Kentucky Artisan Center
Poet Frank X Walker to Present – “Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York” at Kentucky Artisan Center
On Sunday, October 2, poet Frank X Walker will read from his book, Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, beginning at 2:00 pm at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. This reading is part of the Artisan Center’s kick off to celebrate the month of October as Arts and Humanities Month.
Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, is a celebration of the beauty and wisdom of one man’s soul written in the voice of York, the slave who accompanied his master, William Clark on the famous 1802-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition. In reviewing the collection of poems in Buffalo Dance, the University of Kentucky Press states, “In Buffalo Dance, Frank X Walker innovatively blurs the lines between poetry, fiction, and history, to tell the story of York, the first African American to traverse the continent. Breathing lyrical life into an important, but overlooked historical figure, these poems vividly present the intricacies of York’s personality and form a narrative of his saga – a physical journey from the plantation to the great northwest and a spiritual journey from a humble servant to a man yearning for fulfillment and freedom.”
Multidisciplinary artist Frank X Walker is a native of Danville, Kentucky, with degrees from the University of Kentucky and an MFA in writing from Spaulding University. He has lectured and conducted workshops, read poetry, and exhibited at over 250 national conferences and universities from Ireland to Cuba to Berkeley. Walker is the creator of the word Affrilachian and a book of poetry titled “Affrilachia” which gives both name and place to people and artists of color as part of the past and present day multi-state Appalachian region extending from northern Mississippi to southern New York.
The University of Kentucky awarded Walker an honorary Doctorate of Humanities in 2001, for his collective community work and artistic achievement, and Transylvania University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2002. Walker won the Lillian Smith Book Award in 2004, an award presented each year to recognize and encourage outstanding writing about the American South. Walker is currently assistant professor of English and interim Director of the African/African-American studies program at Eastern Kentucky University.
Frank X Walker’s poetry reading on October 2, will complement the Berea College Symposium on the Black Experience in Appalachia and America. This Symposium, held the same weekend on September 30 and October 1, is titled “Race, Repression, and Reconciliation” and will be held from 12:30 – 5:00 pm on Friday, and from 8:45 – 12:00 noon on Saturday, in the Gray Auditorium, located in Presser Hall on the Berea College Campus. This symposium features prominent historians and scholars including Eric Foner of Columbia University and Clayborne Carson of Stanford University. (For more information contact Berea College: 859/ 985-3853) The reading by Frank X Walker on Sunday, October 2, at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea will begin at 2:00 pm and is sponsored through the Kentucky Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau program.
Works by Frank X Walker are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The Center’s exhibits, shopping, and travel information areas are all open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. The Center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from all across the Commonwealth. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the Center’s web site at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Commerce Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.