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Crystal Wilkinson, a United States Artist Fellow, is the award-winning author of The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), Water Street, andBlackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for the John Dos Passos Award, the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from the Yaddo Foundation, Hedgebrook, The Vermont Studio Center for the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and others. She has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in The Kenyon Review, STORY, Agni Literary Journal, Emergence, Oxford American and Southern Cultures. She currently teaches at the University of Kentucky where she is Associate Professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing Program. Crystal comes from a long line of cooking women from the Appalachian South.