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Frank X Walker Speaks at Palmer Lecture


Williamsburg, Ky. - Most people have heard the word Appalachia, but far fewer have heard of "Affralachia." This will soon change if Frank X Walker has anything to say about it. Walker was chosen as this year's speaker for the October 18, Palmer Memorial Lecture, held annually at University of the Cumberlands. The building was packed with students, faculty and a good number of people from the surrounding community. Walker took the stage and asked, "How many of you consider yourselves artists?" He encouraged those not raising their hands to look for ways to utilize their creativity. He further emphasized the need for each person to find something worthwhile to pour his or her creativity into. "What good is it if someone uses their creativity to make bombs?" he said, "We have enough bombs."

Walker also spoke of the influence his mother had on him growing up. He told of the sacrifices she made, being a single mother of seven children. "The reason I'm standing here is because my mother intended me to," he said. He confided that she really wanted him to be a minister, but he ended up being a "cultural minister" instead, standing up for social injustice.

Walker read from a number of his books of poetry, on topics ranging from death to the Women's Rights Movement. Miranda Howard, a sophomore at UC, thought Walker "struck back at stereotypes about Appalachia." After the reading, Walker signed books and gave his readers a chance to approach him personally.

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Ky., is a private liberal arts university in it 116th year of operation. UC offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and nine pre-professional programs.