former

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