Frank X Walker points at parts of a museum exhibit

Frank X Walker offers a tour of his poetry series “Load in Nine Times” at the Frazier History Museum, June 19, 2023. Credit: Frazier History Museum.

The arts can serve as a powerful gateway for exploring and grappling with our nation’s history. The Frazier History Museum is pleased to announce a new addition to its Commonwealth: Divided We Fall exhibition that offers a unique lens into Kentucky history.

Kentucky Poet Laureate and Danville native Frank X Walker recently wrote a collection of poems titled “Load in Nine Times,” inspired by African Americans in Kentucky before, during and after the American Civil War. Each poem is written in direct response to a historic image or document, offering an engaging avenue for examining the sources and bringing humanity to the stories they help tell.

The poetry project was developed in partnership with Reckoning, Inc., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to examine the legacy of the institution of slavery in America and to create ways for communities to engage with the information through research projects, media productions, educational curricula, online content, and other means.

Guided Frazier Museum field trips that focus on the Commonwealth exhibition are available on-site at the museum, located in downtown Louisville. For educators who prefer to utilize the poetry in the classroom, a Google resource folder is available which includes a selection of the poems and related sources, short videos with Frank X Walker, and the PowerPoint offered at a recent teacher training.

Walker’s presentation of his poem, “Catch Me If You Can,” is also available.

Questions about the exhibition, the poetry series, or the resource folder may be directed to

Megan Schanie is the senior manager of educational programs for the Frazier History Museum.