The Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative and 91.3 WUKY present the first installment of the second Kentucky Black Writers Series, SAY IT LOUD: STAND UP. This recurring live event and discussion is designed to showcase both prominent and emerging Black writers of the Commonwealth. Audio recordings are gathered and published here at the conclusion of each event.

Enjoy readings by Jude "JC" McPherson, Frank X Walker, Dwayne Parker, and Shawn Pryor. The event is free and open to the public.

Jude "JC" McPherson is a Kentucky Colonel Goodwill Ambassador that has a background in writing, electricity, and general troubleshooting. A recipient of the 2022-2023 National Leaders of Color Fellowship through South Arts, and he is an associate for the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, Creative Writing Instructor, and arts administrator. He is a member of the Affrilachian Poets and the author of numerous collections of poetry. He’s also a member of the Society of Baseball Research.

Frank X Walker is the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker is 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. He has published eleven collections of poetry, including Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, which was awarded an NAACP Image Award for Poetry and the Black Caucus American Library Association Honor Award for Poetry. He is also the author of Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, winner of a Lillian Smith Book Award, and Isaac Murphy: I Dedicate This Ride, which he adapted for stage. Voted one of the most creative professors in the south, Walker, a Danville native, coined the term “Affrilachia” and co-founded the Affrilachian Poets. A Cave Canem fellow, his honors also include a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry. His most recent collection is Masked Man, Black: Pandemic & Protest Poems

Dwayne Parker is a Disabled Army Veteran, Poet, Writer, Painter, and Photographer. Dwayne is a current member of the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative and is a native Kentuckian surviving a Heart Transplant in 2019. Currently attending the Bluegrass Community and Technical College, his studies are in Graphic Design. Dwayne wrote a play entitled Autum’s Dusk and is working on his first book of poems for publication.

Shawn Pryor's (he/him) work includes the upcoming middle-grade graphic novel Fast Break (FSG/Macmillan, 2025), The Gamer series (Capstone) Cash and Carrie (Action Lab Entertainment), Nat Turners Rebellion graphic novel (Capstone), several books for Capstone’s Jake Maddox Sports and Adventure series, and the Kids Sports series. In his free time, he enjoys reading, cooking, listening to streaming music playlists, and talking about why Zack from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is the greatest Black superhero of all time. He is represented by Kelly Sonnack of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

SAY IT LOUD: STAND UP is sponsored by the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, WUKY, Kentucky Arts Council, LexArts, Chethik Family Fund to Advance Black Writers, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), the University of Kentucky, Southland Printing, Foundation 47, Project Ricochet, and UK Supplier Diversity.

September 7, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Carnegie Center
251 West 2nd Street

The Carnegie Center is home to writers, lifelong learners, & the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame. We hope to see you soon!

Contact Us

251 West Second Street
Lexington, KY 40507

(859) 254-4175

Monday–Thursday: 10:00 AM–7:30 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM–7:30 PM
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED