The Appalachian region stretches from Mississippi to New York, encompassing rural areas as well as cities from Birmingham to Pittsburgh. Though Appalachia's people are as diverse as its terrain, few other regions in America are as burdened with stereotypes. Author Frank X Walker coined the term "Affrilachia" to give identity and voice to people of African descent from this region and to highlight Appalachia's multicultural identity. This act inspired a group of gifted artists, the Affrilachian Poets, to begin working together and using their writing to defy persistent stereotypes of Appalachia as a racially and culturally homogenized region.
After years of growth, honors, and accomplishments, the group is acknowledging its silver anniversary with Black Bone. Edited by two newer members of the Affrilachian Poets, Bianca Lynne Spriggs and Jeremy Paden, Black Bone is a beautiful collection of both new and classic work and features submissions from Frank X Walker, Nikky Finney, Gerald Coleman, Crystal Wilkinson, Kelly Norman Ellis, and many others. This illuminating and powerful collection is a testament to a groundbreaking group and its enduring legacy.
Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets is a beautiful collection of both old and new work.~USA Today
The Affrilachian Poets continue to be a groundbreaking literary force.... In celebration of their decades-long collaboration, the group has published its first anthology, Black Bone.~Detroit Free Press
Black Bone is a testament to the work of this trailblazing group which has created a poetic revolution by demanding recognition and promoting racial justice through dynamic and impact writing.~Mid-South Tribune
Regardless of your race, color, or creed, Black Bone will enrich your appreciation of poetry and the almost defunct art of essay writing. [It] opens up a world of gifted, unpredictable, illusive mind-snatching poets. I love this work, and it will remain a collection I shall return to time and time.~The Mid-South Tribune
Spriggs and Paden serve as apt coeditors of Black Bone: 25 Years of the Affrilachian Poets, due not only to their affiliation with the group, but also because of their commitment to celebrating the power of words through their respective academic fields in English and Spanish/Latin American literature. [They] highlight the evolving nature of the poets' work in the region and beyond. The poems stake a claim to land, culture, and people, while exhibiting lived social binaries like the beautiful and the ugly, the courageous and the fearful.~Journal of Appalachian Studies
After years of growth, honors, and accomplishments, the group is acknowledging its silver anniversary. The book is a beautiful collection of both new and classic work and features submissions from Frank X Walker, Nikky Finney, Gerald Coleman, Crystal Wilkinson, Kelly Norman Ellis, and many others. The illuminating and powerful collection is a testament to this groundbreaking group.~Kentucky Alumni