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Kevin Lane Dearinger to Participate in the Kentucky Book Festival with “Eleanor Robson Belmont: a Theatical Life”

Kevin Lane Dearinger to Participate in the Kentucky Book Festival with “Eleanor Robson Belmont: a Theatical Life”

August 28, 2023





What will Kentucky Book Festival visitors find on your table?

Eleanor Robson Belmont, a Theatrical Life

The woman who named the great racehorse Man o’ War was a brilliant stage actress with Kentucky connections and an independent spirit. She moved in fast circles, defining her own life with a fierce intelligence and a breathtaking range of talents. She was (and is) charming company. With photographs.


On Stage with Bette Davis, Inside the Famous Flop of Miss Moffat

In 1974, the hot-tempered film star Bette Davis threw her erratic energies into a lavish and demanding stage musical, headed for Broadway glory. What followed was an epic disaster, revisited here by an actor who played a small role in Miss Moffat and then went home every night and wrote in his journal. This is theatre history, backstage scoop, wry memoir, and a meditation on aging, all made more pungent by the dominating presence of the iconic Miss Davis. With photographs.

Bad Sex in Kentucky

A memoir about growing up gay fifty years ago, when the natural was made unnatural by gossip and judgment, fear and cruelty, and intimacy in most forms seemed “bad” in Kentucky. This is a story about seeking grace under pressure, even at the risk of a pratfall. It is about survival at a price and a kind of ferocious forgiveness. It is about the search for identity within the tangled intersection of sex and love.

The Bard in the Bluegrass: Two-Hundred Years of Shakespearean Performance in Lexington, Kentucky.

A look at Lexington’s long tradition of professional theatre, starting in 1808, with an emphasis on Shakespearean productions and the brave, eccentric, and glorious actors who graced the town’s historic stages. Lavishly illustrated.

Caught in the Devotion of Time.

Poems of love, loss, age, family, fear, and wry humor, to be read aloud. All from a deeply-Kentucky heart. A poem does not fully exist until it intersects with the experience of its reader.

“I am attracted to ragged, jagged rhymes that hide and seek, pop out with a giggle, or lurk in the dark with a butcher knife. As a Southerner, I prefer things metaphorical to items clinical. I don’t trust things that are just what they are.”


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

Theatre folk, LGBTQ folk, historians (especially Kentucky history lovers), poetry lovers, storytellers, academics and general readers.


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

I have written in my journal every day for almost sixty years. Every darn day. Sometimes it must be gibberish. And of course, I appeared on the Broadway stage. Lord, have mercy.


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 love chatting with the wonderful folks who come to the Festival. Book-lovers ask great questions, and being with other writers is a treat. The camaraderie at my elbows or within eye-catching distance through the day make this a very special event.



Kevin Lane Dearinger [Dare-in-jer][he, his] is a retired Broadway actor-singer and English teacher. Mrs. Belmont was an actor for thirteen glorious years, but those years were crucial preparation for her long life as a social reformer and arts activist.