A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Constance Alexander: Crystal Wilkinson’s ‘The Birds of Opulence’ will enthrall Kentucky readers

Imagine a tree, a bird in the tree, the hills, the creek, a possum, the dog chasing the possum. Imagine yourself a woman who gathers stories in her apron. With those twenty-nine words, author Crystal Wilkinson lured me into her stunning novel, “The Birds of Opulence.” With no fanfare, this rara avis swooped in, ruffled its feathers, and snagged me in two breathtaking sentences. Right then I wanted...

Kentucky Humanities selects Crystal Wilkinson’s ‘The Birds of Opulence’ for 2021 Kentucky Reads

University Press of Kentucky author Crystal Wilkinson’s novel, “The Birds of Opulence,” has been selected by Kentucky Humanities for the 2021 Kentucky Reads. The novel will be at the center of statewide conversations on the dynamics of family and community, the strength of women, and the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Kentucky Reads will offer 25 scholar-led discussions of “The...

Kentucky Humanities selects Crystal Wilkinson’s ‘The Birds of Opulence’ for 2021 Kentucky Reads

Kentucky Humanities has selected Crystal Wilkinson’s The Birds of Opulence for its 2021 Kentucky Reads. The novel will be at the center of statewide conversations on the dynamics of family and community, the strength of women, and the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Kentucky Reads will offer 25 scholar-led discussions of The Birds of Opulence to community organizations throughout the Commonwealth....

Kentucky Book Fair anchors week-long literary festival; more than 180 authors highlight iconic event

Kentucky Humanities will present the 37th annual Kentucky Book Fair on Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Once held as a two-day event in Frankfort, the Kentucky Book Fair has found a new home in Lexington and expanded to a week-long festival (Nov. 12-17) with literary events for readers of all ages. The Kentucky Book Festival gives readers...

Lexington writer Crystal Wilkinson named Kentucky Arts Council’s featured artist for March

Crystal Wilkinson of Lexington has been selected as the Kentucky Arts Council’s Featured Artist for March and April. Crystal Wilkinson is author of three award-winning books, “Blackberries, Blackberries,” “Water Street” and “The Birds of Opulence.” Wilkinson, a poet who has written three award-winning novels, received a Kentucky Arts Council Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship for literary...

The Affrilachian Poets: Celebrating 25 years of a radicallly influential movement of renegade poetics

When Frank X Walker coined the culturally encompassing term “Affrilachian” twenty-five years ago, he had no idea the group of colleagues who got their start inside of an elevator at the University of Kentucky would transform into a radically influential social movement The Affrilachian Poets emerged out of a desire for solidarity and to advance the visibility of diverse voices through the...

Author Crystal Wilkinson wins two Appalachian book awards for The Birds of Opulence

University Press of Kentucky author Crystal Wilkinson’s novel The Birds of Opulence has been named the winner of the 2016 Weatherford Award for Fiction and the 2017 Judy Gaines Young Book Award. Both of these awards are for books from the Appalachian region. These recognitions come on the heels of Wilkinson winning the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence which recognizes rising African-American...

University Press reissues short story collections by award-winning Kentucky author Wilkinson

When Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker coined the term “Affrilachia” in the early 1990s, he and a group of like-minded writers founded the Affrilachian Poets to challenge the perception of a racially homogenous Appalachia and to highlight the under-represented presence of African Americans in the mountain South. Among that group was Crystal Wilkinson, whose love and fond regard for the land...

Last Minute Shopping: University Press of Kentucky has suggestions for gifts for readers on your list

The University Press of Kentucky’s 2016 Holiday Sale is going on now at www.kentuckypress.com. With UPK currently offering more than 1,800 titles at discounts up to 80 percent, there is no better time to share and gift these regional titles. From novels to histories and from cocktail books to cookbooks, UPK has something for almost ever reader, including books of interest in Northern Kentucky. For...

University Press of Kentucky author Wilkinson receives national recognition for novel

University Press of Kentucky author Crystal Wilkinson has been announced as the winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her novel The Birds of Opulence. Named in honor of one of Louisiana’s most beloved storytellers, it serves to recognize rising African-American fiction writers. The book award, initiated by donors of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, is now in its tenth...