Frank X Walker, a professor at the University of Kentucky, is the grand prize winner of the 2023 Black Authors Matter Children’s Book Awards. The Black Authors Matter Children’s Book Awards were established to honor excellence in African American literature. A panel of award-winning and/or award-nominated authors evaluated more than 150 entries.
A Is for Affrilachia (University Press of Kentucky, 2023) is an inspired children’s alphabet book that not only brings awareness of notable African Americans from the Appalachia region, but celebrates the people, physical spaces, and historical events that may not be as well known in mainstream educational structures.
“Wow, what an honor,” said Walker. “I’m so pleased that somebody else appreciates this beautiful book and recognizes the good it is trying to do in the world.”
“Frank X Walker’s book received the highest score,” said Gwen Richardson, national coordinator of the National Black Book Festival. “In addition to winning the educational category, A Is for Affrilachia received a perfect score overall from every judge.”
Frank X Walker is the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate. He is a professor of English and African American and Africana studies at the University of Kentucky in Lexington where he founded pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture.
Walker is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where he majored in English. He holds a master of fine arts degree in writing from Spalding University in Louisville.