From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Walker, Frank X

(born: 1961) 

Frank X Walker was born in Danville, KY. He is a visual artist, poet, author, educator, and motivator. Walker is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, editor of Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium, and author of Affrilachia and Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York. He has given over 250 poetry readings, including readings at the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry, Northern Ireland, and in Santiago, Cuba. He has received many awards, appeared on television and been heard on the radio; he was the first writer from Kentucky to be featured on NPR's This I Believe. Walker was director of the Kentucky Governor's School for the ARTS, 1998-2004, leaving that position to become an English professor at Eastern Kentucky University. He has also been a visiting professor at Transylvania University. His teaching experience includes writing workshops at various locations and writing classes at the university level, including the University of Louisville and the University of Minnesota. Walker is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and Spalding University, and he received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the University of Kentucky and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Transylvania University. In 2010, Frank X. Walker joined the University of Kentucky Department of English, and in 2011 he was named director of both the African American Studies & Research and the Africana Studies Programs at UK. In 2013, Frank X Walker was named Kentucky's poet laureate [source: M. Meehan,"Lexington writer Frank X Walker named Kentucky poet laureate," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/15/2013, p.A3]. At the age of 51, he is the youngest to be named the state's poet laureate and he is also the first African American to receive the honor. For more see Frank X. Walker website; Affrilachian Poets; and The Columbia Granger's Index to African-American Poetry, by N. Frankovich and D. Larzelere.

  See photo images of Frank X Walker by Rachel Eliza Griffiths at the Frank X Walker website.

  View Kentucky Muse: (#503) Frank X Walker "I Dedicate This Ride" at KET Video (Kentucky Educational Television).

Access Interview Read about the Frank X Walker oral history interviews available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records are in the SPOKE Database.


   View video at Vimeo: "Accpetance Speech: The Induction of Frank X Walker, Kentucky Poet Laureate, 2013-2014 - April 24, 2013, Capitol Rotunda, Frankfort, Kentucky." Video footage courtesy of the Kentucky Arts Council. Edited by Nyoka Hawkins for Old Cove Press.




Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Eclipsing a nappy new millennium : an anthology of contemporary midwestern poetry, including Kelly Norman Ellis, Nikky Finney, Eugene B. Redmond
NKAA Source: Affrilachia : poems
NKAA Source: Buffalo dance : the journey of York
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Columbia Granger's index to African-American poetry

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  York
NKAA Entry:  Frye, Helen Fisher
NKAA Entry:  "My Old Kentucky Home, Goodnight"
NKAA Entry:  Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture
NKAA Entry:  African American Comic Book and Action Figure Hero Collection [Frank X Walker]
NKAA Entry:  Appalachian Counties in Kentucky

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Walker, Frank X,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 22, 2021,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:27