Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr.

Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr. is an advocate, Kentucky Teacher of the Year, and the author of a bestselling collection of narrative poetry about his childhood growing up queer in Appalachia, Gay Poems for Red States (University Press of Kentucky) which was named a Book Riot Best Book of 2023, a Top Ten Best Book of Appalachia by Read Appalachia, an IndieBound and American Bookseller Association’s must-have book, a 2023 Top Ten Over-The-Rainbow book by the American Library Association, and was awarded a 2024 Stonewall Book Award – Barbara Gittings Literature Honor Book Award. His work exists at the intersection of queer identity, Appalachian identity, and the politics of innocence.

Willie is a candidate for the MFA in poetry at the University of Kentucky. He publishes and presents on the subjects of education, marginalization, and identity, and his story has been featured on ABC, CBS, PBS, NPR, and in The Washington Post, Le Monde, and Good Morning America. His advocacy has led him to engage President Biden and to testify before the United States Congressional Committee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. His creative work has been published in 100 Days in Appalachia, 2RulesofWriting, Another Chicago Magazine, Largehearted Boy Blog, Smoky Blue Literary Magazine, Miracle Monocle, Good River Review, and Salvation South.

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