Crystal Wilkinson will be the guest speaker at Somerset Community College for Womens History and Poetry Month. Wilkinson will speak in the Citizens National Bank Community Room of the Harold Rogers Student Commons located on the SCC Somerset Campus at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 24. The SCC Somerset Campus is located at 808 Monticello Street in Somerset. The event is free and the public is invited.
Crystal Wilkinson is the author of Blackberries, Blackberries, winner of the 2002 Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature and Water Street, a finalist for both the UKs Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She is currently seeking a publisher for her third book The Birds of Opulence.
Wilkinsons presentation is titled, Women Holding Up the World: Exploring Rural African-American Women Through Fiction.
Wilkinson grew up in Middleburg, Kentucky in Casey County. Wilkinson wrote that she lived an enchanted childhood and that her grandparents gave me the freedom to explore the countryside and to write, to dream, to discover. She wrote about her childhood and upbringing in the award-winning book, Blackberries, Blackberries.
Wilkinson attended Eastern Kentucky University and graduated with a B.A. in journalism.
She earned her Masters in Fine Arts degree from Spalding University in Louisville,
Wilkinson is the recipient of awards and fellowships from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, and the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Scholarship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is the recent winner of the 2008 Denny Plattner Award in Poetry from Appalachian Heritage Magazine and the Sallie Bingham Award from the Kentucky Foundation for Women for the promotion of activism and feminist artist expression.
Wilkinson served on the creative writing faculty for the Kentucky Governors School
for the Arts from 1997-2001. She was also a featured writer/teacher on the documentary
"Coal Black Voices" (2001), "GED Connections" (2001) and James Stills Legacy (2003)
film series produced by PBS Kentucky Educational Television.
Wilkinson is currently the Creative Writing Coordinator in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Morehead State University where she teaches writing and literature. She has also taught in the brief residency M.F.A. in Writing Program at Spalding University and the traditional M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program at Indiana University--Bloomington. She and her partner, artist Ron Davis, are founders and editors of Mythium: A Journal of Contemporary Literature Celebrating Writers of Color and the Cultural Voice.
Somerset Community College is a comprehensive two year institution of higher education. SCC has campuses in Somerset and London, and centers in Clinton, McCreary, Casey and Russell Counties. For more information about SCC, visit somerset.kctcs.edu or call toll-free for admission and registration information at 1-877-629-9722.