Archived Event

Join Friends and the Library Society of the University of Tennessee on Tuesday, March 9, at 6:30  p.m. as novelist Wiley Cash and poet Frank X Walker present the 2021 Wilma Dykeman Stokely Memorial Lecture.

This event, which is free and open to the public, will be livestreamed.

Frank X Walker is the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate and is the current head of 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, comprises poems Walker began writing and posting on Facebook in April 2020.

Cash is the New York Times best-selling author of 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, The Last Ballad, tells the story of the labor movement in early twentieth-century America through the eyes of North Carolina mill worker Ella Mae Wiggins.

Copies of books by both authors are available for purchase at Union Ave Books, one of the sponsors of the lecture.

Other sponsors of this event are the Knox County Public Library, UT Libraries, and WUOT.

This annual 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 Archives at the University of Tennessee Libraries.


‘Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. Racists still do.’ Ky. poet rages in new book
Kevin Nance on Frank X Walker’s Masked Man, Black: Pandemic & Protest Poems

Sing for Our Time, Too
Ed Tarkington reviews Wiley Cash’s The Last Ballad


Event Sponsors


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