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.