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Byron Crawford to Participate in the Kentucky Book Festival with “The Back Page”

Byron Crawford to Participate in the Kentucky Book Festival with “The Back Page”

August 24, 2023




What will Kentucky Book Festival visitors find on your table?

My latest book, The Back Page, collects 12 years of back page essays that I’ve written for Kentucky Living magazine, a monthly publication of Kentucky Electric Cooperatives. Kentucky Living has the largest circulation of any print publication in Kentucky, and the essays cover many stories of everyday life in our state: poignant love stories, humorous tales, nostalgia, nature stories, the supernatural,  accounts of quiet heroes and stories of unbelievable incidents whose subjects have declared them be true. There are unforgettable animals like Justin the donkey, a connoisseur of marigolds; tales of panther sightings, snake crossings and haunted happenings; and memories of country stores, telephone operators and pool halls. In the final chapter, we meditate together on Christmas—snowy scenes from my own boyhood and many warm memories that have been shared with me through the years.


Whom do you invite to stop by? Who will benefit from reading your book?

Of course everyone is invited to stop by—if not to buy the book, then to have a chat and swap stories. Those who may enjoy or benefit most from the essays in this book would include lifelong Kentuckians who can relate to the nostalgia, humor, local lore and legend contained in many of the stories. Others who may find it helpful are those who are new to Kentucky and would like to learn something of the state’s rural culture. Teachers sometimes introduce one of these essays into a study theme.


Could you please tell us something curious about you and/or your book?

I have been writing either for broadcast news or for a newspaper or magazine for 57 straight years. That is a bit curious when considering that I didn’t believe I would ever use the typing that I learned in high school.


Is this your first time participating in Kentucky Book Festival? If yes – what are you looking forward to the most? If you’ve participated before – what was your favorite experience at the Festival?

I’ve participated in the Kentucky Book Festival three other times when my books were part of the event. I believe my first time was for Crawford’s Journal in 1986, then again for Kentucky Stories in 1996, and again in 2008 for Kentucky Footnotes. I suppose it’s appropriate that the title of this last book should be The Back Page.

My favorite experience has been meeting people who may have read some of my work, or even been subjects in one of my stories, and others who have been waiting to tell me a story or to ask me about something that I’ve written. Then there are the visits with other writers, some of whom I have known for years, but haven’t seen in a long while, and others whom I’ve always wanted to meet, but never had the opportunity.


In this collection of essays, veteran television and newspaper journalist Byron Crawford shares stories about Kentucky’s rural people and places, ranging from the humorous to the poignant to the profound. Collected in a keepsake edition, Crawford’s Kentucky Living columns will delight readers for years to come.

Thank you!

Thanks so much to all who attended this year’s festival! Please provide feedback about your experience by submitting a survey. 

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