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Kentucky's Poet Laureate Frank X Walker

 

 

Kentucky has a rich literary history, and the new Poet Laureate of the Bluegrass State, Frank X Walker, has a deep respect and knowledge of those great writers before him.

Frank’s Kentucky roots have integrally shaped his perspective as a writer and teacher. The Danville native has said "One of the things I know, having lived in other states than Kentucky, is that it means something to be a Kentucky writer."

Frank created the word “Affrilachia,” which identified the African American experience in the Appalachian region.

It was a word that allowed the invisible to become visible. He and a group of his writing friends founded the Affrilachian Poets, and an entire Affrilachian literary movement that prides itself in giving voice to previously muted and silenced people and promotes excellence in teaching, writing, art and activism.

For Frank the position of Poet Laureate is most importantly a chance to teach and educate. Frank is driven by his passion of bringing more attention to prominent African-American writers in Appalachia, both past and present.

To learn more about Poet Laureate Frank X Walker visit these sites: frankxwalker.com as.uky.edu

 

 

PEN Award-winning Author Jennifer Haigh Featured at KWWC

Critically acclaimed author Jennifer Haigh, a recipient of a PEN/Hemingway Award, will be among this year's workshop presenters at the Kentucky Women Writers Conference.

Poetry to Heal PTSD: Travis Martin

We often hear about veterans that can't shake traumatic experiences and memories of war, but what about those who find ways to cope? Travis Martin, a PhD candidate in English, is doing research to document the ways in which veterans use the arts to process and move past trauma. He is the President of Military Experience and the Arts, a project that connects veterans with resources and outlets for their artwork, poetry, fiction, and scholarship, as well as the Veterans' PTSD Project, which seeks to dispel stereotypes about post-traumatic stress disorder by giving veterans a voice.

In this podcast, he reads and discusses three of his poems, “A Little Boy With Bananas,” “The Writing on the Wall,” and “Rifling About,” all of which reflect on his combat experiences in Iraq and life after returning home. The first two were featured in the New York Times, and the third can be downloaded here

This podcast was produced by Cheyenne Hohman.

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

They Are Here - Christina Williams and Rachael Hoy

By Victoria Dekle and Brian Connors Manke

Rachael Hoy might be a graduate student in English, but right now her brain is more focused on mapping than sentence fragments.

Larkspur Press Celebrates 40 Years of Printing Kentucky Writers

The University of Kentucky Libraries’ King Library Press will salute private press printer Gray Zeitz and his Larkspur Press in its Spring Book Arts Event beginning 7 p.m. Friday, May 31, in the Great Hall, at the Special Collections Library in the Margaret I. King Building.

Disturbing The Peace With Poetry: Julia Johnson

There is word on the page and then there is word given breath. This past April, students and faculty from the University of Kentucky brought words to life thanks to a 12-hour open air poetry reading. The event, organized by English professor and published author Julia Johnson, was held outside of the Student Center welcoming anyone and everyone to come read their favorite poems aloud. The reading itself was held in celebration of National Poetry Month and to raise awareness of UK’s growing creative writing community. 

In this podcast, we sit down with Professor Julia Johnson who talks about her motivations behind holding the reading and how she hopes the event will help build an even stronger sense of community between the university's creative writers and faculty. Also joining are English department graduate students and editors at UK's literary journal Limestone, Jenna Goldsmith and Robin Rahija who give their thoughts on the poetry reading, Limestone, and the impact of hearing a few beautiful words each day.
 
Finally, we hear a few of those beautiful words from a UK student and from WRD professor Steven Alvarez who reads a poem of his own. 
 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Literary Encounters with Vampires: Michael Carter

Since long before the most recent glitzy boom, vampires have been haunting our imaginations and our literature. In a new course being offered this fall, English 130: Literary Encounters - Vampiresthe English department's Michael Carter will introduce students to the storied mythology of vampires whose written history dates back to over a century before Bram Stoker's iconic Dracula.
 
In this podcast, Carter discusses the origins of what we call vampires today; what students can expect in the class through its examination of literature, film, and television; and some of the reasons why Vampires have achieved such eternal cultural relevance including unlikely connections to economics. 

 

This podcast was produced by Patrick O'Dowd.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Two A&S Faculty Team Up for New Book on Kentucky's Robinson Forest

English professor Erik Reece and Biology professor James Krupa recently released a book that brings to life the history and ecology of one of Kentucky's most important natural landscapes —the Robinson Forest in eastern Kentucky. "The Embattled Wilderness" depicts the fourteen thousand acres of diverse forest region-- a haven of biological richness-- as endangered by the ever-expanding desert created by mountaintop removal mining.

Student Commencement Speakers Rosado, Glaser to Represent Class of 2013

Per University of Kentucky tradition, a student speaker will represent his or her class at both undergraduate Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 5. The speakers for the 146th UK Commencement Ceremonies are Mercedes Rosado and Luke Glaser.

Gaines Fellowship Awarded to 12 UK Scholars

The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities has chosen 12 outstanding undergraduates as new scholars for the university's Gaines Fellowship Program for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.

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