The captivating story of a record-setting nineteenth-century black jockey told in poetry.
In this creative foray into persona poems, Walker immerses himself in the life of African American jockey Isaac Burns Murphy (1861-1896). The son of a slave, Murphy's legendary career riveted the attention of the nation and established him as one of the greatest jockeys of all time. Walker's poetry breathes life into the voices of Murphy and his family, the neglected history of African Americans in thoroughbred racing, and racial tensions in the post-Civil War South.
Published in 2010 by Old Cove Press
Frank X Walker is a native of Danville, Kentucky, and associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky. He was appointed Kentucky Poet Laureate, 2013-2014 by Governor Steve Beshear. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, he created the word "Affrilachia” to help make visible the black experience in the Appalachian South. He is the author of five poetry collections: Affrilachia, Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York, Black Box: Poems, When Winter Come: The Ascension of York, and Isaac Murphy: I Dedicate This Ride.