Frank X Walker coined the term Affrilachia and founded the Affrilachian Poets initially centered at the University of Kentucky where he now teaches. He was the first African-American to become a Kentucky Poet Laureate serving from 2013 until 2015. He grew up in public housing in Danville, Kentucky, the second of eleven children. His leadership talents were already obvious in high school where he played football and served twice as class president. This is his eleventh poetry collection. In his Introduction Walker writes of learning that the same day his wife went to the hospital to deliver their baby, he learned that his father also had been hospitalized. Within a few months, his father died. A central theme of these poems is the march of the generations, and, as the title implies, what we leave behind. “In his latest collection, Last Will, Last Testament, Frank X Walker turns the same unflinching gaze he's committed to historic figures now towards his own lineage. As these poems bear witness in real time to his father's last breaths even as his new son takes his first, Walker serves again as the linchpin between generations. Ever a master distiller of the heart, Walker presents us with, arguably, his most complex elixir to date, best imbibed with no chaser.” -- Bianca Lynne Spriggs. Walker reads his poetry all over the country, indeed the world, and regularly mesmerizes audiences. Among his honors are an NAACP Image Award for Poetry, a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry and a Poetry Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Lexington, Kentucky: Accents Publishing, 2019. 59 pages. Trade paperback.