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Sun, 06.11.1961

Frank X. Walker, Writer born

Frank X. Walker

Frank X. Walker was born on this date in 1961. He is a Black writer, administrator, poet, and educator.

Walker is a native of Danville, Ky., the eldest son of seven children of Faith and Frank Walker, Sr. As a youngster in school, he asked one of his teachers why there weren’t more books by Black authors in their library. Her response was, "why don’t you write one?"  For the rest of his life, this was Walker's inspiration. The first in his family to attend college, he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1979. Walker completed an MFA in Writing at Spalding University in May 2003.

He loves summertime and warm weather in general. He has lectured, conducted workshops, read poetry, and exhibited at over 250 national conferences and universities, including the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry, Northern Ireland; Santiago, Cuba; University of California at Berkeley; Notre Dame; Louisiana State University at Alexandria; University of Washington; Virginia Tech; Radford University; and Appalachian State University.

Married with four children, he is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. He is the editor of "Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium" and authorizes three poetry collections: "Black Box."  He is an Al Smith Fellowship recipient, Walker's poems have been converted into a stage production by the University of Kentucky Theatre department and widely anthologized in numerous collections.

Walker is also a contributing writer and columnist for Ace Weekly. He has appeared on television in PBS’s GED Connection Series: "Writing: Getting Ideas on Paper," A Performance at the Governor’s Mansion, and "Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky."  He contributed to Writing Our Stories: An Anti-Violence Creative Writing Program Curriculum Guide developed by the Alabama Writer’s Forum and the Alabama Department of Youth Services. He co-produced a video documentary, "Coal Black Voices: the History of the Affrilachian Poets," which received the 2002-2003 Jesse Stuart Award.

His visual art is in the private collections of Spike Lee, Opal Palmer Adisa, Morris FX Jeff, and Bill and Camille Cosby. Walker is passionate about the importance of a family’s home life and its influence on every child. He readily states that he admires his mother more than anyone for her part in his formative years for him and as an adult.

He was the founder/Executive Director of the Bluegrass Black Arts Consortium, the Program Coordinator of the University of Kentucky’s King Cultural Center, and the Assistant Director of Purdue University’s Black Cultural Center. The school awarded Walker an honorary Doctorate of Humanities in 2001, and Transylvania University awarded Walker an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 2002.

He has held board positions, and Walker is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Interim Director of the African/African American studies program.

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