Contemporary “Affrilachian” poet Frank X. Walker delivers a lecture and reading of his work at Northeast State on March 2 at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Walker coined the term “Affrilachia” to represent the African-American voice in the Appalachian region. His lecture will be held at the College’s Regional Center for the Performing Arts Theater on the Blountville campus next to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. Walker’s lecture is free and open to the public.
Walker’s first collection of poems, Affrilachia, published by Old Cove Press in 2000, brought him to the forefront of new generation of Appalachia poets. He followed up with Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York which won the Lillian Smith Book Award.
“I have accepted the responsibility of challenging the notion of a homogeneous all-white literary landscape in this region,” said Walker. “As a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and the creator of the word ‘Affrilachia,’ I believe it is my responsibility to say as loudly and often as possible that people and artists of color are part of the past and present of the multi-state Appalachian region extending from northern Mississippi to southern New York.”
Walker later published two more poetry collections: Black Box and When Winter Come: the Ascension of York. He graduated from the University of Kentucky and completed his MFA in Writing at Spalding University. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, his poems have been converted into stage productions and appear in multiple anthologies.
Walker has lectured, conducted workshops, read poetry and exhibited at over 300 national conferences and universities including the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry, Ireland; Santiago, Cuba; the University of California at Berkeley; Louisiana State University at Alexandria; Virginia Tech; Radford University; and Appalachian State University.
A recipient of the Lannan Literary Fellowship in Poetry, Walker serves as Writer in Residence and lecturer of English at Northern Kentucky University and is the proud editor and publisher of PLUCK!, the new Journal of Affrilachian Art & Culture. He also served as editor of America! What’s My Name? The “Other” Poets Unfurl the Flag and Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium.
For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.