Crystal Wilkinson is the award-winning author of the novel The Birds of Opulence (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence) and two story collections, Water Street and Blackberries, Blackberries. Nominated for both the Orange Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, she has received recognition from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Kentucky Arts Council, The Mary Anderson Center for the Arts, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is a recipient of the Chaffin Award for Appalachian Literature and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including most recently in the Oxford American and Southern Cultures. She currently teaches at the University of Kentucky, where she is Associate Professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing Program. She and her partner, poet and artist Ron Davis, own Wild Fig Books & Coffee in the North Limestone neighborhood in Lexington. (Photo: Justin Skeens)
Alana Mathews Arcurio is excited to return to Stories on Stage Davis to read “In Plain Sight” by Crystal Wilkinson. She has previously read excerpts from Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile and from a forthcoming novel by Jacinda Townsend. In addition to performing for Stories on Stage Sacramento, Arcurio was cast as Martha for the staged reading of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Sacramento Theatre Company. She appeared in several productions with Celebration Arts and received an Elly nomination for Best Lead Actress for her role of Marta in Sorrows and Rejoicings by Athol Fugard. She most enjoys the role of mom to her three children, Caleb, Jordan, and Josiah, when they are home from college.
Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her first novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Doubleday), is an Indie Next selection, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and a New York Times editor’s choice. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Buzzfeed, Nylon, and Guernica, among others. Rojas Contreras has received numerous awards and fellowships from Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. She is the book columnist for KQED, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate. She teaches writing at the University of San Francisco, and works with immigrant high school students as part of a San Francisco Arts Commission initiative bringing writers into public schools. She is working on a family memoir about her grandfather, a curandero from Colombia who it was said had the power to move clouds. (Photo: Jeremiah Barber)
Katherine Miller will read “The Hour of the Fog” by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. Miller is a proud member of Actor’s Equity Association and began her professional theater career performing in regional theaters of Northern California. A former member of the Sacramento Theatre Company, her credits there include Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest, Vicky/Brooke in Noises Off, The Goddess Parvati in Arranged Marriage, Ifigenia in Electricidad, and Padma in Queen of the Remote Control. As a member of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, her credits abroad include the role of Tecmessa in Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Ajax in Afghanistan and Artemis in Valina Hasu Houston’s The Intuition of Iphigenia; both productions were world premieres performed in Greece in 2012. Other favorite shows include Fat Pig, Much Ado About Nothing(Capital Stage), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Taming of the Shrew, and Othello(Sacramento Shakespeare Festival). Miller also has local and national commercial credits, such as the currently-running commercial introducing Guy Fieri’s new season of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.