News Archive

Paducah's Colonel J.D. Wilkes to Read from New Book at WKCTC

Published on Oct 9, 2017

PADUCAH, KY (10/09/2017) Paducah's Colonel J.D. Wilkes will read from his first book The Vine that Ate the South at West Kentucky Community and Technical College October 23 from 11 a.m. to noon in the college's Matheson Library.

Wilkes, who received his title after being named an official Kentucky Colonel, will present an additional reading and book signing in Matheson Library that evening at 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

A perfect tie-in to the spooky, yet fun, Halloween season, Wilkes' book, brings the Japanese Kudzu devouring plant to life that leaves the skeletons of an elderly couple who are discovered in haunted woods - all in his unique and recognized Kentucky hillbilly style.

Wilkes is an American musician, visual artist, author, filmmaker and self-proclaimed "southern surrealist". Although he is perhaps best known as the founder of the Legendary Shack Shakers, a Southern Gothic rock and blues band formed in the mid 90s that continues to play venues around the country, Wilkes' book is also creating quite a buzz.

"Kentuckians Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp would be cackling to beat the devil over this brazen tribute to folklore, tradition, and hillbilly rituals....Wilkes' debut is a rich and heartfelt yarn that resonates as deeply as his music," wrote Kirkus Reviews.

National Public Radio said The Vine that Ate the South is "a relentlessly fun novel, the literary equivalent of a country-punk album that grabs you and refuses to let go. Wilkes has a perfect ear for the dialect of's undeniably one of the smartest, most original Southern Gothic novels to come along in years."

For more information, contact Kim Russell, WKCTC English program coordinator and event coordinator, at or (270) 534-3203.