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Writer. cultural worker. teacher

Crystal Wilkinson is an award-winning feminist poet, novelist, memoirist, and professor from Kentucky. She’s a born and raised country girl and literary force of nature. Her structural innovations start from the ground up with sentences that read like poetry and characters that live and breathe on the page. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets Collective, she is the currently an associate professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Kentucky.

Wilkinson’s first book, Blackberries, Blackberries won the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature; her second book, Water Street, was a finalist for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award; her third book, The Birds of Opulence, won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, The Judy Young Gaines Prize for Fiction, The Appalachian Book of the Year and the Weatherford Award. Her work—fiction, poetry, memoir—has been widely anthologized and published in countless journals. She and her partner, Ron Davis co-own and run the beloved independent bookstore, Wild Fig Books and Coffee in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Awards for birds of opulence

·*Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

*Judy Gaines Young Award

*Weatherford Award in Fiction

*Appalachian Book of the Year

*Named Southerner of the Year by Southern Living Magazine

*Appalachian Heritage Writer’s Award