Frank X. Walker
Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York
September 04, 2019 Comments.. 608
Buffalo Dance The Journey of York Winner of the th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award A BookSense Spring Top Poetry Book Read an excerpt from the book Listen to Frank X Walker reading on NPR s This I Believe segment of

  • Title: Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York
  • Author: Frank X. Walker
  • ISBN: 9780813190884
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winner of the 35th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award, 2004 A BookSense 76 Spring 2004 Top 10 Poetry Book Read an excerpt from the book Listen to Frank X Walker reading on NPR s This I Believe segment of Morning Edition This collection of persona poems tells the story of the infamous Lewis Clark expedition from the point of view of Clark s personal slave, York Winner of the 35th Annual Lillian Smith Book Award, 2004 A BookSense 76 Spring 2004 Top 10 Poetry Book Read an excerpt from the book Listen to Frank X Walker reading on NPR s This I Believe segment of Morning Edition This collection of persona poems tells the story of the infamous Lewis Clark expedition from the point of view of Clark s personal slave, York The poems form a narrative of York s inner and outer journey, before, during and after the expedition a journey from slavery to freedom, from the plantation to the great northwest, from servant to soul yearning to be free Over the course of the saga and through the poems, we are treated to subtle and overt commentaries on literacy, slavery, native Americans, buffalo, the environment, and Though Buffalo Dance purposely references historic accounts and facts, it is fictionalized poetry, and Frank X Walker s rare blend of history and art breathes life into an important but overlooked historical figure Frank X Walker is the author of Affrilachia and the soon to be released Black Box, two collections of poetry He teaches in the department of English Theatre and is the interim Director of the African African American Studies Program at Eastern Kentucky University He is also a visiting professor in Pan African Studies department at the University of Louisville A 2004 recipient of the Lillian Smith Book Award, he lives in Lexington, KY Click here for Frank Walker s website.

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    1 Blog on “Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York

    1. Didi says:


    2. Ch_jank-caporale says:

      York was the slave William Clark took with him on the Lewis and Clark expedition. He carried, cooked, scouted, and he saved the expedition on several occasions from hostile natives who proved fascinated by the black "bear-man." York couldn't read or write, so what we know of him largely comes from the journals kept by Lewis and Clark and other white members of the expedition. He is also depicted in paintings serving to commemorate the event.In this poetic journal, Frank X. Walker gives voice to [...]

    3. Krista the Krazy Kataloguer says:

      William Clark took his slave York along when he and Meriwether Lewis traveled across the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean. Frank X. Walker brings York to life here in these poems told in the first person. It's clear that York performed a valuable service as an explorer along with the rest of the men, and he was even allowed to cast a vote on the location of one of their winter forts just like any of the others in the expedition. So I was dismayed to learn that Clark treated him so poorly [...]

    4. David says:

      The sculptor Ed Hamilton gave York a face and a body. Now Frank X. Walker gives York a voice. This collection of poetry is very creative and imaginative. Before all we knew about York was in the journals of Lewis and Clark, but Walker lets York speak by a leap of imagination and empathy. This is a brilliant work.

    5. Noelle says:

      Luis Alberto Urrea, in his keynote lecture for The Big Read last fall, recommended in an offhand way Frank X. Walker as an author and Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York as a book that had been influential for him. Never one to turn down a recommendation, I whipped out my phone and used Suggest an Item to place a hold (the WPL didn't own it at the time) right there in the auditorium while Urrea was still talking.Buffalo Dance is the fictionalized experience of York, William Clark's slave, told th [...]

    6. paige says:

      Spectacular. Will teach alongside Huck Finn this year.

    7. Elizabeth Rogers says:

      Quick, enjoyable read. Frank X. Walker is the best!

    8. Kate says:

      Beautiful. Thoughtful. Provoking. Should be a part of the American Literature curriculum.

