Authors Wiley Cash and Frank X Walker will present the 2021 Wilma Dykeman Stokely Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. This virtual event is free and open to the public. Registration is now open.
Frank X Walker was the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate and currently heads the MFA program at the University of Kentucky. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, he has published ten collections of poetry, including Last Will, Last Testament, winner of the 2020 Judy Gaines Young Book Award, and Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, which was awarded the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Poetry. His newest collection, Masked Man, Black: Pandemic & Protest Poems, gathers poems Walker began writing and posting on Facebook in April 2020 and is a remarkably timely response to this extraordinary, still-unfolding era.
Wiley Cash is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Land More Kind than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy. The founder of the Open Canon Book Club and co-founder of the Land More Kind Appalachian Artists Residency, he has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Weymouth Center. He serves as the writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina–Asheville. His most recent novel is The Last Ballad, which recounts the struggle of the labor movement in early twentieth-century America through the story of North Carolina mill worker Ella Mae Wiggins.
Copies of both authors’ books are available to order from Union Ave Books.
The lecture is hosted by Friends of the Knox County Public Library and the John C. Hodges Society of the University of Tennessee Libraries. Other sponsors are the Knox County Public Library, Union Ave Books, UT Libraries, and WUOT. The lecture honors the late Wilma Dykeman Stokely (1920–2006), writer, speaker, teacher, historian, environmentalist, and long-time friend of the Knox County Public Library. Her papers are part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Tennessee Libraries.
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