In the isolated regions of Central Appalachia, music was once the only form of entertainment. It's still alive today thanks to The Crooked Road, a driving trail that connects music venues in Southwest Virginia. It stretches from the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Mountains for 333 miles, crossing some of the poorest areas in the country.

Making a living in those areas has never been easy, as guitarist Greg Ward knows. He's a native of Floyd, Va. — population: 432.

"You know, it was a rough life," he says. "It was a hard life."

Frank X Walker reflects on the human condition in imagining historical characters’ voices from a black perspective. Walker is associate professor, Department of English, Co-Chair, Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. He visits Murray State for a presentation of his works Thursday, November 1 for the Creative Writing Reading Series.