Campus News

'Behind the Blue': Crystal Wilkinson discusses ‘Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts’

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2024) — Crystal Wilkinson is a professor of English in the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences and one of 16 University Research Professors for 2023-24. As the first Black woman to hold the appointment of Poet Laureate of Kentucky from 2021-2023, Wilkinson serves as an inspiration to many in the writing community, and has authored several award-winning books.

Wilkinson’s research and work primarily focuses on the stories of Black women and communities in the Appalachian and rural Southern canon. Her most recent work, "Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts," is her first foray into nonfiction, delving into the lives and foodways of her own family.

On this episode of "Behind the Blue," Wilkinson talks about the new book and how the inspiration to research and write about her family has been an inspiration to many others who wish to connect to their own ancestry and culture.

"Behind the Blue" is available on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify. Become a subscriber to receive new episodes of “Behind the Blue” each week. UK’s latest medical breakthroughs, research, artists and writers will be featured, along with the most important news impacting the university.

Transcripts for this or other episodes of Behind the Blue can be downloaded from the show’s blog page.

To discover what’s wildly possible at the University of Kentucky, click here.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.