Frank X Walker’s pathbreaking book of poems Affrilachia is a classic of Appalachian and African-American literature. Walker created the word “Affrilachia” to help make visible the experience of African-Americans living in the rural and Appalachian South. The book is widely used in classrooms and is one of the foundational works of the Affrilachian Poets, a community of writers offering fresh ways to think about diversity in the Appalachian region and beyond.
Poems by Frank X Walker
Old Cove Press (2000)
112 pp., 5 3/4″ x 9 1/4″, Paperback, $14.50
“Finally, a gathering of words that fiercely speaks to what it truly means to grow up African-American in Appalachia. These are not stories of those of us transplanted conveniently into the territory for whatever reason. These poem-stories are from a native Affrilachian heart, more specifically, from the man who first created the word in order to define and not be rendered invisible. This personal poetic narrative is a historic valuable offering, one man’s unapologetic truth, granting us an eagle eye view into what it means to be young, Black, artistic, and male in America as one century comes to an end and another begins. His poetry looks you in the eye, in plain-spoken unembellished, heartfelt language. Anyone who knows about the human heart and human nature can read it.”
–Nikky Finney, author of Head Off & Split (Triquarterly), winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry
“The poems in Affrilachia are funny and sad, tragic and hopeful, angry and determined, and as filled with generosity and love as poetry by any American writer in a generation. This book is powerful and beautiful. It is honest and true.”
— Gurney Norman, author of Ancient Creek: A Folktale (Old Cove Press, 2012); Kinfolks, The Wilgus Stories (Gnomon Press, 1978); and Divine Right’s Trip (The Dial Press, 1972; Gnomon Press, 1990)