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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.

Bianca Lynne Spriggs is a writer, multidisciplinary artist, and assistant professor of English at Ohio University. She is the recipient of a Kentucky Arts Council 2013 Al Smith Individual Arts Fellowship in Poetry, as well as a recipient of multiple artist enrichment grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Spriggs is the author or coeditor of a number of books, including Kaffir Lily, Call Her by Her Name, and The Galaxy Is a Dance Floor.

Jeremy Paden is an associate professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at Transylvania University. His poems have appeared in such places as the Atlanta Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cortland Review, Louisville Review, Naugatuck River Review, pluck! and Rattle, among others. He is the author of two collections of poems, Broken Tulips and ruina montium.



Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky




Lexington, KY


african american poetry; appalachian poetry; poetry collection; place and identity; american south; southern culture; black appalachians; appalachian culture; appalachian literature; mountain south; southern art; black art


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Black Bone
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