Hardback
August 3, 2021
9780813151151
English
106
36 illustrations
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$29.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
August 3, 2021
9780813151168
English
106
36 illustrations
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$19.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
August 3, 2021
9780813151335
9780813151151
English
106
36 illustrations
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$19.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
August 3, 2021
9780813151212
9780813151151
English
106
36 illustrations
8.50 Inches (US)
5.50 Inches (US)
$19.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Perfect Black

By Crystal Wilkinson
Illustrated by Ronald W. Davis, Foreword by Nikky Finney
From the foreword:

"In Perfect Black, Crystal Wilkinson walks us back down the road she first walked as a girl, wanders us through the trees that lined the road where she grew up, where her sensibilities as a woman and a writer were first laid bare. In one of the first poems that opens the collection she is a woman looking back on her life, on the soil and mountains that first stamped the particular sound of her voice and she is deeply inquisitive about how it all fell into place: "The map of me can't be all hills & mountains even though I've been country all my life. The twang in my voice has moved downhill to the flat land a time or two." Perfect Black is a book of poems and legends about ancestry, culture, and the terrain of a Black girl becoming. It is a narrow and spacious terrain that enters the bloodstream of this black writing girl's body early. It is a country that she never truly exits even though different zip codes continue to fly through her wild, wondrous, winding life. We read and we hold on too."

About the Authors

Crystal Wilkinson is the author of The Birds of Opulence, 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 the 2008 Denny Plattner Award in Poetry from Appalachian Heritage magazine and the Sallie Bingham Award from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, she serves as associate professor of English at the University of Kentucky.

Reviews

"Crystal Wilkinson's Perfect Black is powerful witch-work. In these cascading lyrics, Wilkinson casts her glittering net of protection over the bodies and hearts of every Black girl. The poet's past self, "a girl, not yet trouble," is a dreamer whose desires—for love and intellectual play, for spiritual radiance and sexual empowerment—still carry sweet potency. Here, Black Rapunzel lets down her miraculous ladders of wisdom and vision, while Black grandmothers and church ladies transform into sailboats, safe harbors. Read this book and swerve, in Wilkinson's "perfect cursive," along paths ancestral and deliciously strange."—Kiki Petrosino, author of White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia

"I can read time by my own shadow," Wilkinson writes, and she conjures these heart piercing, authentic poems from the very ground of her life, from the water, from the mountains, from history and memory. It is in every sense a very particular woman we meet in Perfect Black, and it takes the artistry of this very particular poet to also give voice to her forbears, challenge injustice, and offer us a vision of what is possible. Wilkinson's range is astonishing: lyrics, narratives, laments, prayers, reminiscences, and more. Equal parts light and heat, these poems are incandescent."—Richard Hoffman, author of Noon until Night

"If we are Black it should be Perfect. Crystal has shared a wonderful book. Curl up with a cup of soul and enjoy it."—Nikki Giovanni, Poet

"In the beautifully illustrated Perfect Black, when Silas, a water witching grandfather, does anything but read and when Crystal Wilkinson finds a familiar ache in Prince's wildness, you know just how married she is to everything country especially her people and you learn quickly that being country ain't a compliment nor an insult. It's a warning and a promise that has everything to do with folk ways. With the earth. And with truth—no matter how much it hurts. With the same authentic voices that anchor her fiction and twice the personal risks, these poems will hand wash you in the creek and leave you on the line to dry. Utilizing evocative cinematic images that walk right off the page so easily you can taste the seasonings, smell the honeysuckle, feel the blades of grass beneath your bare feet and hear Crystal's allegiance to mountains, creeks and people the color of tobacco from the very first line."—Frank X Walker, author of Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York

"There is an ambience in Crystal Wilkinson's Perfect Black that captures the nostalgic sentiment of place with all its complexities. Wilkinson's inner ear is prominent and pronounced, and within this poetry collection lies the embodiment of women who know the 'creek' and the 'looking-glass' and we, the reader, are innocuous within the words. Imagistically, we are shown what it means to grow up country, girl and Black behind the backdrop of Appalachia. I cannot think of a more authentic voice from the 'holla' than what Wilkinson gives us in Perfect Black."—Randall Horton author of {#289-128}: Poems

"Crystal Wilkinson is Black woman chameleon. Perfect Black proves its joyous heart and weight in devastating truth. Needle-like lines and language thread the Black tradition and southern resilience. This hip strong poetry moves within the spirits of mothers and grandmothers, and a woman's evolution takes center stage and gravity. Wilkinson has long shapeshifted between the literary worlds of prose and poetry. Fiction has reaped her brilliance long enough. It's poetry's turn!"—Parneshia Jones, author of Vessel

9780813151151 : perfect-black-wilkinson-finney-davis
Hardback
August 3, 2021
$29.95 USD
9780813151168 : perfect-black-wilkinson-finney-davis
Paperback / softback
August 3, 2021
$19.95 USD
9780813151335 : perfect-black-wilkinson-finney-davis
Electronic book text
August 3, 2021
$19.95 USD
9780813151212 : perfect-black-wilkinson-finney-davis
Electronic book text
August 3, 2021
$19.95 USD

Other Titles by Crystal Wilkinson

The Birds of Opulence

Crystal Wilkinson
Feb 2018 - University Press of Kentucky
$29.95 USD - Hardback
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Blackberries, Blackberries

Crystal Wilkinson, foreword by Nikky Finney, afterword by Honorée Jeffers
Feb 2017 - University Press of Kentucky
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Water Street

Crystal Wilkinson, afterword by Marianne Worthington, foreword by Jacinda Townsend
Feb 2017 - University Press of Kentucky
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles by Nikky Finney

State of the Heart

edited by Aida Rogers, foreword by Nikky Finney, afterword by Cassandra King
Aug 2018 - University of South Carolina Press
$39.99 USD - Hardback
$19.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Blackberries, Blackberries

Crystal Wilkinson, foreword by Nikky Finney, afterword by Honorée Jeffers
Feb 2017 - University Press of Kentucky
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Conversations With the Conroys

edited by Walter B. Edgar, afterword by Nikky Finney
Oct 2015 - University of South Carolina Press
$27.99 USD - Hardback
$19.99 USD - Paperback / softback
$19.99 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in POETRY / American / African American

Asked What Has Changed

Ed Roberson
Mar 2021 - Wesleyan University Press
$24.95 USD - Hardback

Cosmic Deputy

Kalamu ya Salaam
Dec 2020 - Runagate Press, an imprint of University of New Orleans Press
$26.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Un-American

Hafizah Geter
Sep 2020 - Wesleyan University Press
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$15.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$12.99 USD - Electronic book text