Former Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is a Professor in the department of English and the African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky and the founding editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A Cave Canem Fellow and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, he is the author of eight collections of poetry including, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry; and Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award as well as two new collections, The Affrilachian Sonnets and About Flight.
He has lectured, conducted workshops and read poetry at over 400 national conferences, arts centers and universities across the globe including Derry, Northern Ireland; Santiago, Cuba; Shanghai and Beijing, China, Mainz, Germany, Toronto, Canada, New York's Lincoln Center, the University of California at Berkeley; Notre Dame; and Appalachian State University.
Voted one of the most creative professors in the south, he is the originator of the word, Affrilachia, and is dedicated to deconstructing and forcing a new definition of what it means to be Appalachian. The Lannan Poetry Fellowship Award recipient has degrees from the University of Kentucky and Spalding University as well as three honorary doctorates from the University of Kentucky, Spalding University and Transylvania University. [ Read his full bio. ]
"The work of Frank X Walker is an eclectic, powerful mixture of liberating style, profound insight, and unwavering organic connection to the intellectual, political, and cultural struggles of a people. He stands in the tradition of DuBois, McKay, Robeson, Hughes, and other great writers, poets and performers whose contributions have transcended time and space to give generation after generation pause and hope." — Ricky L. Jones, author of Black Haze
"An ardently imagined and gloriously vivid first-person account of York’s awe over the munificent and daunting wilderness, and instant rapport with the Indians he meets.”— Booklist (starred review)
“A brave collection of poems. . . . Brims with the rich complexity of York’s condition in a way that will appeal to a wide audience.”— Louisville Courier-Journal
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