What They're Saying About Frank

Read what hosts and guests are saying about Frank's readings and lectures.

Come back later to find out where Frank's appearing next.

The work of Frank X. Walker is an eclectic, powerful mixture of liberating style, profound insight, and unwavering organic connection to the intellectual, political, and cultural struggles of a people. He stands in the tradition of DuBois, McKay, Robeson, Hughes, and other great writers, poets and performers whose contributions have transcended time and space to give generation after generation pause and hope. From Affrilachia to Africa and beyond, Frank X. Walker is a laborer for, and lover of, the people who should and will be remembered as one of our most talented, dedicated and visionary sons. Anyone who has not read his work or heard him speak should make it a priority to do both as soon as possible.

Ricky L. Jones, Ph.D.
Author of Black Haze
Associate Professor and Chair-Elect
Department of Pan-African Studies
University of Louisville

For three years, I have shared the poems of Frank X Walker with my sociology students who study social problems, diversity, and Appalachian culture. Each year I have invited him to Ferrum College to read his work, speak to classes, and when possible, lead writing workshops.

Frank’s gentle countenance in his poetry readings draws the audience in to listen closely and truly absorb what he has to offer. When he reads his own work, his cadence and hand gestures illuminate the underlying meanings and vivid images of those people and places of whom he writes. Even the way his poetry in his first book, Affrilachia, is artistically printed on the page leads one to discover a new image to explore in each line.

Using Affrilachia as a catalyst, students have explored African American artists, musicians, politicians, civil rights and community leaders mentioned in the poems. Other students have illustrated selected poems with photographs, drawings, and even maps; created multicultural lesson plans for all ages; and participated in panel discussions at professional academic conferences regarding how Frank’s work has influenced them.

Students relate so well to the beauty of his poetry and the courage of his words that they are saddened when Frank hasn’t included their favorite poems in one of his readings. On one occasion, I walked into a scene every professor must dream of: students meeting with Frank over lunch, of their own accord, with copies of his books in hand, to explore their interpretations of his poems or to discuss their own writings.

In my quest to inspire students in my classes — first years or seniors, from different backgrounds and disciplines — to think critically and to passionately engage social issues, I have never discovered a better path than through Frank X. Walker’s poetry and presence.

Susan Virginia Mead, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Department of Social Work and Sociology
Ferrum College

Mr. Walker,

Hope all is well with you this summer. Although it has been a few months, I wanted to thank you, Bernard, and Ricardo again for coming to VT. We sure loved it, and I received positive remarks about the program until the end of school in May!

I wanted to also thank you for your work. I am working with "at-risk" high school students in Bristol, Virginia (the city near my home). All these students live in the city, and many do not have a good home life. My first day with them, I took your book and read "Lil' Kings" to them. Your poem connected with them in a way that nothing I said could have.

I'm teaching this class about Appalachia, and I'm using "Affrilachia" and "Kentucke" to talk about being Black in Appalachia. Again, your work is bringing up discussion points that I could never do on my own.

Just wanted to let you know your works are touching lives — all the way here in Virginia!

Thanks,
Natasha Taylor

Frank X. Walker's presentation of his book of poems Affrilachia is outstanding! Frank presented at the McNet Conference in Paducah for over 70 librarians from all types of libraries around the Jackson Purchase. The audience was moved from tears to laughter as he read his poetry. Every single evaluation of Frank's presentation was a "4" the highest number on the scale. His poetry is outstanding and enjoyed by all people and all ages.

I would highly recommend Frank for any group!

Terri G. Kirk, Reidland High School Library Media Specialist
Kentucky Library Association, Past President