Prior to the reading, a meet-and-greet reception with Wilkinson will be held from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m., provided by the Friends of the Library. Crystal Wilkinson is a poet and fiction writer whose debut novel, The Birds of Opulence, received the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Her other works include the short-story collections Blackberries, Blackberries—winner of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature—and Water Street, a finalist for both the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Wilkinson serves as Appalachian Writer-in-Residence at Berea College and teaches in the Spalding low-residency creative writing program. She also co-owns, with her partner, the artist Ronald Davis, The Wild Fig Books & Coffee, in North Lexington, Kentucky.