Wilkinson (faculty, manuscript mentor) is an award-winning feminist poet, novelist, memoirist, and professor from Indian Creek, Kentucky. A founding member of the Affrilachian Poets Collective, she is currently Associate Professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing Program 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 including most recently The Oxford American and Southern Cultures. She and her partner, Ron Davis, co-own and run the beloved independent bookstore, Wild Fig Books and Coffee in Lexington, Kentucky.