Northeast State welcomes Affrilachia poet Frank X. Walker

The poet whose vision cast a new look on the Appalachian region visits Northeast State Community College next month.

Contemporary American poet Frank X. Walker delivers a free lecture and reading of his work on March 2, at 7 p.m. in the College's Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts.

Walker's first collection of poems, Affrilachia, published by Old Cove Press in 2000 brought him to the forefront of new generation of Appalachia poets. He followed up with Buffalo Dance: the Journey of York which won the Lillian Smith Book Award in 2004. Walker is responsible for coining the term "Affrilachia" to represent the African American voice in the Appalachian region.

"I have accepted the responsibility of challenging the notion of a homogeneous all-white literary landscape in this region," said Walker. "As a co-founder of the Affrilachian Poets and the creator of the word 'Affrilachia,' I believe it is my responsibility to say as loudly and often as possible that people and artists of color are part of the past and present of the multi-state Appalachian region extending from northern Mississippi to southern New York."

Walker later published two more poetry collections: Black Box and When Winter Come: the Ascension of York. He graduated from the University of Kentucky and completed his MFA in Writing at Spalding University in May 2003.

A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, his poems have been converted into stage productions and appear in multiple anthologies. Walker's presentations and writing workshops are thought provoking and spellbinding. He has lectured, conducted workshops, read poetry and exhibited at over 300 national conferences and universities including the Verbal Arts Centre in Derry, Ireland; Santiago, Cuba; the University of California at Berkeley; Louisiana State University at Alexandria; Virginia Tech; Radford University; and Appalachian State University.

A 2005 recipient of the Lannan Literary Fellowship in Poetry, Walker serves as Writer in Residence and lecturer of English at Northern Kentucky University and is the proud editor and publisher of PLUCK!, the new Journal of Affrilachian Art & Culture. He also served as editor of America! What's My Name?, The "Other" Poets Unfurl the Flag, and Eclipsing a Nappy New Millennium. Walker's lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact 423.354.2594 or thhale@NortheastState.edu.


Alina Fernandez, daughter of Fidel Castro, visits Northeast State

The legacy of the 1959 Cuban Revolution and its aftermath under Fidel Castro has played out over six decades of geopolitics. Perhaps one of the most compelling versions ever told comes from a daughter of the man who led the revolution and became one of the most polarizing world leaders of the 20th century.

Alina Fernandez, the daughter of Fidel Castro, shares her first-person, intimate account of growing up in Cuba in a free lecture/presentation on March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts of Northeast State Community College.

Through her insight as one of the Cuban elite, Fernandez describes the world during her life in Cuba and the surrounding political environment during the 1960's and 70's. Weaving in her unique sense of style and humor, she reveals exciting and suspenseful anecdotes, snapshots of Cuban society, her inside scoop on politics, and a detailed view of her father.

Fernandez was just a toddler when Castro's rebellion overthrew the Batista government. She saw her father on the television screen and then in her living room, as Castro would frequently visit her at night. She played tirelessly with him until dawn until he left, disappearing for months at a time.

As one of Castro's children, Fernandez had a strangely mixed upbringing – a combination of privilege and privation. This is her private story, told from her intensely personal point of view. Clearly she speaks for herself and the people of Cuba with whom she knew over the last 40 years, rather than as an expert on Castro.

As Fernandez grew up and opened her eyes to the political climate in Cuba, she became rebellious, and in the 80's became part of the political dissident movement on the island. By 1993 she was forced to flee Cuba which she accomplished by mastering the art of disguise.

Fernandez grew up in a convulsive Cuba, living with the ongoing threat of invasion by American troops. She is a witness with a unique vision, not only of her father, and how the country changed after The Revolution, but of Cuba's future and the potential for reform.

Today, Fernandez resides in the United States. In 1998 St. Martin's Press published her story, Castro's Daughter: An Exile's Memoir of Cuba. Her presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or jpkelly@NortheastState.edu.


Northeast State hosts “Organizing for Success” seminar March 2

Would you like to save up to two hours per day?

Every once in awhile someone comes along that has the rare ability to captivate a class with their energy and ideas. As the best-selling author of Organizing for Success, Ken Zeigler has become one of the top experts in the country on personal organization and how to increase productivity. His seminar, Organizing for Success, is being offered on March 2 from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Blountville campus of Northeast State Community College, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Zeigler demonstrates how to more effectively organize a “typical” chaotic day so individuals can get more of what matters most done daily while meeting requests, attending meetings, and answering calls. He also details how to use a day planner, palm pilot, electronic calendar, or even a notepad more effectively.

Participants will enjoy fun and knowledge as Zeigler works through human nature and explains why we do things the way we do. Participants will work in small groups to develop effective new time strategies and lessen stress. Seminar participants claim save up to two hours daily based on what they learned.

For example, you’ll learn to:

  • Generate two more hours daily and avoid working late
  • Take control of the day
  • Get off to a faster start each day and leave on time
  • Organize the day and week to get more done in less time
  • How to slow down to improve execution and delivery
  • Leave work at work • Create balance between work and home
  • Accomplish more than just “putting out fires” • More effectively control interruptions so they take less time
  • Control/manage e-mail more effectively using
  • Plan and execute more effective meetings
  • Manage, control, and overcome procrastination

The fee for the seminar is $225 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and a copy of Organizing for Success. Space is limited, so sign up now! Registration deadline for the course is Feb. 23. Please make reservations by contacting Cindy Tauscher at 423.354.2570 or cmtauscher@NortheastState.edu.


Northeast State hosts open house Feb. 8

Curious about what awaits you at college?  Get the basics and some inside information at an open house event hosted by Northeast State Community College on Tuesday, Feb. 8 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the main campus, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

Sponsored by Northeast State office of Enrollment Services and Campus Information, the open house highlights the College’s academic programs, student activities and support programs, financial aid, scholarships and applying for admission.

Attendees will check in at 6 p.m. in the William W. Locke Humanities Building and enjoy a variety of learning sessions.  Staff and faculty will conduct two sessions at 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. describing the academic opportunities in the Technical Education, University Parallel (transfer majors) and dual enrollment programs. Staff will also present sessions detailing financial aid and scholarship opportunities available at Northeast State.

Current students will be on hand to conduct campus tours and answer questions.  The open house also features a Student Services Fair where attendees can speak with representatives of various student service offices.  Attendees can take a campus tour between 6:15-7:30 p.m. to see the College’s library, classrooms, laboratories, and research assets.

To attend the open house, please make a reservation by calling the office of Enrollment Services at 423.323.0243, e-mail CollegeAnswers@NortheastState.edu, or visit www.NortheastState.edu.  

Reservations are recommended but walk-in visits are most welcome.  If e-mailing a reservation, please include the student’s name, mailing address, high school/college, year in high school/college, academic program of interest and number of people in his or her group.

For more information, contact Admissions at 423.323.0243 or CollegeAnswers@NortheastState.edu.