• By Judith Gibbons

38th annual book fair approaching

Judith Gibbons is on the Kentucky Book Fair Committee and for 13 years, was the author of “Library News” for The Woodford Sun. A Central Kentucky tradition continues Saturday, Nov. 16, with the 38th annual Kentucky Book Fair at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena in Lexington. Admission is free and the hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. About 200 regional and national authors will be in attendance for book signings, panel discussions and author presentations including Wendell Berry, Frank X Walker, CNN’S Jim Acosta, and Scott Pelley of CBS. Children’s literature fans will be delighted to meet Will Hillebrand, Rosemary Wells, and George Ella Lyon. Sara Volpi, Kentucky Book Festival Director says, “… With 200 authors all in the same room, it’s a special chance to interact with the people behind the books you read and books you’ve yet to discover.” Woodford County will be well represented by Erin Chandler, Steve Flairty, and Lenny Shulman. Chandler pens a weekly column for The Woodford Sun, and her latest effort “Cinderella Sweeping Up” chronicles her essays for the newspaper. She is the author of a memoir, “June Bug Versus Hurricane,” and is currently working on a novel called “Nervous Blood.” Steve Flairty is a prolific writer. He contributes to Kentucky Monthly and is a regular columnist for KYForward and NKY Tribune. He will be presenting his seventh book, “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes #5.” “Justify: 111 Days to Triple Crown Glory” focuses on the horse that became the 13th Triple Crown winner. As the feature’s editor of The Bloodhorse, author Lenny Shulman has the inside track on the racing world and the horse that became a new American icon. From its inception in 1981, the festival evolved from a small one-day event at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives to a multi-day festival sponsored by Kentucky Humanities starting Sunday, Nov. 10, and culminating in the book fair Saturday, Nov. 16. The Kentucky Book Festival Kickoff is at ArtsPlace on Sunday, Nov. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. featuring creative activities for kids of all ages: meet authors David Arnold, Shawn Pryor, Gwenda Bond, Chris Rowe and Liz Swanson; see the process of creating a children’s book with author Amanda Driscoll; participate in crafts or story-time; and check out other fun book-related experiences. A ticketed Literary Luncheon with Gurney Norman, Bobbie Ann Mason, Ed McClanahan and Mary Ann Taylor-Hall is on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The authors will read from and discuss their work and take questions from the audience. Poet and novelist Crystal Wilkinson, Associate Professor of English at the University of Kentucky, will act as moderator. Kentucky Humanities is screening a documentary about Wendell Berry and his work called “Look & See” at the historic Kentucky Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Berry’s wife Tanya will discuss the film with its director, Laura Dunn, at this ticketed event. Thursday, Nov. 14, starting at 5 p.m. at the Mane on Main, join the fun at cocktails and conversation, with book-themed drinks and hors d’oeuvres celebrating Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman’s memoir, “Sounds Like Titanic.” Tickets are available at kyhumanities.org. Afterwards, Books & Brews Trivia at West Sixth Brewing gives you and your team the chance to come out to test your knowledge of all things literary. This free event does not require registration. On Friday, Nov. 15, there’s a ticketed Spotlight Breakfast with Commerce Lexington. Authors Blair Thomas Hess, Brian F. Haara, and Linda Ruffenach are all experts when it comes to bourbon: from tasting it to talking it to writing about it. They’ll share a bit about the business side of bourbon, with insights about its implications culturally, socially, and economically in the Bluegrass and beyond. Kentucky Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C. Kentucky Humanities is supported by the National Endowment and by private contributions. For more information, check out: https://www.kyhumanities.org/programs/kentucky-book-festival. See you at the 38th Annual Kentucky Book Fair!

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