“How does being a Kentuckian inform your writing?”
That’s the first question Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson asks former Poet Laureate Frank X Walker, and he counters with, “how does it not?”
His grandparents were farmers, but Walker describes growing up feeling removed from the land itself. “I was raised in a housing project,” he says, “but we coveted other people’s land, and we got a kind of way about us when we had a chance to be outdoors and in the wild, or on a farm, like my grandparents’ space.”
Walker says every word he writes deals with family, place and identity. “I don’t know how to take that out.”
This is the inaugural episode of “Words for the People,” a new monthly podcast created by Crystal Wilkinson and produced by Louisville Public Media. Each episode will feature an established writer and an emerging writer, both Kentuckians, sharing wisdom with each other, and with you.
Wilkinson conceived of the show to elevate Kentucky writers, and give a platform to aspiring writers throughout the commonwealth. Every month, she’ll give a writing prompt to inspire you to create your own work, and share it.
“Everyone has meaningful stories inside them, but we don’t always know how to set them loose into the world,” she says.
You can find “Words for the People” in all the usual podcast places, and check out this episode, “Lost and Found,” in the player below.
Episode 1: Lost and Found