University Press of KY Announces Literary Awards Finalists

Lexington, KY-The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership has selected three University Press of Kentucky books as finalists for the 2015 Kentucky Literary Award: Wes Berry's The Kentucky Barbecue Book, Michael R. Veach's Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage, and James C. Nicholson's Never Say Die: A Kentucky Colt, the Epsom Derby, and the Rise of the Modern Thoroughbred Industry. Also nominated for the 2015 award are Kiran Bhatraju's Mud Creek Medicineand Ann Z. Cockerham's Unbridled Service.

First awarded in 2003, the Kentucky Literary Award is presented annually, alternating between fiction and non-fiction, to a work by a Kentucky author or with a significant Kentucky theme. The award is presented at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest, one of the state's largest literary events. It is held every April in Bowling Green and draws thousands of readers from across the state.

In The Kentucky Barbecue Book author and barbecue enthusiast Wes Berry hits the trail in search of the best smoke, the best flavor, and the best pitmasters he could find. This handy guide presents the most succulent menus and colorful personalities in Kentucky. Although unusual and unfamiliar to many barbecue aficionados because of its use of mutton, the Bluegrass State has a rich barbecue tradition that should not be ignored.

Michael R. Veach's Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage reveals the true story of bourbon in Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. Starting with the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s, he traces the history of this unique beverage through the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the present. Veach explores aspects of bourbon that have been ignored by others, including the technology behind its production, the effects of the Pure Food and Drug Act, and how Prohibition contributed to the Great Depression.

Never Say Die: A Kentucky Colt, the Epsom Derby, and the Rise of the Modern Thoroughbred Industryby James C. Nicholson traces the history of this extraordinary colt, beginning with his foaling in Lexington, Kentucky, when a shot of bourbon revived him and earned him his name. Nicholson also tells the stories of the influential individuals brought together by the horse and his victory-from the heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune to the Aga Khan, as well as the colt's pivotal role in the founding of The Beatles.

Nicholson won the Kentucky Literary Award in 2013 for his previous book, The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event, which marked the third occasion a University Press of Kentucky title had won the award. Prior to that, Monica Weis and Harry L. Hinkle'sThomas Merton's Gethsemani: Landscapes of Paradise won in 2005, and The Total Light Process: New & Selected Poems by former Kentucky Poet Laureate James Baker Hall won in 2004.

The winner will be announced at the South Kentucky Book Fest's Meet the Author's Reception which will be held Friday, April 17, 2015-the night before the Book Fest. For more information about the award or Southern Kentucky Book Fest, contact Kristie Lowry, Book Fest and Literary Outreach Coodinator, at or 270-745-4502.

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