Behind the Blue: Poet Frank X Walker Reflects on Work as Writer, Professor

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By Kody Kiser

 

“Affrilachia” is the word coined by poet Frank X Walker to signify the importance of the African-American presence in Appalachia, and he's a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. Walker says he has "accepted the responsibility of challenging the notion of a homogeneous all-white literary landscape in this region.”

A native of Danville, Kentucky, Walker is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, currently serves as associate professor in the UK Department of English, and was the 2013-14 poet laureate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was founder and executive Director of the Bluegrass Black Arts Consortium, former program director of the UK's Martin Luther King Center and a Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Fellowship recipient. He has lectured, conducted workshops, read poetry and exhibited at more than 300 national conferences and universities and was the recipient of the 2006 Thomas D. Clark Literary Award for Excellence.
 
In this edition of Behind the Blue, Kody Kiser of UK Public Relations and Marketing talks with Walker about his work, reflections on UK both as a former student and now as a professor, and more.
 
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