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A longtime writer-in-residence in Seattle Arts & Lectures' Writers in the Schools program, he was elected Seattle Poet Populist in 2007. He has been described as "Seattle's prince of the poetic one-two punch". In 2009, he spent a term as the Amy Clampitt Resident Fellow  in Lenox, Massachusetts.
His work appears in Courtland Review, The Best American Poetry, Slate, Parnassus, Light, and The Yale Review. He currently teaches English at the University of Michigan, and writes regularly for The Kenyon Review.
He is a co-recipient of the 2009 Amy Clampitt Residency Award and author of the poetry collection Shuffle and Breakdown. Walker received the James Boatwright III Prize for Poetry  from Shenandoah in 2003 and a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Washington in 2005. In 2010, he won Cartoon Caption Contest #226 in The New Yorker.