FRANKFORT, Ky. — Lexington writer Frank X Walker will be officially inducted as Kentucky Poet Laureate in a public ceremony on Kentucky Writers' Day at 10 a.m., April 24, in the Capitol Rotunda.
Kentucky Writers' Day is an annual event organized by the Kentucky Arts Council that celebrates the Commonwealth's strong literary history. It is observed on the birth date of Kentucky native Robert Penn Warren, the first poet laureate of the United States and winner of three Pulitzer Prizes.
"I look forward to celebrating the historic induction of Frank X Walker as Kentucky's first African-American – and youngest – poet laureate," said Governor Steve Beshear, who appointed Walker to the position earlier this year. "Mr. Walker is an accomplished writer and educator and joins a great legacy of prolific Kentucky writers who have served as state poet laureate."
Walker will serve as poet laureate for 2013-14. A poet, author and teacher, he is the author of five collections of poetry and is an established playwright. He currently serves as associate professor in the University of Kentucky Department of English and as director of the African American and Africana Studies program.
"I have found that not enough people in our Commonwealth are aware of the significant contributions Kentucky writers have made to American literature," said Walker. "I am proud to be a part of this literary tradition and am excited to be promoting our collective excellence."
In addition to the induction ceremony, Writers' Day includes readings by past poets laureate Maureen Morehead, Gurney Norman, Jane Gentry Vance, Sena Jeter Naslund, Joe Survant and Richard Taylor. A public reception follows the ceremony.
"We welcome one and all to join in our annual Writers' Day celebration to applaud the Commonwealth's outstanding and unmatched literary legacy," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "The event is a great opportunity to meet Kentucky writers and the artists who live and work here."
For more information about Kentucky Writers' Day, visit http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/WritersDay_about.htm. Plans for local and community Writers' Day events around the state can be viewed on the arts council's website.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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