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Perfect Black: Crystal Wilkinson in conversation with Kiese Laymon

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Charis welcomes Crystal Wilkinson in conversation with Kiese Laymon for a celebration of Perfect Black. Crystal Wilkinson combines a deep love for her rural roots with a passion for language and storytelling in this compelling collection of poetry and prose about girlhood, racism, and political awakening, imbued with vivid imagery of growing up in Southern Appalachia. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here

 In Perfect Black, the acclaimed writer muses on such topics as motherhood, the politics of her Black body, lost fathers, mental illness, sexual abuse, and religion. It is a captivating conversation about life, love, loss, and pain, interwoven with striking illustrations by her long-time partner, Ronald W. Davis. 

Crystal Wilkinson is the Poet Laureate of Kentucky. She is the author of The Birds of Opulence, winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award; Blackberries, Blackberries, winner of the 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. The winner of a 2020 USA Artist Fellowship, she serves as associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky.

Kiese Laymon is a Black southern writer from Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon’s bestselling memoir, Heavy: An American Memoir, won the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2018 Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose, the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, and was named one of the 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years by The New York Times. The audiobook, read by the author, was named the Audible 2018 Audiobook of the Year. Heavy was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction and the Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction. It was named a best book of 2018 by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, NPR, Broadly, Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/CharisCircle?code=chariscirclepage

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to info@chariscircle.org. We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to info@chariscircle.org immediately.

Event address: 
CROWDCAST
Pre-Order Now Badge
Perfect Black Cover Image
By Crystal Wilkinson, Nikky Finney (Foreword by), Ronald W. Davis (Illustrator)
$19.95
ISBN: 9780813151168
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: University Press of Kentucky - August 3rd, 2021

Crystal Wilkinson combines a deep love for her rural roots with a passion for language and storytelling in this compelling collection of poetry and prose about girlhood, racism, and political awakening, imbued with vivid imagery of growing up in Southern Appalachia.


The Birds of Opulence (Kentucky Voices) Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9780813174990
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University Press of Kentucky - February 23rd, 2018

From the critically acclaimed, award-winning author of Blackberries, Blackberries and Water Street comes an astonishing new novel. A lyrical exploration of love and loss, The Birds of Opulence centers on several generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness.


Event Summary: 
Charis welcomes Crystal Wilkinson in conversation with Kiese Laymon for a celebration of Perfect Black. This event is co-hosted by the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.