Britain’s Crystal Wilkinson, 2022 NAACP Image Award finalist

Kentucky Poet Laureate’s book of poetry, “Perfect Black” (University Press of Kentucky), is nominated in the category “Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry”.

The NAACP Image Awards program highlights the achievements of people of color through television, music, literature and film, and the promotion of social justice through their creative endeavours.

“I and my partner Ron Davis (who illustrated ‘Perfect Black’) are extremely honored to be a part of this tradition of celebrating Black advocacy and activism through art,” Wilkinson said. “As descendants of a long line of Kentuckians who have made the NAACP such an integral part of our history, we are doubly proud to represent literature on such a national scale through this nomination.”

On January 18, the full list of nominees was announced at a special event hosted by actress and musician Kyla Pratt, “black-ish” actor Marcus Scribner and singer-songwriter Tinashe.

The winners will be revealed during the two-hour special, hosted by seven-time NAACP Image Awards winner Anthony Anderson, starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 26 on BET.

About “Perfect Black”

Wilkinson combines a deep love for his rural roots with a passion for language and storytelling in this compelling collection of poetry and prose about youth, racism and political awakening, steeped in vivid images of growing up in the southern Appalachians.

In “Perfect Black,” the acclaimed writer reflects on topics including motherhood, her black body politics, lost fathers, mental illness, sexual abuse, and religion. It’s a captivating conversation about life, love, loss and pain – interwoven with striking illustrations from her longtime partner, Ronald W. Davis.

On August 12, The New York Times listed “Perfect Black” as one of four poetry books to read that week.

About the Author

Wilkinson is Kentucky’s first black woman to serve as Poet Laureate. She is the author of The Birds of Opulence, winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award; “Blackberries, Blackberries,” winner of the Chaffin Prize for Appalachian Literature; and “Water Street,” finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. She is also the recipient of a 2020 American Artist Fellowship.

Voting is now open to the public to determine the winners of the 53rd NAACP Image Awards. The NAACP will also recognize winners in the non-television categories of the Image Awards from February 21-23, which will be streamed online.

Click here to see the full list of nominees.

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