Crystal E. Wilkinson author of Water Street ($19.95, Toby Press)

Water Street examines the secret lives of neighbors and friends who live on Water Street in a small town in Kentucky. Love and truth and tragedy are revealed under Wilkinson's sure hand. This is a superb, cohesive work which marks Ms. Wilkinson's evolution as a gifted observer and writer.

"I grew up on a farm in Indian Creek, Kentucky during the seventies. I swam in creeks and roamed the knobs and hills. We had an outhouse and no inside running water. Our house was heated by coal and wood-burning stoves and we lived so far back in the woods that we could get only one television station. But it was a place of beauty - trees, green grass and blue sky as far as you could see. I am country. "

Describing herself as a "Black, country girl", Crystal E. Wilkinson grew up in rural Kentucky and has been the assistant director of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington, Kentucky. She is a charter member of the Affrilachian Poets, a group of performing African-American poets from the South, and serves as chair of the creative writing department for the Kentucky Governor's School for the Arts. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and journals

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