Former Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is a Professor in the department of English and the African American and Africana Studies Program at the University of Kentucky and the founding editor of Pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. A Cave Canem Fellow and co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets, he is the author of eight collections of poetry including, Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry; and Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award as well as two new collections, The Affrilachian Sonnets and About Flight.
He has lectured, conducted workshops and read poetry at over 400 national conferences, arts centers and universities across the globe including Derry, Northern Ireland; Santiago, Cuba; Shanghai and Beijing, China, Mainz, Germany, Toronto, Canada, New York's Lincoln Center, the University of California at Berkeley; Notre Dame; and Appalachian State University.
Voted one of the most creative professors in the south, he is the originator of the word, Affrilachia, and is dedicated to deconstructing and forcing a new definition of what it means to be Appalachian. The Lannan Poetry Fellowship Award recipient has degrees from the University of Kentucky and Spalding University as well as three honorary doctorates from the University of Kentucky, Spalding University and Transylvania University.