    9. Venessa says:

      Surprisingly refreshing, in that the life of the slave York, forever in the shadow to his Master William Clark, is told through his own eyes, without resraint, as if making up for the time when African Americans living in the United States were beaten and killed for aquiring the much needed skills and art forms of reading and writing. A very different perspective of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, currently celebrating its bicentennial in towns across the country; an important examination of the [...]

    10. Natalie says:

      I don't read a lot of poetry, and don't really feel qualified to talk about the merit of poems, but I do know a good story when I read one. In my experience, rare is the poem that also can tell a story. These do that, times ten. I learned so much from these poems, not just in the figurative way, but literally about history and the slave experience on the Lewis and Clark expedition. I highly recommend this collection. I'll be meeting Frank Walker in September; I only hope that he doesn't find me [...]

    11. Patrick says:

      p.17 My blackness was greeted with great respect/ an the chil'ren followed me so close they/ become a part a my shadow.p.29 As I stop to rest an laugh, it come to me/ that every soft an pretty thing God make/ got a hand an ugly to carry with it.An intriguing collection of poems. The voice of the material is the most interesting aspect of the work. Poems are presented from a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. York, the slave of Captain Clark, narrates his personal journey. Poems are presen [...]

    12. T.L. Cooper says:

      Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York is a book of poetry written from the point of view of York, William Clark's servant, who accompanied Lewis and Clark on the Lewis and Clark Expedition to the Pacific Ocean spanning 1803-1806. Walker researched his subject quite indepth and wrote a series of poetry to tell teh story from York's point of view. Walker handles the subject matter with integrity, honor, and honesty. Buffalo Dance is a fascinating and well paced story written as beautiful, touching po [...]

    13. Dale says:

      book of poems by KY author about Lewis & Clark expedition from the point of view of Clark’s slave, York—generally quite depressing overall. Interesting juxtaposition from the slave’s perspective about how the American Indian’s are treated as badly as the slave. An EKU English professor who goes to Union Church has this as required reading; via Berea Library, 2004 hardback, 70 pgs read Apr. ‘13/#21.

    14. Liona says:

      I think poems are meant to be heard, and Frank X. Walker took a crowd of English teachers on a journey across the country with Lewis & Clark but from the perspective of Clark's slave, York. The poems stayed vivid when I read the whole book in the Louisville airport. I intended to savor the poems one at a time on the metro, but I couldn't -- Buffalo Dance pulled me along with the story and the alive words of poetry.

    15. Elizabeth says:

      How would York, "manservant" and slave to Clark on the Lewis & Clark Expedition, have viewed the experience? More importantly to this book: how would he have been viewed by the Native Americans they encountered, by the white men while away from social norms, and by himself upon return? The poems of this book grow in power, and the increased use of epigraph in the second half of the book create an interesting conversation between history and unwritten (until now) experience.

    16. Megan says:

      I couldn't get into "Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York" by Frank X. Walker which surprised me since I really adore one of his other poetry collections. The poems for this collection fell flat and didn't pack much of a punch. I was never able to really engage with York and never really felt invested in his story. I would say read Frank X. Walker, but perhaps start with a different collection.

    17. Billmatt says:

      York's voice through walker is flawless. What could be a scathing account of slave treatment becomes more of a philosophical journal of nature, man and the wider world. Absolutely fantastic through and through.

    18. Nice says:

      I checked this out, loved it. Frank does a wonderful job of speaking poetically through the voice of York, the personal slave of William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Team. Frank takes us on the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the eyes of York.

    19. Maughn Gregory says:

      Ingenious collection of poems giving voice to William Clark's slave York, who accompanied Clark and Lewis on their expedition, doing much more of the work with much less of the scant comforts, and who was not only not thanked or recognized, but demoralized when it was over.

    20. Kathy says:

      Love the way Walker envisions York's voice out of plain language and beautiful turns of phrase.

    21. Jennifer James says:

      This book of poems traces the Lewis and Clark expedition from the viewpoint of York, an African-American slave who was part of the expedition. The poems are beautiful and moving and very accessible.

    22. Erin Chandler says:

      Beautiful journey

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