Readings by two acclaimed Kentucky writers will kick off the Writer’s Block Festival at the InKY Reading Series Friday. Poet Maurice Manning and fiction writer Crystal Wilkinson will read from recent work at The Bard’s Town (1801 Bardstown Rd.). The free event also includes an open mic and a set by musicians A Girl Named Earl and Mike Karman.
Manning and Wilkinson are both award-winning authors and Kentucky natives who live in and write about the Commonwealth.
Manning is the author of four books, including “Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions” (Yale Younger Poet Prize) and “The Common Man” (2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist). A 2011-12 Guggenheim Fellow, Manning teaches at Transylvania University and in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College. Listen to Manning read “No. 9 Wire.”
Wilkinson is the author of the novel “Water Street,” a finalist for the UK’s Orange Prize for Fiction and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and the story collection “Blackberries, Blackberries,” winner of the 2002 Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature. She owns The Wild Fig Books in Lexington and teaches at Morehead State University and in Spalding University’s MFA in Writing program. Wilkinson is a founding member of the Affrilachian Poets. Read an excerpt of “Blackberries, Blackberries.”
There are a limited number of open mic spots available, and sign-ups happen on-site starting at 6:30 p.m. Music starts at 7 p.m., followed by the first featured reader at 7:30, open mic at 8 p.m. and the second featured reader at 8:30. The free monthly reading series is a project of Louisville Literary Arts, which also produces the Writer’s Block.