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OLLI Appalachian Term Program Series – Affrilachian Writer Crystal Wilkinson

October 16, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

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As part of a theme term on Appalachia, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville (OLLI) will be offering a series of evening programs, free and open to everyone at 7 p.m. in the Reuter Center, Manheimer Room.

  • Wednesday, October 16, 7 p.m. Kentucky and Affrilachian writer Crystal Wilkinson will discuss her work. Crystal Wilkinson is the award-winning author of The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and is a recipient of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in the 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. She and her partner, poet and artist Ron Davis, own Wild Fig Books & Coffee which is located in the North Limestone neighborhood in Lexington.
  • Friday, October 25, 7 p.m. Kentucky writer and activist Silas House will discuss his work. Silas House is the nationally bestselling author of six novels, and his work frequently appears in The New York Times and Salon and has appeared in Time, Garden and Gun, and Oxford American. House serves on the fiction faculty at the Spalding MFA in Creative Writing and as the NEH Chair at Berea College. He is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, the recipient of three honorary doctorates, and is the winner of the Nautilus Award, an EB White Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, the Jesse Stuart Award, the Lee Smith Award, and many other honors. His book Southernmost (June 2018) was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and appeared on several the Best of 2018 lists of The Advocate, Booklist, Paste, Southern Living, Garden and Gun, and others.  The book was also awarded the Weatherford Award as well as the Judy Gaines Young Award. In addition to being an accomplished writer, House is an activist. He has been involved in the fight against mountaintop removal mining since being invited on a tour with environmentalist, author and public intellectual Wendell Berry. He serves on the board of Appalachian Voices, the clearing house for grassroots organizations fighting mountaintop removal. He has recently focused also on bullying and fairness issues and particularly about the challenge of “small hearts in small towns.”

Click here for building accessibility information.

Accessibility Contact: Jacqueline Lowe: (828.232.5181) jdlowe@unca.edu



October 16, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm




Reuter Center, Manheimer Room