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 UK’s Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her third book, a novel, The Birds of Opulence was released in 2016 by University of Kentucky Press. Wilkinson was named Appalachian Writer-in-Residence at Berea College where she teaches writing and literature. She is also a faculty member in the brief residency MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University. She a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets, and she and her partner artist & poet Ron Davis, own The Wild Fig Bookstore in Lexington, KY.