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Williamsburg, Ky.-The University of the Cumberlands (formerly Cumberland College) Department of English announces that Frank X Walker will deliver the 2005 Dr. Robert L. Palmer Memorial Lecture, at 7:30 pm, Tuesday, October 18, in the Gatliff Memorial Chapel on the school’s Williamsburg, Ky. campus.

The Palmer Lecture series was established several years ago by Jackson, Mississippi, businessman and former United States Ambassador to Portugal John N. Palmer to honor the life of his uncle. Dr. Robert Palmer was a long-time member of the Cumberland College Department of English and pastor of Williamsburg’s First Baptist Church. Each year names of various writers are submitted to the Palmer Lecture Committee for consideration. Previous lectures have included Lee Smith, Willie Morris, Jim Wayne Miller, and Scott Russell Sanders.

This year's presenter, Frank X Walker, is a native of Danville, Ky., a member of the Eastern Kentucky MFA in Creative Writing faculty, and one of the major young poetic voices coming from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Previously, Walker has served as the assistant director of the Black Cultural Center of Purdue University, program coordinator of the Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Center at the University of Kentucky, founder and executive director of the Bluegrass Black Arts Consortium, and director of Kentucky’s Governor’s School for the ARTS. Perhaps bringing together African-American poets of the Appalachian region under the umbrella of “Affrilichian Poets” has brought him notice by an ever-widening audience.

In his poetry, Walker speaks of his personal and general African-American experience. In his first collection “Affriachia” (2001), Walker tells of his development as a person and as a poet through his connections of Appalachia and his family, and in his second collection, “Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York” (2004), he presents the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition through the eyes of Clark’s personal slave, York. Both of these collections have drawn attention to Walker’s artistic abilities of telling difficult stories poetically. Walker will have another collection, “Cold Still,” to appear in 2005.

The University of the Cumberlands is honored that Frank X Walker will present the 2005 Dr. Robert L. Palmer Memorial Lecture. A reception and book signing will follow Walker’s presentation. This presentation is free, and the public is cordially invited. For further information contact the University of the Cumberlands Department of English at (606) 539-4414.