Chrystal WilkersonCRYSTAL WILKERSON has been appointed poet laureate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She is the first African American woman to hold the position. A professor of English at the University of Kentucky, Wilkerson is the author of The Birds of Opulence and winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Kentucky University and a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Spalding University.